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Walter Hines Page Edit Profile

ambassador , diplomat , editor , journalist , publisher

Walter Hines Page was an American journalist, publisher, and diplomat. He was the United States ambassador to the United Kingdom during World War I.


Walter Page was born in Cary, North Carolina to father Allison Francis "Frank" Page and his wife, Catherine Frances Raboteau. His father built the Page-Walker Hotel about 1868.


Walter was educated at Trinity College (Duke University), then at Randolph-Macon College and Johns Hopkins University. His studies complete, he taught for a time in Louisville, Kentucky.


He served as editor of the Forum, Atlantic Monthly, and The World's Work. Page supported Woodrow Wilson's candidacy for the presidency in 1912, and the following year was rewarded with the am-bassadorship to the Court of St. James's.

Page set out in London to promote the Anglo-American ascendancy in world politics; his initial efforts were directed towards resolving the Panama Canal toll issue and the Huerta problem in Mexico. The outbreak of war in Europe in the fall of 1914 brought a rift between the Stoic president in Washington and his impetuous envoy in London. Page disliked Wilson's initial adherence to strict neutrality and saw no need to enforce full observance of U.S. rights by both sides. Moreover, the ambassador agreed with British demands that the United States restrict the flow of goods to Germany's neutral neighbors, and he regarded the basic issue to be one of the assault of Prussian militarism upon democratic civilization. In the fall of 1914 Page threatened to resign if the State Department continued to insist that the British adhere to the Treaty of London (1909), which they had not signed, and end the blockade of the North Sea.

Page was frustrated by what he considered to be the president's interminable paper war with Berlin, and after the Lusitania incident he counseled severing diplomatic relations with Germany and preparation for war. Early in 1916 the ambassador rejected "Colonel" House's peace mission to London, Paris, and Berlin; in December he denounced the president's "peace without victory" formula and instead demanded that Germany be crushed militarily. Page submitted his resignation in November 1916, correctly seeing that his position had become utterly untenable, but by February 1917 when Secretary of State Lansing had acted on the request, Germany's decision to resume unrestricted submarine warfare had drastically altered the situation.

Page rejoiced over the American declaration of war on April 6, 1917, seeing it as a vindication of his own policies. He at once urged that the government dispatch to Europe all available merchant and naval vessels to alleviate the shipping shortage of the Allies; he also desired a small expeditionary force, to be followed by a powerful American army. At the height of the U-boat offensive in June 1917, Page warned the president that the submarines might turn the tide: "There is therefore a possibility that the war may become a war between Germany and the United States alone." Wilson, in his glacial way, was not overly alarmed: "Page meddles in things outside his domain."

In contrast to President Wilson, General Pershing, and Admiral Benson, Page had absolutely no qualms about placing America's land and sea forces under Allied command. The envoy also urged Washington to make large loans at low interest rates available to the Entente. All this feverish activity led to severe strain and nephritis, forcing Page to resign his post in August 1918. He died on December 21, 1918, in Pinehurst, North Carolina.


  • Other Work

    • Editor St. Joseph (Missouri) Daily Gazette, 1880-1881. On staff New York World, 1882. Founder, and editor State Chronicle, Raleigh, North Carolina, 1882-1883.On staff New York Evening Post, 1883-1887. Manager The Forum, 1887-1890 and editor, 1890-1895. Literature adviser Houghton, Mifflin & Company, 1895-1899.Editor of The Atlantic Monthly. 1896-1899. The World’s Work, 1900-1913. Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Great Britain, since 1913.


Page believed that a free and open education was fundamental to democracy. In 1902, he published The Rebuilding of Old Commonwealths, which emphasized that. He felt that nothing (class, economic means, race, or religion) should be a barrier to education.


Member Doubleday, Page & Company, publishers, since 1899. Member General Fund. Board, International Health Board.

  • Clubs: University, National Arts, New York.


On November 15, 1880, Page married Willa Alice Wilson. They had three sons and a daughter.

Allison F. Page

Catherine (Raboteau) Page

Willa Alice Wilson