SPEECH AT BALTIMORE CITY HALL

October 31, 1878
Baltimore, Maryland

In coming to this hall I did not expect that any formal reception awaited me. I can only say that I am extremely grateful for the welcome extended me by the authorities of the city of Baltimore. We all know her interesting history, and her general character as one of the great seaports of this country, a fame which she enjoys all over the world. Whatever redounds to the prosperity of Baltimore adds to the prosperity of the Nation, and what contributes to your welfare contributes to the welfare of the entire country. I came here at the invitation of a number of gentlemen to witness the results of the mechanical skill of your workmen, and the enterprising spirit of your manufacturers and mechanics are doing quite as much as any part of our population in hastening on the advent of those better times which we are all looking for, and which I believe will soon cheer us by their coming. I am gratified at this reception, and as you have so kindly extended me an invitation to frequently visit the city, I will embrace the opportunity to make another flying trip to Baltimore at some future time.

FELLOW-CITIZENS I suppose it is now very well understood and believed that I adhere to the sacredness of contracts, and of preserving inviolate our mutual agreements. When I was invited to visit your city by the committee which now has me in charge, there was a distinct understanding that I should not be compelled to make any speeches on this visit. As I said before, believing, therefore, in the sacredness of contracts, and also of this contract between the committee and myself, I do not propose to break it, and I can only express my hearty thanks to the committee for their polite invitation, and to the people of Baltimore for their kind and hospitable reception, as manifested by you here to-night.