The Writings of Carl Schurz/To W. M. Grosvenor, July 16th, 1875


Thusis, Grisons, Switzerland,
July 16, 1875.

It seems quite likely, from the turn things have taken, that we shall be able to do substantially in '76 what we ought to have done in '72. The fall elections will probably improve our possibilities. The main thing will be to get a machinery of action sufficiently strong and sufficiently safe. What we ought to have, in my opinion, is a meeting of notables—men whose names will be of weight with the country and who can be depended upon to agree to an independent course. Such a meeting ought to be held some time in January or February, and I have an impression that it may possibly be in a situation to do the whole work usually done by conventions. This, however, will depend upon circumstances. At any rate, the meeting should be of the best sort of respectability in point of character, and not altogether composed of politicians.

To make the necessary preparations for such a meeting, so that it can be called without danger of failure at the appropriate time, should, in my opinion, be the principal object of the committee of correspondence, and I am sure, with your knowledge of men and things, you can accomplish it. I wish I could have an hour's talk with you now, but I hope I shall be back in the United States in time for a sufficient exchange of views before any open steps are taken. I have an impression that we already agree on the main points.

I think we have already talked together on the subject of candidates. Adams is not too old yet for another trial, and the more you think of it the clearer it will become to you, that of all the men who may be considered available in our sense, he is the only one who can be entirely depended upon to fill the bill in the main points: absolute independence of party dictation and entire absence of ulterior ambitions. Moreover, Adams is the name for 1876. Still, I would not talk too much about it just now. Some little injury may already have been done by indiscreet talk in the newspapers, but not enough to compromise anything.