The Reminiscences of Carl Schurz/Volume Three/Preface
In 1904, when Mr. Schurz was nearing the end of the second volume, and was hoping to finish the first draft of the third volume in a year or two, he consented to the serial publication of parts of what he had written. The selection, special alteration and proof-reading of these rapidly appearing parts, and also the preparation of the first volume for the press — these and many incidental matters claimed the right of way and much impeded his progress with the third volume. When his work was abruptly terminated he had reached only the first problems of Grant's administration and had barely passed the threshold of his important services in the Senate. His manuscript is printed as he left it. Had he lived to complete his third volume, in which he hoped to reach at least the end of Hayes' administration, it would doubtless have been revised and condensed.
It was a serious question to decide how to fill out the third volume and how to treat the remainder of Mr. Schurz's career. Various projects were carefully considered. All except the one that has been followed, were found to be impracticable because they either did not suit present requirements or would interfere with probable later publications that ought to be kept distinct from the Reminiscences. Fortunately Mr. Schurz had preserved a practically complete set of his speeches and important public writings during all the later period, which are comprehensive, interesting and valuable, historically. He had also preserved a correspondence of many thousands of letters on matters of public interest. It was accordingly decided that it would be most in harmony with the Reminiscences and most welcome to the readers who have followed Mr. Schurz's narrative, if this vast material should be carefully examined with a view to making a summary sketch of the leading features of his political career after 1869.
Mr. Frederic Bancroft, for many years a valued friend of Mr. Schurz, seemed peculiarly fitted for this task and could happily be prevailed upon to undertake it. He was so fortunate as to be able to associate with himself Professor William A. Dunning of Columbia University, an authority on that period of history. The results of their collaboration are presented in a later part of this volume.
New York, October, 1908