Columbia Library columns (v.44(1995))

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  v.44,no.2(1995:Autumn): Page [32]  

George Louis Beer: Letia-sio a Friend, December 1919

John B. Strangk.s

V   f hei

hen he wrote two letters to
James T. Shotwell in December 1919, George Louis Beer did not know
that he had only three months to live. He had returned lo New York from
the Paris Peace C'onference in November physically and emotionally
exhausted. Yet, he was grateful for having been a jjan of such a historic
evenL President Woodrow Wilson and Colonel Edward House, Wilson's
confidant, had included him not only in the group of academic and other
specialists called together to help prepare the United States for the Peace
Conference but in the even more selective Ajnerican Commission to
Negotiate Peace, the group that accompanied Wilson to Versailles in
December 1918.

On the commission, Beer held the po.sition of chief of the Colonial
Division, a title that amused him somewhat, gi\'en that the United States
had neither a colonial office nor extensive experience in the administra¬
tion of colonies. At Versailles, Beer was the American member of the com¬
mittee charged with drawing up the mandates under which the foriner
German colonies and the territories taken fioni Turkey were to be admin-
  v.44,no.2(1995:Autumn): Page [32]