Rogers-isms, the Cowboy Philosopher on the Peace Conference
by Will Rogers
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The Cowboy Philosopher on The Peace Conference


Frontispiece Portrait



Copyright, 1919, by Harper & Brothers Printed in the United States of America Published May, 1919

The Cowboy Philosopher on The Peace Conference

In the Five times I have appeared before President Wilson I have used dozens of these same jokes, about him, And he has the best sense of humor and is the best audience I ever played too, Which bears out the theory I work on, That you can always joke about a big Man that is really big, But dont ever kid about the little fellow that thinks he is something, cause he will get sore Thats why hes little,

W. R.


There is no particular reason why I should horn in on you Public with a Book, But thats just when they seem to write them, When theres no need or reason for them,

The shorter white Paper gets the more careless these Pen Hounds get with it,

All my friends advise me to go ahead Will and write it cause you wont annoy people with it like these other Writers do with theirs, Nobody will read yours

When a Guy has never grazed educationally any further than McGuffeys fourth Reader his ravings aint liable to throw any jealous scare into Literary Circles,

Grammar and I get along like a Russian and a BathTub,

In fact Americans are getting to dote too much on Grammar and Good Manners, They say the most perfect English in this country is spoken in Sing Sing, And at the Federal Prison in Atlanta, They claim a Knife never touched a Lip, So you see where that junk leads you too,

I was going to write a Book on the War, But I heard some fellow had already done it,

In fact I figure that the fellow who dont write on the war will be a novelty, There is so many Books on the War that no two people will have to read the same Book.

Then the War was too serious a subject I could not write on it, But the Peace Feast, That seemed to offer a better field for Humor provided you stick to the facts,

I have some inside facts procured from the most reliable source, And as I dont want to see the World grow up in ignorance on this historical subject I would really feel selfish and mean too withold it,

Heres how I got it, There is a fellow I know, Who had a friend, And this friends Sister had a sweetheart and he was a Soldier in France and his cousins pal was a Bunkie of Col Houses Chouffer, The Col told his Chouffer So you see my information comes from the same place Pres Wilsons does,

So Here Goes Under The Bottom With THE FIRST PEACE BOOK,


Of course this whole Peace Conference talk started from the time Pres Wilson said to Germany "We wont deal with you as long as you occupy invaded Territory." Well the Kaiser come right back at him and said, "If you can show us how we can give it up any faster than we are I wish you would do it,"

Now the Armistace was signed, and Germany agreed to quit running at eleven oclock on a certain day,

Of course we got the word a couple of days before it was really signed, Making everybody have TWO DRUNKS where one would have done just as well,

It would have been signed on this first day But the German Generals whom they sent out to sign up, had never been to the front and dident know just where it was,

The Kaiser was on the verge at one time of visiting the western front then he said, "No I will just wait a few days till it comes to me,"

Our Show was playing in Philadelphia when the first Armistace was signed, (The one the saloon men framed up) I was a bit leary of it all the time as I had been there once before when the Union League Club had paraded for a Mr Hughes, Then later they had to put the Parade back,


At that time everybody wondered what to do with the Kaiser, I thought he should have been brought to this Country and made to clean the streets after that first Armistace day,

A funny thing the Armistace was signed about the time the returns of the last election come in. The Germans and the Democrats learned their fate on the same day,

When the war was over the Kaiser called his 6 sons to him and said, "Now boys we better duck Cause this war is over and you boys can get hurt Now,"

The thing that hurt the Kaiser worse than losing the war, Was that in all the Armistace terms they dident even mention his name,

Everybody commence talking about the Peace Conference and who was to go, Some Republican Senators went so far as to engage a lower birth,

There was so much argument about who was to go, That Pres Wilson says I tell you what, "We will split 50-50 I will go and you fellows can stay,"

At last we were going to get even with them for all their commissions coming over here,

You know for a while COMMISSIONS were coming so fast, That we were lucky to find a fellow who knew what Flag to put out each day,

