PRESIDENTIAL WESTERN TOUR

 

Salem, Oregon

September 30, 1880

 

FELLOW CITIZENS: There is not much time for speaking or shaking hands and I want it understood that I have not shaken hands with you all simply for lack of time. Gen. Sherman has a peculiarity of shaking hands with crowds too large for him to shake hands with each person in detail. He tells them he will do so to everybody and he shakes his own hands. We are glad to see your country. Our great desire on this trip is to see the people; to get acquainted with them, but we also desired to see the country, its advantages, its prospects, and the chances it affords for homes that emigration which has already reached a point where the advice of that good old Horace Greenley is no longer applicable. One cannot go west if one has already gone west; that we desired to see that there was not more room for more in your country, and I believe there is. Two million people can here find homes and the western coast will yet be an important factor in the progress, prosperity, and performance of this great country. I have observed that you have a healthful country. It was not so in the early days of the settlement of Ohio and Illinois nor of the New England States. The western coast has a magnificent climate, and its pioneers from the first have been blessed with good health, while in the other sections named, the foundations of civilization were laid in sickness, toll, and death. We shall take occasion to tell our friends that you have a great country. We are glad to see you and pleased that your pleasant and prosperous condition, glad to make your acquaintance. By becoming better acquainted people are more attached to each other, and we shall think more of each other and be bound to each other. As Gen. Ramsey is out of the way, I will call on Gen. Sherman.