The Writings of Carl Schurz/To James Taussig, April 18th, 1869


United States Senate Chamber,
, April 18, 1869.

My dear Friend: Your letter of the 9th inst. has reached me. I have certainly not forgotten Mr. Waldauer and am doing for him the best I can. But this is a lottery, and heaven knows upon what mysterious theory the distribution of prizes is made. Whether I shall be able to get something for Mr. Waldauer, I cannot say. I shall, at any rate, spare no effort. I have worked very hard for my friends. In some cases I have not succeeded at all, in others too much. So it goes. Some Missourians have been favored with consulates by a providential dispensation which an ordinary understanding cannot fathom, and which, I am sure, I did not control.

To be a United States Senator may be a very high honor. But so far I have found it to be the meanest drudgery a human imagination ever conceived. I hope I have now seen the worst of it. The utter absurdity of our system of appointment to office has this time so glaringly demonstrated itself that even the dullest patriots begin to open their eyes to the necessity of a reform. I have taken a solemn vow to pitch in for it next winter to the best of my ability.

No prospect is at this moment so pleasing to me as to shake you by the hand again very soon at a solemn meeting of the twentieth century.[1]

  1. The name of a coterie of political friends in St. Louis.