We were meeting Servian Commissions with Romanian Flags,

Of course there were nations coming at that time who had not enough to support a flag, Thats why the commission were here to place a Flag Contract,

Now to get to my Peace trip, About three months are supposed to have elapsed between the last Paragraph and this one, All of which time was taken up by Congress talking, (see congressional Record) Finally Pres Wilson got tired listening to them and walked out on them,

If it had not been to get away from Congress, I have my doubts if he would have gone to Europe,

Now for the Number 2 Peace trip,

This Peace trip is not an original Idea, (It was originated by some obscure MANAFACTURER OF KNICK NACKS,) Name furnished at advertising rates,

Its always the same, the fellow who originates anything or starts something new is generally called a nut, The next fellow comes along takes his Idea improves on it and of course is a smart man,

Of Course this No 2 Company used better Judgement than the first one. This one waited till the war was over to Go,

This is the only case in Theatrical History where the No 2 Company was better than the original,

Of corse I claim this Manafacturer in some middle west town (I cant seem to recall that fellows name) made one mistake, There were people on his Boat that should never have had a return trip ticket,

Through Holland receiving them is where the Kaiser got his idea of going there,

Of course there was a lot of dissatisfaction against the Pres going, Mostly by people whom he did not take along,

I was in favor of his going because I thought it would give us a chance to find out who was Vice President, But it Dident,

I also felt confident that he was the only man that could explain the 14 points

We were especially lucky in having him represent us in England as he is the only one we could have sent that spoke good enough english that they could understand,

He would have taken a Senator but couldent find one that had a dress Suit

A congressman of course was out of the question He couldent have eaten off a 15 million dollar plate He would have starved to death looking at it,

For awhile it looked like Mr Hughes would get to go, While the others were signing up he could have been investigating, his report would have been ready the day before the next election,

Also asked a manafacturer from some lake town (I cant think of that Birds name) But he said "No thank you one trip cured me"

The Sectry of Agriculture was named to go for a while, It was thought that if we were fortunate enough to be assigned any loose Islands at the meeting He could immediately advise what to plant thereby getting in a crop next year,

MR ROOT was named then some one happened to think of RUSSIA and that was off,

Wanted BRYAN to go but nobody knew where he was,

I wanted to go along as JESTER Pres Wilson will miss his comedy when he gets away from Congress,

I wanted to represent the United Press (the one that sent in that prematur peace report) I could have had them there before they started,

See they took one Republican with them, But I have never read any thing in the papers about him landing, Just about chucked that guy overboard,

Took a republican along to argue with on the way over,

They will about make him Wait on the Peace Table,

See where Admiral Dr Grayson stood his Maiden voyage well,

Mr Creel went along to suppress any SCANDAL that may crop up

On arriving they found they had forgotten something after searching they found it was the Industrial Committee,

Now Mr Barney Baruch is going in case we land a few Shekels, why Barney will count up for us,

Also Mr Garfield "said he wasent going to stay in this Country and FREEZE another winter,"

If they keep on sending for them, Talk about getting the boys back, it will take a couple of years to get all these Peace Guys back,

We may not have had as many Nations in the war as these other Nations but we are going to Swamp them at the Peace Table,

Col House was there to meet the Boat in a listening Capacity,

Lot of men have fought their way into fame and talked their way into fame but Col House is the only man that ever just LISTENED HIMSELF IN,

After looking over Paris the troop went to London, Can you imagine how sore these Republicans got when they read about a Democrat sleeping in Buckingham Palace,

Kaiser and Czar used to kid King George and tell him he dident have any power He can get back at them now and say "No I havent got much power but I am still Kinging aint I,"

Pres left London passed through Paris got an earfull from Col House and played a week of one Night stands through Italy,

He had a letter of recomendation from Caruso so he met some of the best people in Italy,

Every time the Pres wanted applause in his speeches in Italy he would mention GARIBALDI which sounds same in English as Italian,

Belgium wanted to book him there but the Pres got wise that they were holding so many Banquets they were trying to wear him out before the Peace Feast started,

