The Writings of Carl Schurz/From Thomas F. Bayard, December 13th, 1896

83 Eaton Square, S. W.,
London
, Sunday the 13th of Dec., 1896.

My dear Carl Schurz: I have just read and handed to my wife and daughter to read, your beautiful and impressive eulogy of William Steinway—so full of just discrimination, honorable alike to the dead man and to the living orator. Nearly twenty-five years ago I crossed the Atlantic in company with Mr. Steinway who attracted me by his strong intelligence and even more by his simple and robust integrity. I remember well his speaking of the award of prizes in the French Exposition, and his fine scorn of the proposals (scarcely veiled) which had been made to him by the officials of the Second Empire to purchase certificates of the excellence of his pianos.

Well might you summon to his bier the rich men of the United States and point to his life as a lesson for the wise use of wealth. Never was a better illustration of the spirit of responsibility, for a recognition of the trust that must accompany the possession of wealth in order to make its possessor safe, or its possession a blessing to the community from which it was gathered, and never, my dear General, was there a time in history nor a country where such a sermon as yours and such a character and life as William Steinway's were more needed than now and in the United States. I trust the seeds he has planted and you have watered will bear a good harvest.

I write this note in obedience to a warm impulse, and my mind goes back to the days when we sat together in the Senate and when you stepped out of the ranks of party and struck the shield of corruption and abuses, and, single-handed, defied the serried ranks of political power and party passion.

Then you gained my admiration, my confidence and respect and you have never lost them. And it is the vibration of such feelings that causes this note.

On the incoming of the McKinley Administration I shall pack up and return home, and when I am settled there in my plain homestead overlooking the blue Delaware, perhaps I may induce you to pass some days with me, and, if you like it, I will tell you what I can of this great and civilized Kingdom, and of what I here tried to do to create a clear and friendly understanding between its people and my own countrymen.

Of course there are discordant voices, and no man can escape the missiles of folly, ignorance and hatred; but, despite them all, I think I shall leave the path of honorable success unobstructed to those envoys who are to come after me.

I hope your health is good and that those you love are well established in life. And I am with sincerity, long tested,

Your friend,

T. F. Bayard.
The Hon. Carl Schurz,
New York.