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Henry Stimson

Henry Lewis Stimson (1867 - 1950) was an American politician and Secretary of State.

Born in New York City, New York, he was U.S. Attorney for New York (southern district) from 1906 to 1909. In 1910, he was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for Governor of New York. The following year, he was appointed Secretary of War by President William Howard Taft.

Stimson served in the United States Army as a Colonel of Artillery during World War I. In 1927, he was sent by President Calvin Coolidge to Nicaragua for civil negotiations. That same year, he was appointed Governor General of the Philippines (succeeding General Leonard Wood). He opposed Philippine independence, but relaxed existing policies.

From 1929 to 1933 he served as Secretary of State under President Herbert Hoover. In 1929 he shut down MI8, the State Department's cryptanalytic office, saying, "Gentlemen don't read each other's mail."

From 1930 to 1931 Stimson was the Chairman of the U.S. delegation to the London Naval Conference. In the following year, he was the Chairman of the U.S. delegation to the Geneva Disarmament Conference. That same year, the United States issued the "Stimson Doctrine" as a result of Japanese invasion of Manchuria: the United States refused to recognize any situation or treaty that limited U.S. treaty rights or was brought about by aggressive action (formally, action contrary to the Kellogg-Briand Pact). In 1940 he was appointed Secretary of War under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His acceptance of this post infuriated many in his party. He retired in 1945.

Works published:

  • American Policy in Nicaragua, 1927.
  • The Far Eastern Crisis, 1936.
  • Autobiography: On Active Service in Peace and War, 1948 reprinted 1971).

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