The Writings of Carl Schurz/To Albert H. Walker, September 2d, 1884

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New York, Sept. 2, 1884.

I can say only a few words in reply to your kind letter, as I am very much occupied, being on the point of leaving for a long Western trip.

1. The letters of June 29th and October 4th do actually belong together. They treat of the same subject. The letters of October 4th are only the upshot of Mr. Blaine's impatience at Caldwell's long hesitancy. He wanted to stir him up by putting before him a strong inducement for joining interests with him. This seems to me perfectly clear. No other explanation has, as far as I have heard, the least ground to stand upon.

2. As to Mr. Blaine's statements to the House, he wanted to make the House and the country believe that his having an interest in the Little Rock road was not improper, because the interests of the road did not in any way depend upon Congressional action, and, secondly, that he had not been in any sense favored by the Little Rock people in obtaining the bonds. Even if it could be made out that these statements were technically correct, they would still remain actually false. A man under such circumstances has no right to shield himself by mere technicalities. But his statements were technically as false as they were actually. The subsequent miscarriage of the speculation did not in the least degree change its character. His arrangement with Fisher was intended to be an extremely advantageous one to him. He actually did get the bonds without paying for them.

3. As to Mr. Blaine's conduct before the Investigating Committee, his protests against any inquiry into his “private business,” being the business transactions of the Speaker of the House with land-grant railroads—etc., etc., that is largely a question as to what standard we apply to such things. In my opinion no man of a high sense of official honor will for a moment think of conducting himself as Mr. Blaine did.

Pardon these hasty, offhand remarks.