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Brand Whitlock

Brand WhitlockAKA Joseph Brand Whitlock

Born: 4-Mar-1869
Birthplace: Urbana, OH
Died: 24-May-1934
Location of death: Cannes, France
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Holy Trinity Cemetery, Cannes, France

Gender: Male
Religion: Methodist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Diplomat, Author

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: US Ambassador to Belgium, 1914-21

American diplomat, writer, and progressive. He was educated in the public schools, became a newspaper reporter in Toledo, Ohio in 1887, and was appointed political correspondent on the Chicago Herald in 1890. Three years later he accepted a clerkship in the office of the Secretary of State of Illinois, in the administration of John Peter Altgeld, where he remained until 1897. Meanwhile he read law and was admitted to the bar in 1894. Three years later he returned to Toledo and practiced law until 1905, when he was elected mayor, serving four consecutive terms. In 1913 he was appointed by President Wilson minister to Belgium and in 1919 his post was raised to ambassador, where he served until 1921.

Before he had been in Belgium a year, World War I broke out and the German invasion took place. Although the other diplomatic bodies followed the Belgian court to Havre, Whitlock insisted on remaining in Brussels in order to render any possible aid to the oppressed people. It was largely due to his advice that Brussels did not resist and thus escaped even more ruthless devastation. In the early days of the war he gave protection to many German residents who had been unable to leave the country. By his firm attitude toward the German military officials he saved many innocent Belgians from death; but his activities in behalf of Edith Cavell were unavailing as he was misled at the last moment by false promises by the Germans. He wrote numerous books, including political novels and a memoir.

Father: Elias D. Whitlock (Methodist minister, b. 12-Nov-1843, d. 23-Dec-1913)
Mother: Mallie Lavinia Brand (b. 15-Dec-1844)
Wife: Susan Brainerd (m. 29-Jun-1892, d. 31-Oct-1892)
Wife: Ella Brainerd (sister of Susan, m. 8-Jun-1895, d. 11-Jul-1942, no children)

    US Ambassador to Belgium (1914-21)
    Mayor of Toledo (1906-13)
    American Academy of Arts and Letters
    Illinois State Bar Association 1894

Author of books:
The 13th District: A Story of a Candidate (1902, novel)
The Happy Average (1904)
Her Infinite Variety (1904)
The Turn of the Balance (1907, novel)
The Gold Brick (1910)
The Fall Guy (1912)
Abraham Lincoln (1916)
Forty Years of It (1918, memoir)
Belgium: A Personal Narrative (1922)
J. Hardin & Son: A Novel (1923, novel)
Uprooted (1926)
Big Matt: A Story‎ (1928)
La Fayette (1929, 2 vols.)
The Little Green Shutter (1931)
The Stranger on the Island (1933)


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