The Writings of Carl Schurz/From Samuel Bowles, December 3d, 1874

Springfield, Mass., Dec. 3, 1874.

My dear Schurz: A political history of the United States is really greatly needed. Only a week ago we talked of it at the Bird Club dinner—the lack of such a book, the great need of one for young men. You are the best man I know of to write it. At Boston, Osgood & Co., or Lee & Shepard would perhaps be the best publishers; at New York, Appleton & Co., or, possibly, the Harpers.

I cannot bear to think of your retiring from public life. I don't believe you will. If you do, we shall be delighted to have you come to Massachusetts to live. If you were here now we could elect you Senator, just as easy!

I think it might well be a question, coming here, whether you would live in Cambridge or Concord or Boston, or whether you would n't select one of our provincial cities, like Springfield, or towns like Northampton. In the latter, you would have, in many respects, a more individual, independent position. In Boston and its vicinity, it is somehow very provincial and narrowing. All the clever fellows who settle down and around there are very apt to get into narrowing grooves. I believe it is a fact that Western Massachusetts is broader, more liberal, more individual and independent in thought, than the larger population and greater apparent activity of the eastern part of the State. However, all this is a nice question, hardly worth your bothering yourself about. Only come to us, if you can, and be assured of a most hearty welcome. . . .