Last week an E-Sylum reader asked for help identifying people pictured in a Library of Congress photo of "Reparations Commission with Stevenson, 6/25/29"
Tom DeLorey writes:
Apropos the picture of the 1929 Reparations Commission, the book "Lords of Finance" by Liaquat Ahamed identifies the U.S. delegates to the February, 1929 Reparations Conference in Paris as Owen Young and Jack Morgan, with Thomas Lamont as Morgan's alternate. Jack Morgan was the son of J.P. Morgan, and at the time the senior partner of J.P. Morgan and Associates. Lamont was the next senior partner. Young had been a delegate to the earlier (1923) Dawes Conference, and was an industrialist who was, at various times, President of GE and RCA.
The 1926 Conference convened in February, but was quite contentious and its results were not signed until July. The June photo was presumably taken when the delegation returned to Washington to report on the results.
There were several reparations conferences over the years. The 1929 conference is referred to as either the "Young Conference" or the "Second Dawes Conference." I would assume that the picture was taken after the delegation returned from the conference with their report. I do not know who they were reporting to, as the Stevenson who was Vice President did so from 1893 to 1897. The Stevenson who ran for President in the 1950's did not begin his government career until the FDR administration.
Perhaps this will help your reader with his research. The book does give an excellent history of the German hyperinflation period, but that occurred years before this picture was apparently taken.
Gar Travis writes:
I would surmise that the image was taken in 1929 as the man seated to the right is American financier Owen D. Young of the Young Plan.
In 1925 he was president of the St. Lawrence University and was featured on the cover of TIME magazine. It was this image I compared to the image in eSylum to confirm his identity.
For more Young Plan information, see:
Pete Smith writes:
1. Top Row Left: Thomas Wilson Lamont
2. Bottom Row Left: John Pierpont "Jack" Morgan Jr.
3. Bottom Row Center: Secretary of State Henry Stimson
4. Bottom Row Right: Owen D. Young
With Stimson front and center, I would call this a meeting with Stimson, not Stevenson. Since I now believe the picture features Henry Stimson, I wondered if the name was transcribed incorrectly. I found the picture on the Library of Congress site. It does indeed say Stevenson.
I found another photo from the Library of Congress of Stimson taken on March 28, 1929, and I am attaching a document with the two pictures cropped and shown side by side.
A New York Times article of June 26, 1929 identifies two more individuals who may have been in the picture. These include undersecretary Joseph P. Cotton (possibly top, second from left) and undersecretary Ogden L. Mills (possibly top, far right).
I have not yet been able to find a photo of Boston lawyer Thomas Nelson Perkins. He should be in the picture and only the man at the top, second from right, remains unidentified.
So far I have been making guesses. I have tried to find an original publication with the photo identifying the subjects but so far that has eluded me. My guesses should not be assumed to be correct.
But note that this was not a photo of the Reparations Commission. It was the American delegation to the Allied Reparations Commission. I did not find a listing for the entire commission.
Thanks to everyone for their assistance!
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
QUERY: GERMANY REPARATIONS COMMISSION PHOTO
Wayne Homren, Editor
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