1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gerard, James Watson

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GERARD, JAMES WATSON (1867–), American lawyer and diplomat, was born at Geneseo, N.Y., Aug. 25 1867. He was educated at Columbia University (A.B. 1890; A.M. 1891) and at the New York Law School (LL.B. 1892). He was admitted to the bar in 1892 and began to practise in New York City. The same year he became a member of the New York National Guard, rose to captain, and served through the Spanish-American War (1898) on the staff of Gen. McKoskry Butt. From 1900 to 1904 he was quartermaster, with the rank of major, of the 1st Brigade of the New York National Guard. In 1908 he became associate justice of the Supreme Court of New York and served until 1913, when he resigned on being appointed ambassador to Germany. At the outbreak of the World War in 1914 he assumed the care of British interests in Germany, later visiting the camps where British prisoners were confined and doing much to alleviate their condition. His responsibilities were further increased by the fact that German interests in France, Great Britain, and Russia were placed in the care of the American embassies in those countries, the American embassy in Berlin thus becoming a sort of clearing house. From first-hand knowledge he was able to settle the question, much disputed among the Germans themselves, as to the official attitude of the German Government toward the violation of Belgian neutrality. At the request of von Jagow, after the fall of Liége, he served as intermediary for offering the Belgians peace and indemnity if they would grant passage of German troops through their country. On Aug. 10 1914 the Kaiser placed in his hands a telegram addressed personally to President Wilson declaring that Belgian neutrality “had to be violated by Germany on strategical grounds.” At the request of a high German official this telegram was not made public as the Kaiser had wished, but was sent privately to the President. After the sinking of the “Lusitania” with many Americans on board, on May 7 1915, the American ambassador’s position became more difficult, and finally, on Feb. 3 1917, diplomatic relations were broken off by America and he was recalled. He was detained for a time because of wild rumours that the German ambassador in America was being mistreated and German ships had been confiscated; but this being disproved he was allowed to depart. While in Germany in 1914 he was Democratic nominee in New York for the U.S. Senate, but without success. On his return to America in 1917 he again entered the practice of law in New York City. In 1917 he published My Four Years in Germany and in 1918 Face to Face with Kaiserism. For his services to England he was decorated with the G.C.B. continue until, in July 1916, he realized that that place would fall into the hands of the Belgians.

Early in 1914 Lt.-Col. von Lettow Vorbeck arrived at Dar es Salaam and took over the command of the protectorate military forces. He had just completed a tour of the country when the war broke out. Up to March 1916 the civil administration continued with little alteration, and Dr. Schnee was tenacious of his authority up to the time when in Nov. 1917 he was compelled to flee from the protectorate.

Apart from the military operations the last years of German rule in East Africa—1914–7—were remarkable for the manner in which the Germans, cut off by the British blockade from outside supplies, were able to provide for their necessities. They had indeed adventitious aid. An exhibition was to have been opened at Dar es Salaam on Aug. 12 1914 to celebrate the completion of the Tanganyika railway, and for the use of the many visitors expected large quantities of European foods had been imported. In 1914 too the natives had large stocks of corn and cattle, and the country itself furnished milk and eggs. The abundance of wild honey largely made up for the lack of sugar, and rhinoceros fat was much esteemed. But all this apart, the Germans showed much resource. They manufactured whiskey and benzine, soap, tea, chocolate, biscuits, cigars and cigarettes, paper, calico, boots and quinine.

The British and Belgians established their own administrative machinery in the regions they respectively occupied, but by a decision of the Supreme Council in May 1919 the whole of German East Africa was assigned to Great Britain as mandatory. Nevertheless, in virtue of an agreement reached in Sept. 1919 nearly the whole of the provinces of Urundi and Ruanda were added to Belgian Congo. The British-governed area over nine-tenths of the whole protectorate was renamed Tanganyika Territory (see Tanganyika Territory).

See a valuable report by Vice-Consul Norman King, Annual Series, No. 5171, published by the British Foreign Office, 1913; A Handbook of East Africa, prepared for the British Admiralty, 1916; A. F. Calyert, German East Africa (London 1917); Gen. Smuts, “East Africa,” Geog. Jnl. vol. li. (1918) ; and the authorities cited under East Africa: Military Operations.  (F. R. C.)