Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 10, 1872[Political Matters]
Carl Schurz has taken occasion in the first session of the Senate after the Christmas holidays to defend himself against a long series of mostly very absurd accusations that were published in an article in the New York Times.
Some of these accusations, (as that he had extorted his general's patient on his return from Spain by threatening to turn 200,000 German votes from the Republican Party) are just sheer stupidity. It is likewise insipid to accuse Schurz of having shown revolutionary tendencies at the national convention in 1868. The contrary is true. Schurz was then timid rather than revolutionary, at least in regard to the repudiation policy of Butler. Personally, as well as in his paper, he touched Butler's doctrines only with velvet gloves and not for one moment did he take so outspoken a position as the Illinois Staats Zeitung. The chance he had to present to the convention a resolution in favor of civil service reform, (which had been moved by the German member of the platform committee( he did not use. The idea of this reform had then, it seems, not yet matured in him. He urged it neither from the rostrum nor in the press, and may have thought it too radical. In any case, not revolutionary was the appearance of Mr. Schurz at the National Convention, not even radical.2
While Mr. Schurz had little to worry about in regard to this accusation it needed some longer explanation to dispose of the accusation that he had demanded (and received) $250 a week in 1860 as a stump speaker, and $50 to $100 honorarium an evening, besides. In itself this is hardly an accusation. Every worker deserves his pay, and to make stump speeches is work-often harder work than to cut wood.
However, one point must not be overlooked. The American has his own views about what is, and what is not done. He thinks it all right that a stump speaker should be paid, but he does not think it all right that the orator should make himself paid twice. He regards nomination to an embassy, or election as a senator as a sufficient wage. He distinguishes between the paid orator and the statesman. He quite understands a statesman who makes money from his private business (as a lawyer for example, or a journalist). What he thinks queer is that somebody should make speeches as an aspiring statesman and should accept payment for the same speeches as a professional orator. For Schurz as a statesman he thinks 3the payment with an embassy, the general's buttons, and a seat in the Senate, not too high, but for Schurz, the paid public speaker, he does. It seems to be a fact that Mr. Schurz has no colleague in the Senate, with the exception of Mr. Nye, of Nevada, who claims reward both in cash and in expectation of high political preferment.
As to his part in the nomination of Jussen for the office of Federal Tax Collector Mr. Schurz' explanation coincides exactly with ours given a few days ago. The single difference lies in that Schurz calls his written recommendation of Jussen a mere endorsement, while we called it a letter. That, however, is a "distinction without a difference". The important point is that the initiative in the nomination of Jussen did not come from Schurz, but from the Illinois Staats Zeitung, after the office (what we should have said already the last time, but will do so now) had been offered from Washington to the editor of this paper, Mr. A. C. Hesing and by him had been refused. Jussen himself never has had the impression that he owed his brother-in-law any thanks for his appointment.4
With this we hope to have contributed our part to the defense of Mr. Schurz against spiteful and unfounded accusations.
I F 3, I F 4, I H, IV
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