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WASHINGTON, D. C., July 10th, 1870.
I have received your recent letters, two in regard to Gen. Robert Anderson. I do not know how anything can be done for the General at present, but I do know, or at least feel, that the American people will never permit his family to suffer. Should the worst happen, the General and his family will be taken care of. I would start the matter, and what is or has been done for Rawlins' and Stanton's families would probably be done for General Anderson's.
Congress is soon to adjourn. The reflection is almost a compensation for the suffering endured during its session. If it were not for the feeling of loyalty of the people, and the almost certainty that a Democratic success would be repudiation and surrender to old Southern leaders, there is but little doubt but that the Republican party would lose control of the country at the next election. Lack of attention to material interests, wrangling among themselves, dividing and allowing the few Democrats to be the balance to fix amendments to every important measure (and voting against the whole bill when brought to a vote), attacking each other and the administration when any individual's views were not conformed to, has put the party in a very bad light. I think everything will be right two years hence, and that members see the errors they have committed. I shall hope so at least. If we had had a short session of Congress, and harmonious, the party would never have been on as strong a footing as now. All that was necessary to do was to pass the appropriation bills, admit the outstanding States, pass a funding bill and promise the people a reduction of eighty million of taxes at their next session. We could well spare that amount if the public debt bore but five per cent.
LONG BRANCH, N. J., Aug. 22d, 1870.
When I wrote to you last, although it was but a few days before the declaration of war by France, I had no idea that such an event was even threatening. I was taken by surprise as Napoleon admits he was in one of [King] William's attacks.
The result, as we read right in our papers, has surprised me.
I supposed from the declaration of war coming from the French they would be all ready, while the Prussians might not be fully so, and therefore, at the beginning, the French would have it all their own way. The Prussian military system is so perfect, however, that I believed singlehanded they would be too much for the French in the end. The war has developed the fact here that every unreconstructed rebel sympathizes with France, without exception, while the loyal element is almost as universally the other way. Poor Napoleon, I suppose, will retire to private life.
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 26th, 1872.
I wrote you a long letter just before the meeting of the Cincinnati Convention, but as I did not complete it before that event, and as most of the letter was upon the subject of that Convention, I did not send it. The work has been done and no one is satisfied but Greeley himself and a few Tammany Republicans who expect office under him, if he is elected, and who know that under no other man could they be appointed to office. I predict that Greeley will not even be a candidate when the election comes off. The Democracy are not going to take him, and his following in the Republican ranks is not sufficient to make up an electoral ticket, nor is it composed of respectability enough to put on such a ticket. His nomination has had a good effect, however. It has apparently harmonized the party by getting out of it the "soreheads" and knaves who made all the trouble because they could not control. The movement was egged on by the Democrats, the rank and file acting in good faith, until now the effect upon them is just what the leaders intended it should be upon the Republicans; it is dividing their party. Many of the Democratic papers, particularly in the South, have committed themselves so thoroughly that they will have to go to Baltimore on the 9th of July in support of Greeley. Many others will go there to break up the Cincinnati ticket by putting one of its candidates at the tail of a new ticket, and Adams, Davis, or Trumbull at the head. The old Hunkers will fight all such movements, and, in my judgment, will carry the day, but will create great disaffection in their ranks. We will soon see how my prediction comes out.
LONG BRANCH, N. J., August 26th, 1872.
Your confidential letter relating to the probable position of Curtin was received during my last visit to Washington. He, Curtin, probably arrived in New York City yesterday, Sunday; but there is no communication between this and the outside world on Sunday except by telegraph, so that I do not know positively. I expect him to come and see me as soon as he does arrive, though I know he will be met on arrival, and everything possible will be offered him to corrupt him. The Greeleyites will be as liberal in their offers to him as Satan was to our Saviour, and with as little ability to pay. Curtin's defection would probably cost us the State of Pennsylvania in October so far as the Governor and legislature are concerned, but without him the Congressmen at large, three of them, and Judge of the Superior Court and other officers on the State ticket would be elected, and we would carry the State in November.
