The Writings of Carl Schurz/To Jacob D. Cox, September 27th, 1871


St. Louis, Sept. 27, 1871.

I returned from Nashville yesterday and found your kind letter of the 23d inst. here. I cannot tell you how cheering your kind words were to me. It is a great encouragement to have the approval and confidence of good men, when we struggle against such odds. Party-spirit is a terrible obstacle to overcome, but it must be attempted. What I can do in that direction shall certainly be done at whatever risk, and I hope, when the crisis comes, we shall have the cooperation of the honest and courageous element of our people.

I believe your attitude in your State canvass was just right. It is extremely desirable that this fall the Democrats should be beaten everywhere, so as to take from the minds of the Southern people the last delusion as to the possibility of a Democratic triumph. I think the people of the Southern States are ripe for a total revolution of public opinion. My experiences at Nashville were in that respect of the most encouraging kind, as you may have concluded from the address of the Confederate soldiers. You will probably in a few days see a New Departure movement beyond the lines of any party organization springing up in Tennessee which, I hope, will spread all over the South. Nothing would promote that tendency more powerfully than Democratic defeats this fall.

In this connection I would suggest that an effort be made to raise some funds for the circulation of documents in the Southern States. Much can be accomplished in that way, and we ought to have, as soon as possible, a sort of a committee to attend to such things.

I shall be very happy to hear from you concerning all these matters.