The Writings of Carl Schurz/To Charles Francis Adams, Jr., September 2d, 1903


Bolton Landing, N. Y., Sept. 2, 1903.

You misapprehend me if you think that I would rather “bear the ills we have” than accept Gray. The question with me is not as between Gray and the present incumbent, but between Gray and a better Democrat for the nomination—of course not Bryan nor Gorman.

I am sorry to conclude from your letter that you have had losses from the floods in the West. But those who have much can lose much without suffering. I have given up troubling myself about money so long as I have enough for my daily needs, which are modest. I have found this to be the true philosophy of life.

Nov. 15, 1903.

The report on Philippine affairs written by Mr. Doherty is the most instructive and important paper on that subject I have ever read. Mr. Doherty is evidently a keen observer and what he says bears the mark of candor and conscientiousness. The views he opens of the manner in which the Filipinos are treated by the constabulary are startling in the highest degree. As you are aware, I am a Forty-eighter. When I look back upon the things which drove us into revolution in Germany at that period, I can only say that they were as nothing compared with the police-despotism to which the Filipinos are subjected under our flag.

The observations of Mr. Doherty on the administration of justice, on the character of the American population there and on the aspirations of the Filipinos as to their future are of the highest value. I think this paper ought by all means to be brought to the notice of President Roosevelt. He ought to be made to read the whole of it.

There is one point on which I do not agree with Mr. Doherty. It is his recommendation as to the plebiscitum to be taken after the lapse of ten years. The ten years would, in my opinion, be years of nervous unrest and suspense for the Filipinos, and that time would be used by the exploiters for no end of intrigue and machination to prove that the Filipinos are unfit for independence. What the Philippines need is as large a measure of certainty as to the future as can be given them, and that can be accomplished only by a definite promise of independence at as early a day as possible. But this does not affect the facts of the report. Would it not be well to put Mr. Doherty's paper into the hands of Governor Taft before he reaches Washington? He would find in it the candid word of a friend and perhaps some new revelations as to the problems he has to deal with.