Marx-Engels Correspondence 1868

Marx To Sigfrid Meyer
In New York

Source: MECW, Volume 43, p. 96;
First published: Marx and Engels, Works, First Russian Edition, Moscow, 1934.

London, 14 September 1868
1 Modena Villas, Maitland Park, Haverstock Hill

Dear Meyer,

Enclosed the issue of The Times containing the 4th Annual Report of the General Council (written by me), and the very interesting Times first leader on this document. This is the first time that it has abandoned its tone of moquerie about the working class, and taken it ‘verry’ au sérieux. Spread this around. Inform Jessup of this.

I must reply to both your letters, the first to me and the 2nd to Eccarius, which was handed me in his absence (he has not yet returned from Brussels).

As far as the first letter is concerned, it is your fault if Sorge (who is completely unknown to me) has received credentials. If you wanted simply to give him a recommendation for a particular purpose, you should have written so clearly. The way you put it in your letter, I believed that Sorge was your and A. Vogt’s man. So be more careful in future. Then you made the second mistake of giving the credentials to Sorge, instead of writing to me first about the misunderstanding!

The mistake has been made, but it is not irreparable.

The Brussels Congress has once again allotted the General Council to London. But it is now to be regarded as a new Council, which revises all old credentials. So write to me whether you and A. Vogt want credentials. Write, too, in which manner we should withdraw Sorge’s credentials or, alternatively, inform him that the new General Council has changed the credentials.

Drury was here for a while. Recently, shortly before the Brussels Congress, he was proposed as authorised agent of the International Workingmen’s Association to the American Labor Union and its congress. We did not agree to this at the time, since the source of the suggestion appeared suspicious to us. Please observe the man more closely first, either yourself or through friends.

No copies remain of the Commonwealth paper. For the past few years there have not been any agitational writings in our sense in England. My book has not yet been translated into English. Eccarius, otherwise very capable, but at the same time very ambitious, has intentionally not mentioned it in The Commonwealth or at other opportunities. He likes to appropriate my propositions for himself. At the congress in Brussels, Lessner mentioned my book in his speech about machinery. The correspondent of The Daily News reported this. Eccarius, who reported the congress sessions for The Times, suppressed it. His conduct is all the more absurd since he owes me not only his knowledge, but also his post as general secretary on the General Council. I alone supported him (at The Commonwealth too) against attacks by the English and French. He relies upon the experience he already has with me, that I am only concerned with the cause, and ignore personal stupidities!

I shall not give him your letter.

The more English excerpts from my book you can get into the American press the better.

Send them to me!

I attach the enclosed card. It was sent to us, with a letter, to establish contact with us. Address: G. W. Randall, Secretary, Workingmen’s Institute, 3 Tremont Row, Room 52, Boston N. E.

I lost contact years ago with all my acquaintances in America. I am still in touch only with Meyer in St. Louis, the friend of our J. Weydemeyer (deceased last year).

Write me all you can find out about the relationship between the railways and real estate.

You may have seen that, at its congress in Hamburg, the General Association of German Workers passed a special resolution giving recognition to my book.

Write to Randall on my behalf as German Secretary of the General Council.

Best greetings to A. Vogt and yourself.

K. Marx

I am sending 2 copies of The Times, one for you, the other for Jessup.