The Writings of Carl Schurz/To Edward M. Shepard, November 4th, 1901


16 East 64th St., Nov. 4, 1901.

I cannot tell you how glad I am that the campaign is over.[1] While I had to follow my view of the public interest, I opposed you with a bleeding heart; and when I say this, I hope you will not take it as a mere empty figure of speech. I wish you to understand that my warm affection for you issues from this contest undiminished, and I trust that we shall remain friends as before. I write this before the result of the elected, is decided. It goes without saying that, if you are elected, my ardent wishes go with you for your success in the discharge of the awful responsibilities with which your peculiar situation will burden you.

If you should be defeated—which, at any rate, is among the possibilities—let it not dishearten you. I do not believe, with Mr. Hewitt, that a defeat would “end your political life.” The political life of a public man of character and ability is never ended so long as he is true to his best self and willing to serve the country, and has something to say worth listening to.

But in case of your defeat you would, I think, even shorten the temporary eclipse by acting upon a suggestion which, I have no doubt, you will pardon your old friend for making. It is that you should at once write a letter to Mr. Low to tell him that you know his and your aims as to what the city government should be and do, to be the same, and that if in the course of his administration he should wish your aid and assistance, you would be most happy to render, in your capacity of a private citizen, whatever service you might be given an opportunity for. Such a declaration, put forth in your strongest and most cordial tones, would, I am sure, go very far to restore your proper relations with those of your friends who may have become somewhat estranged from you.

But my suggestion may be quite superfluous, as in the supposed case you would probably have done of your own motion the thing suggested.

In any event, believe me as ever faithfully your old friend.[2]

  1. Mr. Shepard had been the Tammany candidate for Mayor of New York City.
  2. Their cordial relations increased rather than decreased, as is shown by the following letter:
    44 Pierrepont St., Brooklyn, March 16, 1904. 

    Dear Mr. Schurz: If I am belated, I am none the less earnest, in sending you my admiring and affectionate greetings for your birthday. You ought to have a vast fund of happiness in the knowledge of all you have done, and are doing, and are yet to do, in making better and nobler, and more prosperous too, the lives of your fellow-men.

    You are, I hear, off for an outing. Do not, I beg, reduce its helpfulness by answering this note, for I know already what you would write, but believe me always and

    Most faithfully yours,
    Edward M. Shepard.