I do not often indulge in predictions, but I have had a feeling that Greeley might not even be in the field in November. If he is I do not think he will carry a single Northern State. In the South I give him Tennessee and Texas, with Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, and Arkansas doubtful, with the chances in our favor in all of them except Maryland. Missouri might also be added to the doubtful States. This is the way matters look now, but they may be modified before November. We shall see what we shall see" before long.
LONG BRANCH, N. J., August 23d, 1875.
I have been intending for a long time to write to you, but I have so got out of the way of writing social letters that I have not now left a single correspondent-not even in my own family -except on official business. I have nothing now special to say further than that I am always glad to hear from you. In political matters you keep posted through the press, and are no doubt struck with the chronic annual scare of the Republicans lest the Democrats should get into power. Just now the Ohio election is
*Governor Curtin was appointed Minister to Russia by General Grant in 1869. On his return in 1872 he supported Mr. Horace Greeley for the presidency.
Mr. Greeley carried only the States of Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas.
frightening them. They seem to feel as though the loss of Ohio this fall would insure a Democratic victory next year and lead to inflation of the currency, repudiation, the undoing of all that has been accomplished by the war and Republican Administrations in the way of re-construction, and national disgrace. I take a much more hopeful view of the situation. I am anxious of course to see the Republicans carry Ohio. But if they should not I should not feel in the least discouraged. The fact is that while Ohio is sound by one hundred thousand majority on the financial issue, and the Republicans have not a sound platform on that issue, and the Democrats a very unsound and dishonest one, if Ohio is lost in this election it will be on this question alone. So much time elapses between nominations and elections that the Democrats will all be whipped into line on the ground that the question now at iss e is only which of the two parties they would rather see control the State. They are not voting for an executive of the nation, nor for lawmakers who can legislate on the subject of national finances. In the Republican ranks there are very many men who are in debt, or whose business has slackened, that think an abundant currency would help them out of their difficulties, and who will not vote, or if they do vote, it will be against their party. I believe that if the Democratic party carries Ohio this fall, it will give the repudiationists-for inflation means repudiation-such a prestige in the nominating convention next year that the hard-money men of the party, including all from the Pacific Coast, all New England, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Texas, and some from other States, will split and put up two tickets as they did in 1860. If so, the race in 1876 will be an easy one. With a contrary result there will probably be but two tickets, both on a moderately sound financial platform.
I did not think of writing so much of a political letter as I have done, but it may interest you to hear private views on this subject. On the question of candidates for next year there seems to be nothing definite to base a prediction upon as to who will be the standard bearers.
(To be continued.)
THE GREENBACK AND THE GOLD STANDARD.
BY THE HON. MARRIOTT BROSIUS.
It is a matter of deep public concern that many of the proposals to reform our monetary system include the retirement of the legal-tender notes known as "greenbacks," and the issue in lieu thereof of National Bank currency; and it brings into the field of public interest and discussion the question how this would affect the gold standard. While many of the complaints made against the greenbacks are grotesque enough to suggest the celebrated complaint of Sydney Smith against the solar system, when he said to his friend Jeffrey: "D-n the solar system; bad light, planets too distant, pestered with comets, feeble contrivance, could make a better with ease"-yet they raise a real question which requires grave and considerate treatment.
We will, perhaps, agree that it is requisite to the general tranquility and prosperity that we not only be able to maintain the gold standard, but that the people have faith that we will do so. As practical legislators we must deal with the question in this twofold aspect. Any proposal that does not command popular belief in its efficacy will be disquieting; while it is desirable, as far as possible, to compose the public mind. It is doubtful, indeed, if our malady will yield to any treatment against the dead weight of the people's lack of faith.
To maintain the gold-standard requires the command at all times of gold enough to liquidate our gold obligations as they mature. This requirement, easy as it is ordinarily, under certain conditions is extremely difficult, under some impossible. For example, under the conditions which prevailed from the resumption of specie payments down to 1892, a period of thirteen years, it was free from difficulty. On the first day the Resumption Act was in operation the current of gold set in