Saturday, December 16, 2017

A postcard dedicated to the Treaty of Portsmouth Peace Treaty of 1905

December 16, 2017 I have discovered this postcard in Internet by chance. It was issued in 1906 in New York by publisher Franz Huler. It must be very difficult to buy this 111 years old postcard at any auctions nowaday. So, I decided to reveal the story of this card's appearance. But first I would like to tell a few words about this publisher.

Franz Huld immigrated to US from Germany and was an early publisher in New York who issued hundreds of view cards, comics, artist signed cards, holidays and greetings and many types of novelty cards. The earliest issues of Franz Huld cards were published in the Private Mailing Card circa 1900.
As about discovered postcard, it was published in 1906 and was dedicated to the end of the Russo–Japanese War. The defeats of the Russian Army and Navy shook up Russian confidence. The empire was certainly capable of sending more troops but this would make little difference in the outcome due to the poor state of the economy, the embarrassing defeats of the Russian Army and Navy by the Japanese, and the relative unimportance to Russia of the disputed land made the war extremely unpopular. Tsar Nicholas II elected to negotiate peace so he could concentrate on internal matters after the disaster of Bloody Sunday on 9 January 1905.
Negotiating the Treaty of Portsmouth (1905). From left to right: the Russians at far side of table are Ivan Korostovetz, Konstantin Nabokov, Sergei Witte, Roman Rosen , Georgiy Planson; and the Japanese at near side of table are Acachi Mineichiro, Ochiai Kentaro, Komura Jutaro , Takahira Kogoro.

Both sides accepted the offer of Theodore Roosevelt, the President of the United States, to mediate; meetings were held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with Sergei Witte leading the Russian delegation and Baron Komura, leading the Japanese delegation. The Treaty of Portsmouth was signed on 5 September 1905 at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Sergei Witte became Russian Prime Minister the same year.
So this postcard was dedicated to the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth with hope for the long-awaited peace. On the postcard there are words of Martin Luther: “ Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe und Friede auf Erden und den Menschen ein Wohlgefallen” - Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Unfortunately a cruel fate has given another order and in 9 years another much more bloody war was unleashed....
Later on it turned out that many postcards were dedicated to the Treaty of Portsmouth;

this one has all of the major participants pictured. Portsmouth Athenaeum collection