World War I Centennial Series – J.J. Jusserand’s Long Voyage

Photo RNM - GRand Palais - J.-G. Berizzi

It took, French Ambassador to the US JJ Jusserand, three weeks to travel from Paris to Washington in August 1914

French Ambassador to the United States J.J. Jusserand was no stranger to America. Since 1902, he served as France’s envoy in Washington, D.C., and by 1914 was dean of the diplomatic corps. When war broke out that August, Jusserand and his wife Elise were on home leave in Paris where they socialized with their friends Ambassador Myron T. Herrick and his wife, Carolyn.

On August 3, the Jusserands left Paris in cars provided by the Herricks for Boulogne, where they had passage aboard the La France. However, half-way there, they learned that the ship would not sail as planned. Instead, they motored to Le Havre, where the French Navy advised them to take a boat to England. Once in the United Kingdom, the Jusserands and two of their household staff obtained passage aboard the St. Louis with assistance from U.S. Ambassador in London Walter Hines Page. Because Jusserand was considered ‘dangerous cargo’ at sea, his party traveled under false names in a second class cabin designed for only two people. Finally, on August 22, three weeks after they departed Paris, the Jusserands landed on U.S. soil.

See also: use the 5-page August 30, 1914 letter from Jusserand to the MAE – Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archives, Guerre 1914-1918, États-Unis Vol. 489.

[Photo] © RMN-Grand Palais – J.-G. Berizzi