The Writings of Carl Schurz/From Benjamin H. Bristow, February 6th, 1878

Louisville, Ky., Feb. 6, 1878.

I sincerely hope there is no truth whatever in the renewed story that you are going out. The country can't afford to have you retire—the cause of civil service and administrative reform can't give you up just now, and I take leave to add that for your own sake, you can't afford to quit. I want to assure you, my dear sir, that the good work you are doing and the quiet, but effective manner in which you are doing it, is now coming to be quite generally understood. I came away from Washington with very different impressions from those with which I went there, as to at least one Department, and I feel like begging your pardon for the injustice I did you in my own mind. I did feel doubtful whether the cause of reform had a single earnest and courageous friend in Washington. That doubt no longer exists as to your Department. On this point I am fully convinced—I wish I could feel the same way about others.

But I only sat down to urge you to “stick”—and I feel all the more free to give this advice since I well remember that I only repeat what you once said to me.