The Writings of Carl Schurz/To J. F. Potter, April 17th, 1860


Milwaukee, April 17, 1860.

Your constituency have come to the conclusion that you are “a devil of a fellow.” Indeed, this impression seems to be quite general in this region. People threw up their hats when the news came that you had driven Pryor to the wall. Republicans congratulated each other and Democrats swore they would vote for you the next time. The question whether you will be renominated and reëlected seems to be settled. All those that had any aspirations that way will have to hang up their harps. You will be renominated, if I understand the temper of the people, not only on account of your availability, but of your unavoidability. Your fate is sealed. You have done the right thing at the right time and in the right place. I felt terribly anxious about you when I learned that you were challenged. I knew that you would show them your teeth, but I did not know that you would show it in so emphatic a way, that could not be but successful. This was even better than declining to fight. You will see the effect of your course next fall. That is all I can say.

For two days the papers had Sloan elected by a small majority. But since yesterday Dixon is ahead again, very little indeed, but in all probability sufficiently to elect him. Almost any Republican might have defeated him. This is a lesson which we are not likely to forget soon.