The Writings of Carl Schurz/To Herbert Welsh, February 25th, 1899

New York, Feb. 25, 1899.

So they have pressed you into the service! I sympathize with you, as I trust you do with me.

What I did with regard to the public forests was simply to arrest devastation, in which I partially succeeded, and for which I was lustily denounced, and to strive from year to year to obtain from Congress legislation for the protection of the forests, in which I largely failed. Something in that line has since been done—how effective it is, I do not know.

I made great efforts to draw the attention of Congress and of the public to the matter through my official reports. I think I was the first Secretary who did so, but I am not quite sure.

What is to come out of that horrible Philippine business? Who knows? I do not believe this would be a propitious moment for a concerted effort to bring the true nature of the case to the consideration of the people. But as events develop themselves, it will soon be our duty, I think, to cry aloud and spare not.