Document Collection

A Comprehensive Study of the Oratory of
Philander Chase Knox

Date: 1954

PhD Thesis

By Thomas A. Hopkins

January 1954

Pennsylvania State University


Analyses in depth 7 speeches:

            “The Commerce Clause of the Constitution and the Trusts”, 10/14/1902, Pittsburg

            National Securities case, 12/14-15/1902, Supreme Court

            “The Reasonableness and Lawfulness of the General Features of the President’s Rate Regulation Policy”, 11/3/1905, Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce

            The fixing of Railway Rates, 3/28/1906, Senate

            “The Monroe Doctrine and some incidental obligations in the zone of the Caribbean”, 1/19/1912, New York State Bar Association.

            The Ending the War and the League of Nations, 12/18/1918, Senate

            Patriotic Rally, 3/31/1917, Pittsburg

Albert J. Beveridge, “Philander Chase Knox, American Lawyer, Patriot, Statesman,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 47, No. 2 (1923) p. 109

p.3 Roosevelt visited Knox frequently at his K Street home (Rebekah Knox Tindle interview, 1952)

p. 6 Presidential possibilities.  In 1901 Frick said that he and Senator J.D. Cameron should be next governor of Pennsylvania as a stepping stone to the presidency.  Letter Frick to Knox 11/11/1901, Library of Congress, Knox Mss

p. 7 Cameron had talked with Roosevelt who gave his limited approval.  Letter Cameron to Frick, 11/20/1901, Library of Congress, Knox Mss

p. 7 George T. Oliver (position?) & Matthew Quay were enthusiastic.  Letter Frick to Knox, 2/5/1902, Library of Congress, Knox Mss

p. 8 Roosevelt suggested to Henry Cabot Lodge that Knox was a possibility for the 1916 presidential election.  11/27/1915 [Selections from correspondence of Roosevelt and Lodge].

p. 9 A. John Dodds, “The Public Service of Philander Chase Knox,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of History, University of Pittsburg (1950).

Chapter II – to be copied

p.129 Reed, Smith, Shaw, & McClay, Pittsburg, a continuation of the Reed, Knox partnership.

Knox’s legal cases:

Straub v Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Legal Journal, 21: 89
Ford v Anderson, Pittsburgh Legal Journal, 21: 240
Ross v Walker, Pittsburgh Legal Journal, 21: 258
Commonwealth v Gillespie, Pittsburgh Legal Journal, 21: 463
Rafferty v Central Traction Company, Pittsburgh Legal Journal, 22: 15
Gearing v Getty, Pittsburgh Legal Journal, 22: 475

Citizens’ Street Railroad Company v The City Railway Company, Indianapolis, 1885

Oil – Standard Oil – Rockefeller

p. 149 United States Steel Company had 70% of the U.S. market [Burton J. Hendrick, “The Life of Andrew Carnegie,” Doubleday, 1932]

Finance – Morgan (Northern Securities & U.S. Steel)

Railroads – Vanderbilt, Hill & Morgan

The Sherman Act (1890) declared unconstitutional by Supreme Court (1895) and thereby the trusts beyond congressional control.

p. 170 Charles J. Bullock, “Trusts and Public Policy,” Atlantic Monthly, (June 1901), p. 737

p. 171 William N. Merriam, “Trusts,” Atlantic Monthly (March 1902), p. 332
By census 183 trusts controlling 2203 separate plants.

p. 172 8/27/1902 – immediately before sailing to France, New York Daily Tribune, August 28, 1902, p. 2

p. 173 Returned to New York 9/20, spent night at Waldorf-Astoria

p. 176 Argument was that “Sugar Trust” [controlling 98% of production] was a producer and therefore not liable to a law applicable to [inter-state] commerce.

p. 200 Century Magazine ran series of articles on trusts, vol. 65 (Nov. 1902 – Apr. 1903)

p. 365 “A Diplomatic History of the American People,” Thomas A. Bailey, Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York, 1950

p. 373 “Nicaragua and the United States, 1909 – 1927, Isaac Joslin Cox, World Peace Foundation, Boston, 1927

p. 375 [Knox to Charges d’Affaires, Nicaragua] Sir: Since the Washington convention of 1907, it is notorious that President Zelaya has almost continuously kept Central America in tension or turmoil; that he has repeatedly and flagrantly violated the provisions of the conventions, and, by a baleful influence upon Honduras whose neutrality the conventions were to assure, has sought to discredit those sacred international obligations, to the great detriment of Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Guatemala, whose Governments meanwhile appear to have been able patiently to strive for the loyal support of the engagements so solemnly undertaken at Washington under the auspices of the United States and Mexico.

It is equally the matter of common knowledge that under the regime of President Zelaya republican institutions have ceased in Nicaragua to exist except in name, that public opinion and the press have been throttled, and that prison has been the reward of any tendency to real patriotism.

Ref: Papers relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1909, Government Printing Office

p. 395 “United States and Latin America: Dollar Diplomacy,” Juan Leets, The L. Graham Co., New Orleans, 1912 Secretary of State\United States and Latin America by Juan Letts.doc

p. 414 The Times, London, 2/23/1912:

The accumulation of evidence that the United States propose to take a divided line about Central America, coupled with various incidents in the relations of this Administration with Latin America, have not unnaturally aroused a certain amount of distrust on the Caribbean.  This distrust it will be the preoccupation of Mr. Knox to remove.  It is hoped that he will be able to do so, for if the Nicaraguan and Honduran schemes have been rather illogically criticized on the ground that they might lead to “entanglements,” the Central American situation has during recent years been a source of continual apprehension.  It is felt that, when the Isthmian Canal is opened, the United States cannot well afford to allow the indefinite continuation of a zone of unrest so close to it, and yet, until Mr. Knox breached his “dollar diplomacy” scheme, it was not seen how in certain circumstances the United States could hope to establish permanent peace without resort to a most arduous and difficult policy.

