Josephine Butler to Stanley Butler

Scope and Content

Photocopy of incomplete letter. Written from Castel d'Ai, Lausanne, Switzerland

Comments on the Czar's announcement [the issue by Czar Nicholas II of an invitation to all governments to take part in a Conference which should consider 'the maintenance of universal peace and a possible reduction of excessive armaments'] At the moment she cannot read print so has been listening to the conversation around her in the hotel. It is the Dreyfus tragedy which seems to excite more interest than almost anything else; the first break in the official attitude has been the confession of Colonel Henry followed by his suicide, but still that poor Captain Dreyfus is being held at Devil's Island and knows nothing.

Administrative / Biographical History

'His [The Czar's] announcement has caused a great sensation throughout the Continent'

Lord Salisbury had attempted an approach to Russia in Jan 1898 to settle all subjects of differences between the two Powers on partition lines, with a view to a full entente. It fell through owing to the seizure of the harbour of Kiao-Chau by Germany followed by Russia's seizure of Port Arthur

'In Aug 1898 Russia recalled attention to herself through the issue by Tsar Nicholas II of an invitation to all governments to take part in a Conference which should consider 'the maintenance of universal peace and a possible reduction of excessive armaments'

(Ensor England 1870-1914 p 259, 261)

Nicholas II ruled as Tsar from 1894-1917 when he abdicated.

Biog: Tsar Nicholas II, Dreyfus. Cavagniae,

Col Henry, General Mercier and Evians were characters in the Dreyfus plot.