September 23, 1879

Galesburg, IL



Fellow-Citizens: In this brief interview which we have with people who assemble as you have assembled to greet us as we pass, I cannot hope to say anything that will be useful. I cannot hope to say anything which will be worthy of your remembrance. The general topic of the time is the changed condition of the country as compared with the last five or six years here and everywhere. The purport of what I undertake to say, even when speaking in the briefest period; is mainly this: I wish to impress upon our people, as far as I am able, and the young school children and the laborers, and capitalists, and men of business, one great fact and that in this free country we are all so thoroughly connected together that there can be no great injury to any part of our country or to any one class of our citizens that does not in its result reach every part of the country , and all classes of citizens. This is the great fact. A fact injured or crippled destroys the ability of the whole man. If any section of our country is crippled, if any class of society is oppressed and suffers injustice, the whole society must sooner or later suffer with it necessarily. The great body of our citizens our laboring men. The general prosperity of our society rests more with the prosperity of the laborers than any other class. Therefore, my friends, what I wish to say is, let us see to it that in all our pleasures, whatever may be remembered, and whoever may be forgotten we should not fail to remember the laborers of our country, so large a number of whom honor me now with their presence. Do not let anyone misunderstand me. I say that in the long run what is good for business man, what is good for the laborer, is good for all the rest.


I am sure you will be glad to hear and see for a moment, General Sherman and General Sheridan, who are here with me.