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Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Lansing, Robert

LANSING, ROBERT, an American public official, born in Watertown, N. Y., in 1864. He graduated from Amherst College in 1886 and was admitted to the bar in 1889. Until 1892 he practiced law in Watertown. In that year he was appointed associate counsel for the United States in the Bering Sea Arbitration, and was also counsel for the United States during the Bering Sea Claims Commission, from 1896 to 1897. From 1903 he was counsel for the United States under the Alaskan Boundary Tribunal, and served as special counsel for international proceedings. He was appointed counselor of the State Department in 1914, and in the following year he was appointed Secretary of State ad interim on June 9, 1915. On June 23 of the same year he was appointed Secretary of State. He was chosen by President Wilson as one of the commissioners to negotiate peace in Paris in 1918. He continued to act as Secretary of State on his return from Paris. His action in calling together the members of the Cabinet during President Wilson's illness occasioned the resentment of the President and on the latter's recovery in 1920 he practically asked for the resignation of Mr. Lansing. Severe criticisms made by him on the Treaty of Peace and the League of Nations Covenant were widely circulated and were never officially denied. It was generally conceded that he and the President were at variance in regard to the negotiations of the Treaty and to its final terms. On his retirement from office he continued the practice of law.

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