The Writings of Carl Schurz/From Murat Halstead, February 20th, 1877

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Cincinnati, Feb. 20, 1877.

Of course I am aware that what I write is confidential, but I wish this to be so in a special sense—that is a particularly strict sense.

You suggest that I go to Columbus to meet Hayes and talk Bristow. I saw him here and talked Schurz.

I do not think Hayes proposes to retain any official Cabinet or to appoint any Presidential candidate. That excludes Bristow. Also Morton, Conkling and Blaine! It means in my judgment Harlan of Kentucky as Attorney-General. Sherman for the Treasury regarded certain. It does not seem worth while to combat the inevitable.

I will say to you, though I had not thought of doing so, that I was very urgent with Hayes to appoint you, and ascertained that he had an opinion that there was no premiership in the Secretaryship of State, and he thought there was more room for civil service reform work in the Interior than in the War Department. I cannot go through the talk I had with Hayes. It was long and pretty thorough.[1]

I am uneasy about the result, but hopeful. Now if it is Hayes, his will not be an ideal Administration.

Is there some danger that if you went into the Cabinet you would be a disturbing element? How would you get along with Sherman, if Evarts, Hawley and Harlan were in?

The Governor's remarks in reply to my urgency would be agreeable reading—but I do not feel at liberty to write them.

  1. On Feb. 24th Halstead wrote: “I have also—and this is very far inside—managed to have Joe Medill's opinion of the overwhelming importance of Schurz in the Cabinet, [put] before Hayes. Medill thinks you should be Secretary of State and has said so magnificently. But Hayes has a funny idea that there is no work and no chance for reform in the Secretary of State's Department, unless the whole cussed thing is abolished.”