Thursday, June 28, 2007


While waiting for the Kids with Kids to show up yesterday for our trip to the Cloisters, I watched as much as I could of "Cheyenne Autumn", the 1964 John Ford film about one of the sadder chapters in the history of the American West.

I've never seen the movie before, and hope one day to see it in its entirety (especially for the one scene with Jimmy Stewart as Wyatt Earp). But what interested me most, being the fan of political intrigue as I am, was a scene with Edward G. Robinson as the Secretary of the Interior. That's all he was listed as in the opening credits, and having done some investigation on the matter, I'm sorry they didn't identify him for the person he was: Carl Schurz.

I'm thinking this is a man I'd like to see more of in some kind of Televisual biography.

While reading the information... information... information about him at Wikipedia, I was struck by this quote:

The man who in times of popular excitement boldly and unflinchingly resists hot-tempered clamor for an unnecessary war, and thus exposes himself to the opprobrious imputation of a lack of patriotism or of courage, to the end of saving his country from a great calamity, is, as to "loving and faithfully serving his country," at least as good a patriot as the hero of the most daring feat of arms, and a far better one than those who, with an ostentatious pretense of superior patriotism, cry for war before it is needed, especially if then they let others do the fighting.
Carl Schurz, April, 1898

Nearly 110 years have passed, and those words could not be more timely......

Toby OB

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi toby!

i've always felt that 3 figures in american history that we aren't taught enough about are william lloyd garrison, thaddeus stevens, and schurz.

the thing that strikes me about people like them is that their morality is contemporary, which made them cursed prophets in their own time.