PRESIDENTIAL NEW ENGLAND TOUR

 

August 21, 1877

Plymouth, New Hampshire

 

 

Balcony of the Sinclair House

 

Fellow citizens:  I thank you cordially, one and all, for this cordial greeting, and I wish it were possible I could form the acquaintance of each of you and take you by the hand, but our journey allows but a moment at each place.  I am sure you don’t desire me to make a political speech. You are too sensible a crowd for that, but I am sure we agree in a few things, however much we may differ in others.  There are many things about which we can differ, such as business and secular affairs, without discussing our political differences.  Now we are agreed, as Americans, I think, that all parts of the Constitution shall be obeyed – parts that are new as well as parts that are old; that it will be a grand thing to dwell together in unity.  We have disagreed in the past through the evils of war which the country has borne; but these things are past.  Let us have a brief period at least of perfect harmony and unity.  We have with us a few people who are associated with me in office—Secretary Evarts, Attorney General Devens, and Postmaster General Key.  I don’t see that you make much difference in these people, although the last had the bad taste to vote against me, and this is his first visit North; but he is with us in our common interests.  The results of the war are to be accepted by all people of all parts of the country, both North and South.  I have now the pleasure of introducing to you Postmaster General Key.

 

 

 

August 21, 1877

Plymouth, New Hampshire

 

Hotel

 

Ladies and fellow citizens:  I thank you very sincerely for this very cordial welcome given us this evening.  I am quite sure that nothing could be more satisfactory than a hearty reception like this.  The school children, little girls with flowers, were n token of the good feeling you have, not only toward us, but all our countrymen of every State.  If there is any sentiment that has guided what we have done, it has been for a common nationality.  It has been our desire to do something for the people of all the States.  We have felt that the war should end, and that peace should spread through all  our border.  We hope, as a result of this that men shall no longer be said to belong to the States of Louisiana, Maine, or Iowa, but be the citizens of a common country.  Beyond these questions of general good there are differences about the policy and the means of accomplishing the desired end, but we do believe that all good people everywhere desire a reconciliation, that the laws are to be obeyed, and that the rights of each and every citizen should be respected, whatever his race or color.  That being done, we may be citizens, not of a country or State, but of a free and united country.  It is because I believe that you desire this that I see you gathered here together- Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.  It is my hope that at the close of my administration we may say, as Jefferson said, “We are no longer Federalists, and no longer Republicans, but now we are all Federalists and Republicans.” And so tonight, for this night at least, let us say that we are all Democrats and all Republicans, and better than that, all Americans.

 

I shall now introduce a gentleman that did not work with us in the late struggle, and who had the bad taste not to vote for me, but he believes as we do in the result of that great struggle which has been embodied in the Constitution of the United States.  He believes as we do, that the new part of the Constitution, like the old Constitution, should be observed.  He believes in the 13th, the 14th, and the 15th amendments now, which means that there is to be no more slavery in his own land, and that all men of all colors shall be equal, and he is ready to carry out these principles.