King of Italy also the King of England have agreed with him up to now But unfortunately they neither one will be at the Peace signing,

England is orally in accord but there has been nothing signed,

They are a little late starting as they were waiting to find someone who knew what freedom of the Seas mean,


You know a lot of people think he is liable to be too easy with them dont you believe it he can be pretty stern when he wants to remember last fall when he sent Germany their Questionaire, Said GIVE ME YOUR REAL NAME AND PERMANENT ADDRESS,

Lets hope the Turkish Deligation dont bring all their WIVES or we never will get PEACE,

And lets make those Russians shave before they sign up we want to know who we are dealing with,

If Ireland sends a deligation I can hear France say bring us back war,

Now the Pres says we are going to recognize the CZECHO SLOVAKS we may recognize them but we will never pronounce them,

That Nation has caused Readers more trouble than any other one in war,

They cant make the Peace terms much worse than those Armistace terms for they read like a 2nd mortgage, Party of the second part has no more chance than a Democrat in the next Congress,

We are handicapped at this meeting, England and France both have their Prime Ministers there while BILLY SUNDAY dident go for us,

Each Nation is supposed to share in the Peace terms according to what they have done in the war, Holland gets the KAISER, Mexico the CROWN PRINCE,

Now the Pres has to get back here before Mar 1st when the Country goes in into the hands of the Republicans or they are liable to want to charge him a tarriff to get in again,


Well by this time Congress was getting pretty rough so Pres W grabbed his boat and commuted back home,

Said I think I will land in BOSTON the old Pilgrim Fathers had pretty fair luck, and nobody has ever landed there since,

Germany couldent figure out how America could get troops over there and get them trained so quick they dident know that in our manual there is nothing about RETREATING and when you only got to teach an Army to go one way you can do it in half the time,

I feel pretty proud over that last little gag, As I used it before Pres Wilson in Washington and he repeated it in his Boston speech, Saying "as one of our AMERICAN HUMORISTS says," Up to then I had only been an ordinary Rope thrower,

Pretty tough when the Pres cops your act,

Pres had pretty good luck on that 1st trip they saw his 14 points and raised him ———— —— more

Says in there, "There is to be no more wars" and then there was a Paragraph a little further down told you where to get your AMMUNITION in case there was one,

Now he come's back to Washington to explain the LEAGUE OF NATIONS to Congress You know those guys cant read anything and understand it,

But after eating out of 15 million dollar Gold Plates and hobnobbing with Kings and Dukes can you imagine how Congress looked to him when he come back,

Had All the Senators up to dinner at White House Took Ham Lewis three days to dress for it,

Not much news from the Dinner Burleson copped the Phones,

On last day went up to Capitol to sign all the bills Congress had passed Well after he had signed the bill,

Then he went before Congress and balled out the WILFUL 37, he was busier than Mcadoo with a new train,

HE and Taft both spoke on same stage first time Pres and x-pres ever agreed,

I still wanted to go along but he said: "wait Will till some other trip and I will take you,"

You know 13 is his lucky number if they dont sign this up on this trip he knows they will on his 13th trip,

You see Congress got sore cause he did not call them in extra session, You know the next Con, is Republican, Be a good joke on them if he dident call them at all wouldent it,

Back to Paris to meet Col House the only man the Pres ever listened too,

MR DANIELS went over. First time they have ever taken Josephus anywhere, He will be allright in a crowd,

Made Mr Hoover food DICTATOR for all the Allies That means that BELG FRANCE and ENG, are not going to get any more to eat than we do,

Conference at 1st gave America Japan Italy France 5 deligates each and England including her Colonies fourteen, Thats all right to allow England for each one of her Foreign Relations, But they did not allow us a single one for Wisconsin,

How would you like to have been on a committee of Englishman to inform Ireland they dident get any Deligates, OH BOY,

Finally got it down to the big TEN now theres only FOUR, speaking to each other,

America dident know till they got over there that those European Nations have had a disease for years called the Gimmes.

