by Bill Nye
Public Domain Books
To my friends, regardless of party.–Many friends having solicited me to apply for a foreign mission under the present administration, I have finally consented to do so, and last week filed my application for such missions as might still remain vacant.
To insure my appointment, much will remain for you to do. I now call upon my friends to aid me by their united effort. I especially solicit the aid of my friends who have repeatedly heretofore promised it to me while drunk.
You will see at a glance that I can only make the application. You must support it by your petitions and letters. It would be of little use for one man to write five thousand letters to the president, but if five thousand people each write him a letter in which casual reference is made to my social worth and 7-1/3 octave brain, it will make him pay attention.
My idea would be for each of my friends to set aside one day in each week to write to the president, opening it in a chatty way by asking him if he does not think we are having rather a backward spring, and what he is doing for his cut worms now, and how his folks are, etc., etc. Then gradually lead up to the statement that you think I would be an ornament to the administration if I should go abroad and linger on a foreign strand at $2,000 per linger and stationery.
This will keep the president properly stirred up, and cause him to earn his salary. The effect will be to secure the appointment at last, as you will see if you persevere.
I need not add that I will do what is right by my friends upon receiving my commission.
Do not neglect this suggestion because it comes to you in the form of a circular, but remember it and act upon it. Remember that, although the president is stubborn as Sam Hill, he will at last yield to fatigue, and when tired nature can hold out no longer, the last letter will drop from his nerveless hand and he will surrender.
Some of you will urge that I have been an offensive partisan, but when you come to think it over I have not been so all-fired partisan. There have been days and days when it did not show itself very much. However, that is not the point. I want your hearty indorsement and I want it to be entirely voluntary, and if you do not give it, and give it freely and voluntarily, you hadn’t better ask me for any more favors.
All the newspapers most heartily indorse me. The Rocky Mountain Whoop very truthfully says:
“Mr. Nye called at our office yesterday and subscribed for our paper. We are proud to add him to our list of paid-up subscribers, and should he renew his subscription next year, paying in advance, we will cheerfully refer to it among other startling news.”
I have a scrap-book full of such indorsements as this, and now, if my friends will peel their coats and write as they should, I can make this administration open its eyes.
Several papers in Iowa have alluded to my being in town, and referred to the fact that I had paid my bills while there. But press indorsements alone are not sufficient. What is needed is the written testimony of friends and neighbors. No matter how poor or humble or worthless you may be, write to Mr. Cleveland and tell him how much confidence you have in me, and if you can call to mind any little acts of kindness, or any times when I have got up in the night to give you a dollar, or nurse a colicky horse for you, throw that in. Throw it in anyhow. It will do no harm, and may do much good.
I can solemnly promise all my friends that if they will secure my appointment to a foreign country for four years, I will not return during that time. What more can I offer? I will stay longer if I am reappointed. I would do anything for my friends.
Do not throw this circular carelessly aside. Read it carefully over and act upon it. Some of you are poor spellers, and will try to get out of it in that way. Others are in the penitentiary and cannot spare the time. But to one and all I say, write, and write regularly, to the president. Do not wait for a reply from him, because he is pretty busy now; but he will be tickled to death to hear from you, and anything you say about me will give him great pleasure.
N.B.–Please be careful not to inclose this circular in your letter to the president.