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Salomon de Rothschild Tours America (1861)

The Political Chaos Called a Nomination

New York, June 12, '60.

...People are scarcely occupied with anything beside politics here. Who will be nominated? Who will be the lucky one to be elected? Those are the questions of the day. In a week part of the great secret will be revealed.

But a violent movement of dissolution has started in the United States. Whatever the result of the struggle may be, the malcontents will secede and will try to take along with them a section of the states. A rupture is thus imminent between the North and the South. Despite assurances to the contrary which I receive on all sides, and despite the smiles of incredulity on the faces of all my friends, I am sure that within a very short time America will be divided into Northern states and Southern states, which will soon be handed over to some adventurers such as we know in Europe.

It is probable that I shall go to Baltimore for a few days next week to attend that political chaos called a nomination, that great struggle where all ambitions and all intrigues battle, where all means are used, honest or otherwise, where corruptions, threats, and influence join in battle, and prove to the whole world that this country, despite its apparent greatness, despite its youth, despite its vigor, is like a fruit rotting before it has a chance to ripen. I'll stop right here, for if you let yourself go too far in your thoughts, you would become a misanthrope. I shall go at once and renew my strength by taking a shower bath under one of the falls of Niagara, and I shall see if the homeland of the Mohicans has changed any in appearance and in nature since it was described by [James Fennimore] Cooper.