New York: The British Library of Information, 1941. First edition, only printing. Leaflet. This is the first edition, only printing, of Churchill's 18 March 1941 address to the Pilgrims Society (erroneously printed as "Pilgrim Society" on the leaflet cover). Founded in 1902, the Pilgrims Society is an Anglo-American organization whose objective is "the encouragement of Anglo-American good fellowship". Churchill addressed the Pilgrims Society on 18 March to welcome the new American Ambassador to the United Kingdom, John. G. Winant, in the wake of the passage of the Lend-Lease Act by the U.S. Congress. "We welcome you here, Mr. Winant, at a moment when the great battle in which your government and nation are deeply interested is developing its full scope and severity... Mr. Winant, you come to us at a grand turning point in the world's history."
The folded, four-panel leaflet measures 6 x 9 inches (15.2 x 22.9 cm). Condition is near-fine. The paper is bright with virtually no wear. We note only a hint of soiling along the left and bottom edges and a small rust stain at the lower left front cover where it apparently lay against another pamphlet, causing light offsetting. The leaflet is protected within a clear, removable, archival mylar sleeve.
John "Gil" Gilbert Winant (1889-1947) was the 45th U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom. He succeeded the pro-appeasement Joseph Kennedy and marked a decidedly different, pro-Britain, pro-alliance perspective than his predecessor. Upon arriving in England on 2 March 1941, Winant announced ""I'm very glad to be here. There is no place I'd rather be at this time than in England." Churchill would conclude his 18 March 1941 welcoming remarks to Winant "You, Mr. Ambassador, share our purpose. You'll share our dangers. You'll share our interests. You shall share our secrets. And the day will come when the British Empire and the United States will share together the solemn but splendid duties which are the crown of victory."
Less than nine months after Churchill gave this speech, Winant was with Churchill when the latter learned of the attack on Pearl Harbor, precipitating formal U.S. entry into the war. Winant would serve as U.S. Ambassador until 1946. Winant reportedly had an affair with Churchill's daughter, Sarah. Both of Winant's sons served in WWII, John. Jr. as a B-17 pilot in the Eighth Air Force who became a prominent German prisoner of war.
This leaflet is one in a series of Churchill's speeches printed by the British Library of Information in New York. The British Library of Information published thirty-four editions of statements, speeches, and broadcast addresses by Prime Minister Winston Churchill (that number including some variant publications of the same speeches), beginning with his first speech as Prime Minister of 13 May 1940 and ending with the broadcast address of 29 November 1942. These editions were often issued within two or three days of delivery and "reveal the political determination of the British government to bring the inspiration and steadfastness of the Prime Minister and the British nation to an American nation not yet engaged in the war. Indeed, twenty-two of the BLOI speech pamphlets were published before Pearl Harbor." (Cohen, Volume I, p.513, A120)
Reference: Cohen A144, Woods A68. Item #000455