The Writings of Carl Schurz/To Samuel Bowles, November 27th, 1874


Oswego, N. Y., Nov. 27, 1874.

Friend Bowles: Thanks for your kind letter. I regret to say that it will be impossible for me to call on you at Springfield before the meeting of Congress, although I should be no less glad than you say you would be if we could have a good hard-pan talk. The nearest I shall get to you will be on Thursday, Dec. 3rd, when I shall lecture at Albany, arriving there at 2.20 P.M. from Batavia; and after that two more appointments on my way to Washington.

I should like to consult you on something which is occupying my mind very much. After the close of my Senatorial career I intend to devote myself wholly to literary work, and, if I am able, to do something that will last. A publisher in Philadelphia recently made a proposition to me to write a “Political History of the United States,” which he wanted to have in the market in the year '76,—a sort of Centennial business. That, of course, cannot be done, but in thinking the matter over, I have become convinced that there is room for such a work, and I have pretty well made up my mind to undertake it. Can you inform me, which is the best publishing firm in Boston that can be depended upon not only to put out such a work in good shape, but also to “make it go”?

I should prefer to have a publisher in Boston, because it is quite probable that much of the work, which will require several years of steady labor, will be done in the literary atmosphere and near the great libraries of Boston, and it is a great convenience to be in close and constant communication with the publisher. In fact, my family like St. Louis so little and Boston so much—and the latter predilection I share with them—that it would not be surprising at all, if my exit from public life and my entrance upon serious literary pursuits should eventually, and perhaps very soon, result in a permanent residence under the shadow of the pine tree, since political considerations will be no longer of importance, and I think I can arrange my affairs accordingly. Of course, there is nothing certain about it, and I speak of this only in strict confidence between you and me. What do you say to that? . . .