PRESIDENTIAL MIDWESTERN TOUR

September 9, 1878
Red Wing, Minnesota

When I set out on this journey, I thought I might say something useful concerning the interests of the country. I came by invitation of agricultural gentlemen. We know that it is hard times. Many questions of prominent interest may be touched upon without venturing in partisan politics. If in my power to give encouragement to those who need it, and inspire hope for better times, it is proper for me to do so. Notwithstanding the depression of business, five years have shown a decided improvement in the burdens placed on capital and labor by the government. Without presenting figures now, I will state that in speeches made elsewhere in this State I have been able to show that the debt has been decreased, and the credit of the nation improved. As to taxation, there has been great improvement in thirteen years, particularly in what interests agricultural districts. The exports of grain and all agricultural products have been greatly advanced. In the last year the balance of trade in favor of the United States has been greater than any previous year. There has been a great improvement in the currency. Thirteen years since, paper dollars were worth sixty-nine cents on the dollar. Saturday last the paper dollar, United States currency note, was worth ninety-nine and three-quarters cents, showing an advance in twelve years of nearly $200,000,000 – not only advance but improvement in character. During this time there were fluctuations of course. Upon whom did the loss fail? Upon laborers and producers, because middlemen made prices to cover fluctuation. Today paper is as steady as coin. For four months there has been less than one percent variation. We may begin to feel after a long period of stagnation, that we have struck bottom, and that better times are coming. Remember that wheat from Red Wing Finds a market in Europe, and the world more and more, by steam and telegraph connections, trust to principles, sustained by experience and sanctioned by wise heads.