The Writings of Carl Schurz/To Jacob D. Cox, February 20th, 1877


St. Louis, Feb. 20, 1877.

I should have answered your last very kind letter long before this, had I not been kept at the bedside of my old mother who last week died at my house after an illness of a fortnight. The last twelve months have been full of mourning to me and mine.

I must confess that I feel somewhat alarmed by certain indications of probable Cabinet appointments. Read the enclosed slip.[1] Would not the appointment of either of the three men last mentioned be a staggering blow to the cause of reform? Would Governor Hayes, who means to adopt a liberal Southern policy, be able to gain the confidence of those Southern men who are now willing to join him, with such elements in his Cabinet? There seems to be real danger in this respect, and I wish to suggest to you that you make a direct effort, as I have done, to prevent a false start, which may at once deprive the new Administration of that popular confidence so needful to it after all that has happened. Governor Hayes certainly means well, but I fear the possibility of fatal mistakes. No effort should be left untried to prevent them.


    There continues to be the usual amount of gossip over the new Cabinet. The New Yorkers all agree that Mr. Evarts will be Secretary of State, but beyond that it is evident that there is nothing that can be relied upon except it be the fact that all the Ohio Republicans announce that Bristow will not have a place. The Pacific coast influence is talking in Mr. McCormick, of Arizona, and Senator Sargent, of California. If Mr. Morrill goes out of the Treasury there is little or no doubt that Senator Sherman will be tendered the position. Senator Logan is also mentioned for the War Department.