PRESIDENTIAL WESTERN TOUR

 

September 30, 1880

Eugene, Oregon

 

MR. CHAIRMAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Our short conversations are not to be charged against us as addresses. We merely talk freely with the people. We come to visit you and see your country. We are gratified to see the people and get acquainted with you by the wholesale as it were. Our visit has been most agreeable along the whole route. Much we have heard of the route and its great mountains and fine scenery, but we are told before starting that the route by sea was greatly to be preferred, because we were likely to be visited by road agents, a class of people whose acquaintance is not considered by any means desirable, and we were told of rain and fogs said to be always prevalent in Oregon; but we have met none of these discomforts and difficulties. We were not visited by road agents, probably because these gentlemen are sagacious and know it would not be profitable. Our ladies and all concerned have been exceedingly gratified by what they saw along the route. The views of Mount Sheats and the canyons were grand beyond description. Another source of our gratification was in the good and skillful care of our drivers, Mr. Smith and Mr. Carll, who, like General Sherman, have nerve to go where they undertake to go. All along the route, even through the mountains, we found the country dotted with happy American homes. From all parts of the Union, from the cities and the states we found them planting the seeds of civilization. This is an educational town I am told, and I congratulate you on your university, which I trust will have a great future. There are gentlemen with me who have wide reputations as speakers, and I shall make way for them. Secretary Ramsey is a man of wit and pen and you will see and hear him. He was Governor of Minnesota as a territory and afterward as a state, no mean position, and now for a time of profound peace he makes an excellent Secretary of War. Here also is General Sherman, a distinguished solider, whose fame is worldwide.  He is a lucky traveler who always goes where he undertakes to go, and sometimes has gone where he was not expected, or even wanted. And now I introduce to you Secretary Ramsey.