The Writings of Carl Schurz/To Moorfield Storey, May 28th, 1905


Bolton Landing, N. Y., May 28, 1905.

My dear Friend: Many thanks for your letter of the 24th. It has done me good to hear from you. I am very sorry I cannot promise you to “address the Massachusetts Reform Club next October,” for it is altogether too uncertain whether I shall be able to do so. My health is at present satisfactory enough, but it is unsteady, and my doctor tells me that the delivery of long speeches is one of the exertions and excitements I ought to avoid.

I think you have done well in accepting the presidency of the Anti-Imperialist League, for I am sure you will keep it within the lines of real usefulness. It is undoubtedly true that the people generally are very tired of the possession of the Philippines. The trouble is, they are so tired of it that they lose all interest in the matter and let those in power do with it what they please. You are unquestionably right in thinking that Taft wants to hold the islands because he is in love with his own work and plans. But Roosevelt wants to hold them too, for military reasons, which are uppermost in his mind.

I am not so sure that Roosevelt will break the Republican party wide open. I believe that there are two things he has really at heart. One is to add to the Navy as many war-ships as he can get—and this is probably the overruling passion. And the other is to prevent the splitting of the Republican party if he can. To this cause he will sacrifice any of his “policies” so-called, concerning the tariff, the trusts and the railroads; and this will be all the easier to him, as with regard to those things he has no convictions, nor even clear opinions. And no pride of moral courage will stand in his way. He shrinks from no moral self-humiliation.

It seems to me even more probable that the Republican party will be split by the force of antagonisms springing from present economic conditions, in spite of Roosevelt's self-abasing efforts to hold it together. But no matter how it happens if only it happens at all.