The Writings of Carl Schurz/To Erving Winslow, March 28th, 1900


16 East 64th St., New York, March 28, 1900.


It seems we are looking at the third-ticket question from different points of view.

A third ticket composed of Republicans would in the campaign of 1900 help to defeat McKinley in the same way in which the Palmer ticket helped to defeat Bryan in 1896.

The Palmer ticket enlisted in the campaign of 1896 a great many Democrats and Mugwumps who would not support McKinley directly. It made it easy for many persons to render active service in the campaign who would otherwise not have done so. A considerable number of such persons started out with the intention of voting for Palmer, but at the last moment concluded that it would be more effective to vote for McKinley directly; and they did so after having served in the campaign under the auspices of Palmer. This accounts for the small number of votes Palmer received.

According to this experience I see good reason for believing that a third ticket composed of old Republicans would, in the coming campaign, not strengthen McKinley, but weaken him, for the agitation conducted under its auspices would be conducted directly against the policy represented by him. It would make it easier for many persons of influence who dislike the Democratic candidate as much as the original Palmer men disliked McKinley, to take an active and useful part in the anti-imperialist crusade. It would also open to the anti-imperialist speakers a great many ears which otherwise would be closed to them. I am, therefore, inclined to think that the nomination of such a ticket would tell, on the whole, heavily against McKinley, as the nomination of the Palmer ticket told heavily against Bryan in 1896.

As to the influence likely to be exercised upon the new President by anti-imperialists not belonging to his party, I doubt whether the nomination of a third ticket would under such circumstances make any difference.