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Alexander Duer Irving Jr. papers

1890-1928
 Collection
Identifier: 1403

Abstract

Alexander Duer Irving Jr. (1873-1941) was assigned as a junior naval aide to President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) on his trip to the Paris Peace Conference, primarily because of his knowledge of French. He served with the rank of lieutenant under Wilson's personal physician, Admiral Cary T. Grayson (1878-1938). The papers record details of protocol at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Irving gives much social detail of formal affairs attended and the intricacies of protocol. He reports background information on French labor unrest, the high cost of living, and the fear of Bolshevist infiltration.

Dates

  • 1890-1928

Creator

Extent

1.3 Linear Feet

Biographical Note

Alexander Duer Irving Jr. (1873-1941) was assigned as a junior naval aide to President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) on his trip to the Paris Peace Conference, primarily because of his knowledge of French. He served with the rank of lieutenant under Wilson's personal physician, Admiral Cary T. Grayson (1878-1938).

In Paris, Irving was assigned to handle presidential mail and do translations. He does not appear to have been in on negotiations. He had little direct contact with Wilson and saw more of Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) while in Paris. In May 1919, Irving was asked to translate French Primer Minister George Clemenceau's (1841-1929) letter for the Decoration Day ceremonies at the American Cemetery, and to read his translation before Wilson's two-day tour of the battlefields in Belgium.

Irving was born on May 24, 1873, the son of Alexander Duer Irving Sr. (1842-1910) and Ellen Eugenia du Pont (1842-1876), and grandson of Henry du Pont (1812-1889).

Scope and Contents

The papers date primarily from 1919, when Irving accompanied President Woodrow Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference as a junior naval aide.

The papers include typescript notes prepared by him as diary-letters covering the sojourn in Paris and Wilson's trip to Belgium; letters to his wife, Catherine Irving, from France and Belgium; invitations; cards; and a copy of a letter with translations, from Georges Clemenceau. There are also certificates from St. Paul's School (1890); commission and discharge from the U.S. Naval Reserve; French Legion of Honor certificate (1919, 1930); Order of the Crown certificate signed by Albert, King of the Belgians (1919); and notes and a typescript for a book by Irving on the châteaux of the Loire Valley. The papers record details of protocol at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

Irving gives much social detail of formal affairs attended and the intricacies of protocol. He reports background information on French labor unrest, the high cost of living, and the fear of Bolshevist infiltration.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Language of Materials

English

French


Additional Information

Additional Description

Separated Materials

Alexander Duer Irving Jr. photographs (Accession 1973.347), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Alexander Duer Irving Jr. papers
Status:
Author:
John Beverley Riggs
Date:
1978
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2020: Laurie Sather

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400