By Harold F. Peterson
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Extra resources for Diplomat of the Americas: a biography of William I. Buchanan (1852-1909)
Give me your ideas of men and matters on which you read. Thus we gain an insight into each other's thoughts more than any other way. 52 Even more now than in the past he longed for employment that would end his perpetual travelling and permit permanent reunion with his family. In imaginative moments he dreamed of their moving to New York, where he could appease his own growing ardor for music and drama and where his wife could study in a school of design and their daughter receive the best education.
Without reservation he predicted that the Democrats would carry New York and Indiana, along with the Solid South, to win the presidency. 38 But very soon, as newspapers began their partisan attacks, he deplored the "low filthy spirit" to which they appealed. '' By election eve, "heartily sick of this political caldron," he expressed the wish that "a new party would spring up with new thoughts . . " He believed that such a party should stand for lower tariffs, the free ballot, no employer coercion of employees, nonimportation of Chinese laborers, and support of younger candidates, "whose ideas are of the present and future and not fossilized things [like] the Dred Scott Decision .
Could that be brought about, he argued, "the Negro would become a factor in politics and not a cipher and then he would get his rights and be treated more considerately. "40 Even in his disappointment with Hancock's defeat and while acknowledging "our worst party corruption," Buchanan retained his confidence in the American political system. From his current reading of eighteenth-century English politics, he concluded that "public life now is simply perfection . . "41, But pursuit of these diverse interests, hobbies, and ideas was Page 18 peripheral to the main purposes of Buchanan's six years of travelling.