The Writings of Carl Schurz/To Benjamin F. Loan, January 7th, 1869


Jefferson City, [Mo.], Jan. 7, 1869.

A paper has been presented to me, signed by a large number of senators and representatives, inviting you and me to address a caucus of the Radical members of the legislature in explanation of our views on pending questions. Friends of yours have been circulating statements concerning my political principles and opinions calculated to prejudice the minds of members of the Radical party against me. I have been informed that some of these statements are countenanced by you. Believing that you do not desire to do me any injustice, I shall be very glad to meet you in the caucus and hear you repeat those of the charges which thus have been made against me and which you consider well founded, so that I may have an opportunity to publicly admit or deny them. This, it seems to me, would be no more than fair. I need hardly assure you that in any discussion I shall meet you in a kindly and courteous spirit. It is my earnest desire to remove all bitterness of feeling from the Senatorial contest and to preserve the harmony and strength of the Radical party intact. No means can be more conducive to this end than a public and frank explanation of what differences there may be between us. You would oblige me by signifying to me your pleasure in regard to this matter.

Jefferson City, Jan. 7, 1869.

The misrepresentations I referred to in my letter of this morning consist mainly in this: Your friends assert that I, by immediately enfranchising those who are excluded from the suffrage for participation in the rebellion, intend to throw the State into the hands of the rebels. And I am informed that this statement is countenanced by you.

Hoping to meet you this evening.

Jefferson City, Jan. 7, 1869.

In reply to your last note I desire to say that you have entirely misconstrued my language. I am not in favor of immediately enfranchising the rebels, and I cannot understand how you could construe my words in that way.

We have been invited to address the Radical caucus to-night and not to-morrow night. I shall be there according to invitation and shall speak even should you not meet me. The misrepresentations, the echo of which I find in your letter, have gone far enough and I desire to stop them.

  1. Schurz's rival as Republican candidate for U. S. Senator. See 3 Reminiscences, 294 ff.