The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Whitlock, Brand

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WHITLOCK, Brand, American ambassador and author: b. Urbana, Ohio, 4 March 1869. He was engaged in journalism in Toledo, Ohio, in 1887-90, and was on the staff of the Chicago Herald in 1890-93. He was a clerk in the office of the Illinois secretary of state in 1893-97. He had meanwhile studied law and was admitted to the bar of Illinois in 1894 and to that of Ohio in 1897, then establishing himself in law practice at Toledo. He was elected mayor of Toledo in 1905 and served four successive terms, declining a fifth nomination. He succeeded in securing a new city charter providing for the initiative, referendum, recall and direct nominations. He was by this time a well-established magazine writer, producing both verse and prose, the latter dealing in the main with politics and economics in an uncompromising fashion. He was appointed Minister to Belgium by President Wilson in 1913 and was in office at the outbreak of the European War. He was entrusted with the representation of seven of the warring nations, remaining at his post after the German invasion. His skill in dealing with the difficulties of the situation under the German occupation earned for him a worldwide reputation; and he won scarcely less praise for his handling of the Belgian relief work. The necessity for his leaving invaded Belgium when the United States declared war upon Germany in April 1917 was viewed with deep respect in Belgium. He refused to leave Brussels unless accompanied by the other Americans there, and crossed into Switzerland 4 April 1917. He later visited King Albert of Belgium at the battle front, and after the signing of the armistice in November 1918 he resumed his duties at Brussels. He returned to the United States for a visit in 1919, and while at home the country's representation in Belgium was raised to rank of an embassy, Mr. Whitlock thus becoming Ambassador. He is author of ‘The Thirteenth District’ (1902); ‘Her Infinite Variety’ (1904); ‘The Turn of the Balance’ (1907); ‘Abraham Lincoln’ (1908); ‘The Gold Brick’ (1910); ‘0n the Enforcement of Law in Cities’ (1910-13); ‘Forty Years of It: An Autobiography’ (1914); ‘Memories of Belgium Under the German Occupation’ (1918); ‘Belgium, A Personal Narrative’ (1919), etc.