Herbert Lockwood Willett to Bainbridge Colby, November 3, 1920


November 3, 1920

Hon. Bainbridge Colby
Secretary of State
Washington, D.C.


The Chicago Church Federation has this date passed the following resolutions, the [aims] having been previously endorsed by the Woman's Department of the Federation:

WHEREAS the French occupying forces in the Rhineland are made up largely of African Blacks, and

WHEREAS these troops, practically savages, are quartered among a disarmed German population over whom they exercise military authority, and

WHEREAS our attention has been called to the numerous outrages [of an] unspeakable nature perpetrated by these African blacks upon German women, and

WHEREAS we protested against the outrages perpetrated on Belgian women by the German troops,

THEREFORE in like spirit we desire to protest in the name of womanhood and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that in view of the responsibilities which the United States of America, as one of the powers temporarily occupying the Rhineland shares with France and Great Britain before the world, and out of a decent respect for the dignity of womanhood and its right to protection against outrage even during the war, and certainly after the resumption of peace,

WE HEREBY voice our indignation at the persistence of these intolerable conditions, and earnestly request the Department of State to take courteous but earnest measures at Paris to cause the French Government to withdraw the African soldiers from the German zone of occupation and to send in their places the white representatives of civilized France.

Very sincerely yours