The Writings of Carl Schurz/To Charles Francis Adams, Jr., February 8th, 1903


24 East 91st Str., New York, Feb. 8, 1903.

Your letter of the 4th enclosing the Welsh correspondence is in my hands. I agree with you in the opinion that at present our committee should remain as much as possible in the background. I suppose you remember the petition for the continuation of the inquiry by the Senate, which had been drawn up by the Anti-Imperialist League of this city, and which I communicated to our committee at its last meeting here. I returned it to its author with our criticism on its opening paragraphs. It has been changed in accordance with that criticism and received the signatures of a considerable number of college presidents and professors and other people of similar standing who had so far not been counted among the aggressive anti-imperialists. I advised our friends here that in my opinion our committee should not appear at all on it. So it has been sent to Mr. Hoar to be presented to the Senate. This, I think, is well as it is.

I have also told Mr. Fiske Warren who is active in a movement to bring Mobini to this country that I did not think our committee should take the lead or identify itself with that matter, but that, if the thing was to be done at all, a separate committee composed of men of comparatively less conspicuous standing in this fight should be formed for that purpose.

The public interest in the general subject seems to have been rising again since the publication of the reports of Root and Taft about the state of distress in the Philippines. Some time ago there was a large meeting assembled at the Cooper Union, filling the big hall, to listen to speeches on the condition of the Philippines by Dr. Adler, President Schurman and Edward M. Shepard. The meeting was very enthusiastic and seemed to be of one mind. There are similar reports from other parts of the country. I have a good deal of evidence that we anti-imperialists are to-day very much less regarded as “cranks” than we were three months ago. On the whole I may say that the cry of “crank” has no terror for me. I have heard it so often in connection with the anti-slavery movement, the civil-service-reform movement and other things, that I am rather used to it. It may be very fierce sometimes, but it always wears off if the cause provoking it is a good one.