GeorgeVonLengerkeMeyer learned, not at all happily, that he was to be American Ambassador to St. Petersburg. This was a disappointment to himself and his family, for President Theodore Roosevelt had earlier suggested that Meyer be sent to Paris. And St. Petersburg seemed a long way off — in distance, time, culture, and atmosphere — from Paris. Nevertheless Meyer recognized that the appointment was a presidential compliment. For almost a year the President had been working to end the bloody war that had begun with the Japanese attack on the Russian naval base at Port Arthur on February 8, 1904, and had surprisingly resulted in one Japanese victory after another. Roosevelt had urged peace throughout the conflict. He quickly saw the necessity of a first-class ambassador in St. Petersburg to replace Robert S. McCormick, the Chicago businessman who was a political asset but a diplomatic failure.