p. 449 Between 4/9/1917 and his death Knox addressed the Senate on almost 350 occasions … his role was usually of clarifier and legal expert.

p. 465 “The United States and the League of Nations, 1918 – 1920,” Denna Frank Fleming, Putnam, 1932 

p. 495  Resolution put before the Senate on 12/3/1918 by Philander Knox:

Whereas the Unites States of America entered the war with Germany and Austria-Hungary in order to vindicate the ancient right of navigation as established under international law and in order to remove forever the German menace to our peace;
Whereas the splendid effort of the American people and the valor of our soldiers and sailors during a year and a half, when added to the enormous sacrifices, the steadfast fortitude, and the noble courage displayed by our allies during more than four years, have made possible the attainment of those aims, now best expressed as restitution, reparation, and guaranties against the German menace; and
Whereas the surrender of Germany and Austria-Hungary to the terms of the armistice has attained a great part and has rendered enforceable the remainder of those aims; and
Whereas conferences are about to take place with the purpose to complete, to perfect, and to guarantee the attainment of the war aims aforesaid and thus to pass to the state of formal peace: Therefore be it Resolved, That the purposes of the United States of America in those conferences should be confined to the aforesaid aims and matters germane thereto.
Second, That for the safeguarding of those aims the first essential is a definite understanding that, the same necessity arising in the future, there shall be the same complete accord and cooperation with our chief cobelligerents for the defense of civilization.
Third, That any project for any general league of nations or for any sweeping change ancient laws of the sea as hitherto recognized as international law and violated by the Teutonic powers should be postponed for separate consideration not alone by the victorious belligerents but by all the nations if and when at some future time general conferences on those subjects might be deemed useful.
Further resolved, That immediately upon compliance with the terms of the armistice and the guaranteed attainment of the war aims as aforesaid the Army and Navy of the United States should be withdrawn from foreign territories and waters except in so far as their retention might be temporarily necessary to establish the status contemplated by the armistice; and, further, that the extraordinary powers conferred upon the President for the prosecution of the war should be withdrawn and the country restored to a normal condition of peace, with the greatest possible celerity consistent with the national interest.


p. 517 “A Rhetorical Study of the Senate Debate on the League of Nations,” Ralph A. Micken, Ph.D. dissertation, North-western University, 1948

p. 573 Newspapers
El Correo de Managua, Managua, Nicaragua
3/6/12, 3/7/12, 3/8/12

New York Daily Tribune
8/24/02, 8/26/02, 8/28/02, 9/21/02, 12/9/03, 12/15/03, 12/16/03, 3/15/04

New York Herald

New York Tribune
1/31/05, 7/8/05, 11/4/05, 11/30/05, 3/2/06, 3/29/06, 1/20/12, 2/24/12

Philadelphia North American

Pittsburgh Gazette
10/15/02, 11/6/04, 11/4/05

Pittsburgh Chronicle Telegraph

Pittsburgh Gazette Times
3/28/17, 3/30/17, 4/1/17

Pittsburgh Post
10/15/02, 11/6/04

Pittsburgh Press
3/24/17, 3/25/17, 3/26/17, 3/27/17, 3/29/17, 3/30/17, 4/1/17, 10/13/21

St Louis Daily Globe- Democrat
3/3/12, 3/7/12

The New York Times
12/14/03, 12/16/03, 3/15/04, 3/29/06, 12/2/09, 12/3/09, 8/19/11, 1/20/12, 2/24/12, 3/7/12, 11/1/14, 12/2/15, 6/9/16, 12/30/16, 1/3/17, 1/4/17, 1/13/17, 1/23/17, 4/1/17, 1/9/18, 10/26/18, 10/28/16, 10/29/18, 12/4/18, 12/17/18, 12/20/18, 12/23/18, 12/31/18, 10/13/21, 1/9/30

The Times, London

Washington Post
12/21/93, 10/15/02, 11/4/05, 3/30/06

Washington Times

p. 575 Periodicals

Far Eastern Review, Vol. XI, Manila, P.I. G.B. Rea (1914)

New Republic
12/14/18 vol. XVII #215, p. 179 – 180
12/28/18 vol. XVII #217, p. 24

The Independent
12/14/18, vol. 96, #3653 p. 359
1/4/19, vol. 97 #1

The Literary Digest
7/23/10 vol. 41
12/18/09 vol. 39

The Nation
12/30/09 Vol. 89
2/1/12 Vol. 94
2/15/12 Vol. 94
11/2/18 Vol. 107

The Outlook
6/12/09 Vol. 92
11/27/09 Vol. 93
12/25/09 Vol. 93
9/3/10 Vol. 96
8/17/12 Vol. 101

P. 576 Articles

Bullock, Charles J., “Trusts and Public Policy,” Atlantic Monthly, XC (June 1901)
“The Concentration of Banking Interests,” Atlantic Monthly, XCII (August 1903)

Clark, John Bates, “Disarming the Trusts,” Atlantic Monthly LXXXIX (Jan. 1900)

Creelman, James, “Mr. Knox and his last great client,” Perason’s Magazine, XXI, #6, (June 1909), pp. 607-624

Fife, George Buchanan, “The So-Called Beef trusts,” Century Magazine, LXV (Nov. 1902)

Hale, William Bayard, “With Knox to Central America,” The world’s Work (June 1912), pp. 179 – 103

Smith Edwin C., “A Sketch of Philander C. Knox,” Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, Pittsburgh (1922), pp. 123 - 134


The Forgotten Statesman: Philander Knox and the Politics of the Early 1900s by Mike Bertram, TEHS Quarterly, vol. 47 #1 (March 2010)