The Writings of Carl Schurz/To James S. Rollins, August 4th, 1874


St. Louis, Aug. 4, 1874.

. . . I need not tell you how highly I appreciate your friendly wishes with regard to my own fortunes. It is no affectation when I say that my own desire for a reëlection is not very strong. There are many reasons of a private nature why I should not wish it, and whatever the result of the impending campaign with regard to the Senatorship may be, there will be in it no disappointment of personal ambition as far as I am concerned.

The opinions you express on the present condition of affairs in this State coincide entirely with my own. What shall I say of the attitude of the Confederates? Of course, no man of experience will look for anything like gratitude in politics. I never indulged in any delusion in that respect, even in 1870, when they grasped me by the hand and fairly smothered me with assurances of friendship and devotion. I remember many interesting scenes. Their present attitude is simply pitiable. You say that they hate me. They would, perhaps, not hate me so much, had I never shown myself their friend at my own expense. Thus the world runs.

The movement inaugurated by the farmers seems to promise well, and if the convention called on the 2d of September acts judiciously, the chances will be decidedly good. Of course I shall support the movement to the best of my ability unless the convention make a platform and nominate candidates to render such support impossible.

I was painfully surprised to be informed by Mr. Preetorius that it was suspected by some of your friends some where in the State that I was unfriendly to you and hostile to any political aspirations you might entertain. Mr. Emory S. Foster told him so. I hope I need not tell you that just the reverse is true, and it is a great satisfaction to me to conclude from your letter that, if ever any such rumor reached your ear, you dismissed it as unworthy of consideration. It would have been particularly gratifying to me to give testimony of my esteem for you, and I sincerely regret to learn that you have grave reasons for not desiring public position at present. Your name has frequently and very prominently been mentioned in connection with the independent convention, and it seems to me that nothing short of the reasons you state would justify the withdrawal of your name. Let us hope that those reasons will not exist much longer. . . .

  1. A Mo. lawyer and politician of much ability and independence, who was long president of the board of curators of Missouri University, at Columbia. See ante II, 26, 27, for Schurz's references to him.