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Register of the Thomas St. John Gaffney Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Alternate Forms Available
  • Related Materials
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Thomas St. John Gaffney Papers
    Date (inclusive): 1887-1941
    Collection Number: XX227
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 3 manuscript boxes, 2 oversize boxes (3.0 linear feet)
    Abstract: Correspondence, writings, and printed matter, relating to international relations, the World War I war guilt question, reparations, Irish independence, American domestic politics and foreign policy, and Jews. Includes correspondence with Kaiser Wilhelm II in exile, Baron Hermann Speck von Sternberg (German ambassador to the United States), and Jules Cambon (French ambassador to Germany). Also available on microfilm (5 reels).
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    creator: Gaffney, Thomas St. John, 1864-1945


    Originals closed. Microfilm use copies available.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Thomas St. John Gaffney Papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1942.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Alternate Forms Available

    Also available on microfilm (5 reels).

    Related Materials

    Sir Roger Casement Papers, Hoover Institution Archives

    Biographical Note

    1864 Born, Limerick, Ireland
    1882 Came to the United States
    1889 Admitted to the New York Bar
    1897 President, Patriotic League of America
    Circa 1900 Co-author with Joseph Smith, American in the Orient: The United States, Russia, and France and the Anglo-Japanese Treaty
    1902 Named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by French President émile Loubet
    1905 Conferred by King Leopold of Belgium with the officer's cross of the order of Leopold II
    1905-1913 Consul General for Dresden, appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt
    1913-1915 Consul General for Munich, appointed by President Woodrow Wilson
    1915 November Forced to resign after making partisan statements in support of Germany
    1930 Author, Breaking the Silence: England, Ireland, Wilson and the War
    1945 Died

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains materials largely pertaining to the war guilt question after WWI, reparations, Irish independence, American domestic politics and foreign policy, Jews, and the activities of Kaiser Wilhelm II in exile. After his forced resignation in 1915, Gaffney returned to Germany a number of times and continued his interactions with German officials and other diplomats. Although Gaffney's relationship with Sir Roger Casement was one of the motivating factors for his resignation, the collection contains little on the Irish nationalist.
    Gaffney's Correspondence provides the most information into the breadth of his political interests and activities from before his appointment as consul general to after the publication of his memoir Breaking the Silence. Of particular note in this series is a letter to Herbert Hoover in 1929 regarding war guilt and reparations, punctuated with a handwritten note by Kaiser Wilhelm II.
    The Scrapbooks series contains correspondence, clippings, and photographs compiled by Gaffney documenting his relationship with Kaiser Wilhelm II in exile in Doorn. Loose items filed within the scrapbook pages were left in place.
    The biographical materials in the Clippings and Collected materials series are comprised of articles by and about Gaffney printed in American and German newspapers. Among the collected materials filed by subject in this series are German propaganda flyers from WWI published by the Fichte-Bunde and distributed in the United States.
    Gaffney's Speeches and Writings focus mostly on his interpretations of the War Guilt Clause in the Treaty of Versailles and its implications on Germany and German-Americans. The researcher should be aware that some writings are under the pen name Arthur Fleming. Additional writings are filed by subject in the Clippings and Collected materials series.


    The collection is organized into 4 series: Correspondence, Speeches and Writings, Clippings and Collected materials, and Scrapbooks

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Cambon, Jules Martin, 1845-1935.
    Sternburg, Hermann Speck von, Freiherr, 1852-1908.
    William II, German Emperor, 1859-1941.
    Diplomats--United States.
    Germany--Foreign relations--United States.
    Great Britain--Foreign relations.
    Ireland--History--20th century.
    United States--Foreign relations--Germany.
    World War, 1914-1918--Reparations.