OHIO DAY, CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION

October 26, 1876
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

On behalf of the people of Ohio, I desire to make their grateful acknowledgment to all of the Centennial authorities for the reception and cordial welcome given us.

I desire, also, on behalf of the State of Ohio, to express our appreciation of the honor done to us by the presence of the Centennial Commissioners from foreign countries, who are here with us in their respective representative capacities; to the representative of the Executive Department of our National Government in charge of the Government exhibit, and to the Centennial Commissioners of our sister States, who have honored us with their welcome presence; also to the people, one and all, citizens of other States and other lands than our own, who are here to join with us in this commemoration.

The citizens of Ohio have been deeply interested in this celebration, and are greatly gratified by its success. If events are to be measured by their results, the work of the great founders of the National Government may well be commemorated by the people of all the States, and by none more heartily than by the people of Ohio.

When independence was declared, Ohio had no existence. Over all that is now Ohio stretched one vast unbroken wilderness. What is Ohio now? A State with three million inhabitants, a greater population than that possessed by all the colonies when they achieved their independence.

But it is not for me, it is not for us, fellow-citizens of Ohio, to dwell on the growth, the progress and the prosperity of Ohio. A very instructive address on all these topics was delivered, some weeks ago, by a distinguished citizens of our State. We are here today as citizens of Ohio, upon the invitation of the Board of Centennial Managers of our State, to complete the commemorative exercises on our part, contemplated in the original invitations of the National Committee.

It is enough for us to say we rejoice that our homes are in Ohio. It is enough for us to say that we are grateful that our lines have fallen unto us in such pleasant places, and that we have such a heritage as Ohio now is.

Ohio has been signally honored here by the selection of one of her citizens as the Director General of this great enterprise. We are glad to know that General Goshorn has so discharged the duties of his office that his name will be honorably remembered in connection with this Exhibition. We wish, as citizens of Ohio, to congratulate especially the citizens of Philadelphia and the people of Pennsylvania on this great enterprise. It is mainly their enterprise. Upon them its great burden devolved, and to them belongs the lion's share of the glory of its great success.

This Centennial Exhibition is now drawing to a close. It will not be forgotten. It will pass into history. It will live in the minds of our countrymen with recollections of the fathers whose work it has so fully commemorated. We hope that the influence of this celebration will be to extend and perpetuate the principles of our revolutionary ancestors and to give increased assurance to all mankind that the New Nation brought forth on this continent a hundred years ago, is destined under Providence long to remain the home of freedom and the refuge of the oppressed.

The Governor responded in acknowledgment of the cordialty of his reception, which, he said, he construed to have been tendered not as a compliment to himself as an individual, but to the office of Chief Executive of the great State of Ohio. Addressing Mayor Stokely, he added that the pleasure of meeting so many of the representative men of the business interests of the country was an unexpected one, and that as he had been honored with an introduction his only purpose was to pay his respects to the gentlemen present. He thanked the people of Philadelphia, through their Mayor, for the generous manner in which they had greeted the name of Ohio, and the welcome they had extended to her Executive, and closed by saying that whatever may be the result of the present ephemeral political strife, we would all remember that we are Americans.

"I came here as a representative of Ohio to attend the Exhibition, on what was called the Ohio Day, and rejoice to see the hearty manner in which Philadelphia has endeavored to give eclat to the event. I shall go back to Ohio to say to my people that Philadelphia and Pennsylvania united in the generous work, and with a spirit and in a manner that does the heart of a Buckeye good."

go to top of page