The Writings of Carl Schurz/From Goldwin Smith, October 20th, 1899

“The Grange,” Toronto, Oct. 20, 1899.

I have just read your most admirable speech.[1] If reason could prevail over the war fever, you would conquer. But I too well remember the Crimean war, into which we were plunged by the machinations of the intriguers for their personal objects and the popular madness which followed. Men who had taken part in making that war lived to repent it, and of its fruits absolutely nothing now remains but the Crimean graves.

The junction of American with British jingoism is a sinister feature of the situation. Who would have expected to see the American Republic acting as bottle-holders to the monarchy of George III. in an attack on the independence of a republic? Chamberlain, whose calamitous approbation your Government has earned by its sycophancy, is the deadliest enemy to your expansion on this continent which is the natural and legitimate field of your ambition.

Kruger may have put himself in the wrong by his boorish declaration of war; though it is hard to see why, being convinced, and rightly convinced, that Chamberlain meant mischief, he should have felt himself bound to wait for the enemy's reserves. But by putting himself in the wrong he does not put Chamberlain in the right, or make it reasonable for us to sympathize with the strong in rapacious aggressions on the weak.