The Writings of Carl Schurz/To Henry Cabot Lodge, May 23d, 1880


Department of the Interior,
, May 23, 1880.

Grant's nomination appears now more probable than it did some time ago, but by no means certain. He has not a majority of the votes, but his managers will resort to every possible means to obtain control of the Convention. The temporary organization will be of the utmost importance, and the first, perhaps the decisive fight, will be right there. It can be kept out of the hands of the Grant managers only by the organized coöperation of all the elements of opposition. This is vital. Let not the Massachusetts delegates put any obstacle in the way of such coöperation on account of their fear of Elaine. If that coöperation fails, the Grant managers will have their own way, and everybody can now see what the consequences will be. I am as firmly convinced as ever that Grant's defeat will leave the nomination of Blaine impossible. There seems to me no reason, therefore, why the Edmunds, Sherman and Blaine delegates should not coöperate on all preliminary questions, such as temporary and permanent chairman of the Convention, the unit rule etc., etc. It would be fatal not to do so. The field must necessarily unite against Grant on these things, and when Grant is out of the way its different elements may fight each other; in the meantime each delegation holding fast to its candidate. The Sherman men, as far as I know them, will not go over to Blaine. The chances are one hundred to one that Blaine cannot be nominated. Let me impress upon you the absolute necessity of harmonious coöperation of all the opposition elements on all questions except the nomination itself. What kind of an enemy you have to deal with has become apparent by the proceedings of the Illinois convention. Please let me hear from you.