The Writings of Carl Schurz/To Thomas F. Bayard, January 12th, 1897


New York, Jan. 12, 1897.

My dear friend Bayard: What pleasant surprises your letters were! Not as if I had thought that you had forgotten me—for I knew you had not—but I did not expect to see you moved to such an expression of feeling by the little tribute I had paid to my departed friend. He was indeed a man of rare goodness, and his example well deserved to be held up to the contemplation of modern society.

I need not tell you that I have followed your course in England with the liveliest interest, sympathy and gratification. It seems to be admitted on all hands that you are the most popular representative this Republic has ever had at the Court of St. James, and only our boyish jingoes who “want a war” and some old demagogues who will be without political capital when they lose all opportunities for twisting the British lion's tail, refuse to recognize the good you have done by fostering the feeling of cordiality between the two nations. The Arbitration Treaty, which has just been signed, crowns the beneficent efforts that have been made in that direction. All man kind must be congratulated upon this great achievement. It is an onward stride of human civilization which will ever stand first in rank among the glories of the closing nineteenth century.

Our political condition is dangerously muddled. I say dangerously, because the reaction that may be provoked by the excesses of narrow-minded Republican partisanship which are now threatening, may throw the country into the hands, not of a Democratic party led by Cleveland, but of a motley crowd of ignorant and fanatical visionaries and of reckless political speculators. The best hope of the country will be in the sound-money Democrats, provided they courageously maintain their identity and push forward their organization.

Yes, after your return to your home we ought to have some days of quiet communion, as you suggest; and I trust we shall have them. We shall have much to say to one another.

Many thanks for your cordial letters and the reprint of my little speech.

Commend me to Mrs. Bayard and to your children and believe me,

Ever your friend,

C. Schurz.