The Writings of Carl Schurz/To Samuel Bowles, March 7th, 1876

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New York, Mar. 7, 1876.

The Belknap case has changed the whole aspect of things. I agree with you that the Adams idea will naturally come into the foreground again. I would be well satisfied with Bristow,—as my second choice, but as such an exceedingly satisfactory one. I deem it quite possible, however, that Bristow may not turn out sufficient for the situation, especially if he sticks to the party. But I would advise you—and especially you—to go on talking Bristow.

I am meditating a sort of pronunciamento to come out one of these days, in which I mean to declare that I shall not support any candidate who does not come up to the Bristow standard, and that the people owe it to themselves to take the matter out of the hands of the old parties etc.

What do you think of it? Let me hear from you and send me the Republican sometimes.

New York, Mar. 27, 1876.

I have tried to gather myself up and do something.[1] The enclosed is a draft of an invitation to a conference which has already been submitted for signature to Mr. Wm. Cullen Bryant, President Woolsey, Governor Bullock, and Governor Koerner of Illinois.[2] I desire Governor Booth's signature and should have written to him, did I know what his position on these things is. Not knowing this I would ask you, his most intimate friend, to request him in my name to sign it, if you think it ought to be done. I would then sign the paper myself and address it with those signatures to about 2[00] or 300 persons. Lodge and Brooks Adams are here, helping me—for I must confess, I am not fit for much work yet. They want to see you concerning the list of men to be invited from New England. The intention is to hold the Conference at Cincinnati on April 27th, but that point is open and I have requested the opinion of the gentlemen who are to sign the invitation.

Now, will you be kind enough to take the necessary steps to have Booth sign that paper? I thought you could prevail upon him if anybody could. Of course, the whole affair ought to be kept strictly confidential until the proper time comes to let it out. About that, more hereafter.

P.S. As there is no time to be lost I would ask you to get Booth's signature as speedily as possible, and let me hear whatever suggestions you may desire to make.

  1. Mrs. Schurz had recently died.
  2. See Circular of Apr. 6, 1876.