CELEBRATION OF GARFIELD'S ELECTION
November 4, 1880
MR. PRESIDENT AND FELLOW-CITIZENS: The people of the United States of all parties and of all sections have many solid reasons for rejoicing over the result of Tuesday's election. At this late hour of the night and in this weather I shall not delay you to enumerate them. I will allude to one or two of them. We rejoice that the majority for Gen. Garfield is so decided, so large, that there is no room to question his election. You all remember how, four years ago, the business of the country for weeks and months was interrupted and almost suspended by the doubts of the election. Possibly the weakest point in our system is that it does not adequately provide for the ascertainment and declaration of the result of a Presidential election when it is close and doubtful and disputed. And, therefore, my friends, it is a subject for congratulation and rejoicing by all men of all parties that this question is settled, and that in one or two days or weeks we shall all be pursuing our usual avocations, and business will be going on as it has been going on for the last six or eight months. A less important point, perhaps, is also that we are able to rejoice in the fact demonstrated by this election, that no amount of calumny, of personal attack upon a Presidential candidate, of really high character, affects him in the least in the judgment of good people. As citizens of Cleveland, of the Western Reserve of Ohio, and neighbors of Gen. Garfield, we rejoice, because we know that he is worthy of the success he has achieved. How many and how great are the laurels that now encircle his brow. He stands today the Representative of the Nineteenth Congressional District, in his ninth term, his eighteenth year as Representative of that district, a district composed of the counties of Ashtabula, Trumbull, Geauga and Portage, a community not surpassed in intelligence and patriotism anywhere on earth. He is their representative to-day, sustained by them through all these years, elected again and again nine times, in spite of the opposition and calumny. More than that, he is to-day Senator elect for a six years' term, a position that sought him, unsought by him, unbought, receiving it spontaneously and without effort, he is Senator from Ohio, and now the President elect from the 4th of March next of the United States. In all our history no such combination of civil honors have rested upon the head of any man, and we rejoice, as I said, to know that he is worthy of these honors.
Looking through the history of our public men we find that he is a model self-made man. In our history we can see in the past Franklin, Lincoln, then comes Garfield as the self-made man of the United States, the best illustration and example of what under our institutions may occur to the humblest boy, the humblest child of the Republic--an example of what can be done where all have a fair start and an equal chance in the race of life. Finally, my friends, we rejoice because we feel assured that in the wise, firm and moderate administration of Gen. Garfield, our country is to attain an era of prosperity not surpassed in any country on the face of the globe. Under his broad and liberal and generous administration, every section of this country will be fairly and justly dealth with. He will say to the mistaken men of the South, "You will be treated precisely as the citizens of my own State of Ohio are to be treated. All we ask of you is that you shall faithfully obey the Constitution as it now is, regarding the new parts as equally sacred, with the old." Doing this to the Administration of General Garfield, every liberal and generous act required on his part will be cheerfully and gladly done. Extending to every State its State's Rights, he requires of them that they shall accord to every citizen his individual rights. With this done, with harmony restored throughout the Union, throughout all classes, I say again that the blessings of the victory gained on Tuesday by you are blessings alike and equally to the Republicans and to the Democrats, and to the Southern man and to the Northern man, and to whomsoever is a citizen of the United States. I thank you for your hearing.