England and Japan had a secret Treaty where England was to get everything south of the equator and Japan everything North, Guess they were going to leave the equator for Ireland,

Japan wanted it put in the contract that she was as good as anybody else If she admitted it why put it in, If a man is a Gentleman he don't have a sign on him telling it,

Tell Japan we will recognize them as soon as they recognize China,

Peace Table is turning out like all Banquets the speeches are too long,

Everybody at the Table wants a second helping, And Germany the cook hasent got enough to go around,

They agreed on one of the 14 points that was that America went in for nothing and expects nothing they are all UNANIMOUS WE GET IT,

Wanted to put the LEAGUE of nations in with Peace Treaty, thats like a fellow going into a store and the Merchant wont sell him a Suit unless he uses a Gillette Razor,

Its been a great thing for these Senators if it had not been for this to knock they would not have gotten all these Lecture Dates,

The way a lot Of Senators talk you would think Pres W was going to trade America off for a couple of Golf Clubs,

They seem to think the Pres took the Monroe Doctrine in his pocket and is liable to lose it over there,

Pres Wilson threatened he would start the war over again, Be terrible if they found out this war was fixed and they had to fight it over again,

They cant let the Russians in this league or they would make a Bush League out of it,

Best time to have formed this League of Nations was during the war when all these Nations needed each other,

Everybody is for something to prevent war, but they are afraid it is like Prohibition it dont prohibit,

League of Nations just as clear as the Income Tax blanks,

One thing we got to be thankful for our Soldiers can win wars faster than our Diplomats can talk us into them,

Pres Wilson finally got discouraged at the stalling and told them that if they dident hurry up and do something the Americans would pick up their Wives and come home,


They then got busy and decided that Belgium could try the Kaiser, Belgium said "how do we get him," Allies said "thats it if we could get him we would try him ourselves,"

Some Nations got so tired waiting for Peace they went back to fighting again,

Been working on this League of Nations all winter, Finally one of the deligates said "What about Peace with Germany" The others all said "thats right we never thought of that,"

Went to call in Germany and they said "Why we had give you all up thought you wasent coming, We got a better offer from the Bolsheveki"

They offer us no indemnities and no Baths,

If they ever have another war lets have it understood before they start what each Nation wants at the finish,

All those Nations claim they were fighting for freedom, But of course a little more land would make a little more Freedom,

One thing about this League, The last war there were only 10 or 15 nations in it now if they all sign this they can all be in the next one, It wont be near so exclusive,

Course its hard to please everybody Taft tried that,

If Pres Wilson had any doubts about this League of Nations being put through he should have taken some of these Prohibitionist. They would have shown him how to get it through whether people wanted it or not,

France says they would have more confidence in this League if they would slip a couple of Nations in between them and Germany,


Dont get impatient. It has been just this hard at the end of every war to try and prevent another one,

Pres on his last voyage home said the Monroe Doctrine was fully protected already And to show them that it was, He has now put it in,

This Monroe thing the Republicans talk so much of and know so little about, Protects us against everything but VILLA.

And in the whole History of America he is the only Nation that ever attacked us,

Italy says they will pick up their Marbles and go home

Pres Wilson says you may Fiume, But you will never get it,

Today is Japans day to threaten to pack their kimonas and leave,

Italy bases her claim on an old treaty, She cant afford to trace her Treatys back too far, If I remember she originally was signed up with Germany,

Pres Wilson certainly used good judgement in visiting Italy when he first went over,

Sectry BAKER has gone back over to France again think old Newt, kinder likes PARIS,

They wanted Mcadoo to go but the salary wasent right,

Can you imagine a guy that couldent make a living out of all the jobs he held, I would love to have just half what one Republican would have made out of all that,

Lot of Reps dont want this League Gag to pass they are jealous cause the Democrats ran the last war, And they want to have another one to show how much better they could run one than the Democrats,

Even the Big 4 seem to be losing confidence, They have removed the words High Contracting Parties, which appeared 418 times in the original and now speak of it meekly as members of the League,

