William Howard Taft and the 1905 U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Asia

The Photographs of Harry Fowler Woods

Image of Jinzo, carved in rock, Hakone. Original Photograph by Harry Fowler Woods
In 1900, Cincinnatian William Howard Taft successfully completed his tenure as Dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Law and began an appointment under President William McKinley as Governor-General of the Philippines. As a federal administrator and diplomat, Taft negotiated amicable trade and cultural interactions between East and West, and in 1905
President Theodore Roosevelt dispatched him on a mission to China, Japan, and the Philippines to further improve U.S.-Asian relations. His large entourage included prominent fellow Cincinnatians and the president’s daughter, Alice, as well as photographer Harry Fowler Woods and a host of American diplomats.

This is the remarkable story of Taft’s mission and Wood’s fascinating documentary photographs.