America must prove herself a living thing, with policies that are adequate to new conditions. ... We wish an international settlement that will enable us to be more supremely great as nationalists. This is the significance of the League of Nations. It is a plan of hope. It is the only plan which the mind of man has evolved which any number of nations has ever been willing to accept as a buffer against devil-made war. ... It is a monumental experiment which this century and other centuries will talk of and think of and write of because it involves the lives of men and women under it, and there is the possibility of giving our full thought and energy and wealth to making life more enjoyable and finer instead of more horrible and cruel. While other nations are in the mood, we should agree with them, that we may spend our lives and money in a rivalry of progress rather than in a competition in the art of scientific boy-murder. There are times when war is the ultimate and necessary appeal, but those times should be made fewer by American genius and sacrifice.
And our prestige and power should not be wasted at this critical time, because out of some fecund mind may come an abstract and legalistic plan for some other kind of League. Let us be practical. Let us go to the fullest limit with other nations who are now willing to join hands with us, yet never yielding the Constitutional Congressional control over our war making. ... Let us take thought to-day of our opportunities else these may not exist tomorrow. ... Cordially yours,
TO TIMOTHY SPELLACY
August 2, 1920
My dear Tim,—Here you are, when you are sick yourself, worrying about me. Now, don’t give any concern to any matter excepting getting thoroughly well, just as soon as possible. You are doing too much. You are not resting enough, and you are worrying. You have got enough to take care of yourself and your family for the rest of your lives, you have the respect of every one who knows you, and the affection of every one who knows you well; in fact, you have nothing to work for, and every reason to be contented. So I suggest that you learn, in your later years, how to bum. I have no doubt that Mike will come across something very good in Colombia, if he doesn’t get the fever, or break his blooming neck. I have never seen so aggressive a group of old men as you fellows are. You will not admit that you are more than twenty-one. ...
With my warmest regards, as always cordially yours, Franklin K. Lank
With the presentation of an Irish flag, August 10, 1920.
To Edward L. Doheny, with the cordial esteem of Franklin K. Lane.
This flag is a symbol. It stands for the finest thing in a human being—aspiration—the seed of the Divine. It represents the noblest hope of a thwarted and untiring people. It makes a call to the heart of every generous-minded man, and gives vivifying impulse to the home-loving of all faces. It is a symbol of a people to whom most of the arts were known when England and America were forest wastes, whose women have made the world beautiful by their virtue, and whose men have made the world free by their courage.