We know Pres Wilson had a lot to do with drafting it, Cause it has so many WORDS

Now it will take longer to explain it than it did to write it,

If Mr Lodge and Mr Lowell debate on these new amendments Boston has applied for a change of Venue,

Only debate ever held where both men agreed,

Pres is up to his old tricks has sent a NOTE to Italy,

His appeal to the Italian People caused as much of a furore as the one to the voters last fall,

Italy says they know Fiume was not in their secret treaty with other Allies But its a nice town and they hate to see it fall into bad hands,

Get all those Nations sore enough to start telling the truth about each other, We will hear something,

Italy claims Fiume because there is more Italians there than anybody else, according to that Look whod get NEW YORK

Japans claims are sorter novel "They want pay for capturing part of China one of our own Allies"

They have offered to protect Siberia if they have to stay there forever to do it,

If Japan gets all her claims China will pay more indemnities than Germany who lost the war,

Imagine Japan, Pres Wilson, and Italy, All talking at once, Good thing they cant understand each other or this Conference would never have lasted this long,


Guess those CZECHO POLOKS have gotten their freedom, I see where they are at war.

Wish I could find a man who had read this LEAGUE OF NATIONS, And could tell which was the Assembly and which was the Council,

Thats a good clause in there "where any Allied Nation must give three months notice before it jumps onto any other Allied Nation,"

Now the Women want to send Deligates, They forget this is a Peace Conference,

See where the German Deligates to the Peace Table brought their Golf Clubs We can see now how Admiral Graysons Pupil stacks up against opposition,

See where Pres Wilson and Italy have compromised on that town down there Italy got it,

Its kinder new wrinkle in Diplomacy, The Slovaks can play with it four years till they begin to like it, And then they take it away from them,


But they are going to build those other People (with that terrible name) A little young town just as much like this one as they can, down the river aways

Guess the reason they put a four year limit on it, Was that they figured that would about cover the existence of any of those new Nations,

The Idea over there now seems to be lets get something ready to sign up, Whether its any good or not,

See where Pres Wilson and Japan compromised on that CHOW CHOW PLACE JAPAN GETS IT,

I dont know how much money Indemnity Japan will demand from China,

You know CHINA has one of the best JAPANESE Armies in the World,

See where Pres Wilson and England compromised on Freedom of the Seas England got it,

Italy left the Conference and got what she wanted, Japan threatened to leave and got what she wanted, If Pres Wilson had left some Republican Senators would have gotten what they wanted,

Seems several Nations were like Jesse Willard they wanted to know what they were to get before they entered the Arena,

Well they finally handed Germany the Peace terms 80 thousand words only thing ever written longer than a Lafollette Speech,


Imagine what a document for Lawers to pick flaws in,

Could have settled the whole thing in one sentence, "IF YOU BIRDS START ANYTHING AGAIN WE WILL GIVE YOU THE OTHER BARREL,"

RUSSIA cant get in on this Peace There is not enough Paper in the World to print 80 thousand Russian words on,

If they want to get even with Germany they ought to let them keep their Cables And appoint Burleson to run them

I thought the Armistace terms read like a second Mortgage, But this reads like a FORECLOSURE,

If Germany ever wants to go to war again she will have to fight with BEER STEINS

If Germany stops to read those 80 thousand words before they sign them, We needent expect Peace to be signed for years yet,

Now Folks with all this kidding and foolishness aside, for I just say in here whatever I think anybody might laugh at, But of course my real sentiments are the same as everybody else, anything to prevent war If He puts this thing through and there is no more wars, His address will be WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON D C till his whiskers are as long as the Peace Treaty If it should be a Fliv, (which it wont) Why then a letter would reach him at ALABI NEW JERSEY. So all Credit to Pres Wilson it took some game Guy to go through with it,


Transcriber's Note

The spelling, punctuation and formatting in this project greatly varies. Everything has been kept as it appears in the original images.

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