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Nicholas Murray Butler Imprint

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Item Number: Mem8857
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President of Columbia University

Nobel Peace Prize Recipient

Republican Statesman

This is Butler's message to the Columbia men fighting in World War I

(1862-1947) Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, he was an American philosopher, diplomat, and educator. Butler was president of Columbia University, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. He became so well known and respected that The New York Times printed his Christmas greeting to the nation every year. Butler's academic and other achievements led President Theodore Roosevelt to call him "Nicholas Miraculous." Throughout the 1890's he served on the New Jersey Board of Education and helped form the College Entrance Examination Board. He was a delegate to each of the Republican National Conventions from 1888 to 1936. In 1912, when Vice President James S. Sherman died before the presidential election, Butler was designated to receive the electoral votes that Sherman would have received, however the Republican ticket headed by President William H. Taft was defeated and finished third behind the Democrats and the Progressives. Butler attempted to secure the Republican presidential nomination for his lifelong friend and future United States Secretary of State Elihu Root in 1916, and sought the nomination for himself in 1920, without success. Butler became president of Columbia University in 1902, and among the many dignitaries in attendance at the ceremony was President Teddy Roosevelt. He held the position of president of Columbia for 43 years, the longest tenure in the university's history, retiring in 1945. As president, he carried out a major expansion of the campus, adding many new buildings, schools, and departments including Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, the first academic medical center in the world. Nicolas Murray Butler is buried at Cedar Lawn Cemetery, in Paterson, New Jersey.

1917 Imprint: 5 1/4 x 8 1/4, folio with 2 pages of content (1 & 3) and 2 blank pages, (2 & 4). Printed signature. This is Nicholas M. Butler's message to the gallant Columbia men who were fighting in World War I.

Columbia University
in the City of New York


To each Columbia man in service

At this Christmas season when the good cheer and good will that should mark it are so sadly absent from the lives and hearts of millions of human beings, Alma Mater has a special word of greeting and encouragement for those of her brave and stalwart sons who have given themselves to the service of the nation, even though their lives be the sacrifice. No contest in which you could possibly be engaged can equal this one in moral significance. Everything which distinguishes right from wrong in public conduct, everything which marks off principle from expediency in national life, everything which draws a line between liberty and despotism, everything which removes human opportunity from the grasping hand of cruel privilege, waits for its safety, and perhaps for its very existence, upon your success and that of the noble men of allied nations who are fighting by your side on land and sea.

Keep a stout heart, no matter how long the waiting, how severe the trials, or how nearby the danger. Life will not be worth living for any of us unless you win this war. Be assured that you are to win, for the whole moral and patriotic force of America is behind you. Columbia intensely proud of her share in this struggle and of her notable contribution of men and service to its successful conduct, sends you this word of good cheer and encouragement. When this war shall have been righteously won there will be peace on earth for all men of good will.

Nicholas Murray Butler


Light age toning and wear. The bottom 3 sentences have been underlined in red. Superb content.

Trivia: World War I was also known as the First World War, and the Great War. This global war originated in Europe and lasted from July 28, 1914 to November 11, 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars," it led to the mobilization of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It was also one of the deadliest conflicts in world history with an estimated 9 million combatants, and 7 million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war.

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