September 24, 1879

Fort Scott, KS



            Fellow-Citizens of Kansas: - You have already sufficiently learned that we are not here to make long speeches, fortunately or unfortunately. The card table has been prepared for us by the officers of the railway company, and we are trying to live up to it as well as we can; on account of the audiences who have been getting us from the moment we left Chicago until now we have felt it somewhat difficult to get used to making too long stops. Of course one is desirous of saying something when he speaks, but the time is so brief I must decline per force from entering into the topics which invite me. I thank the Governor and the people who have come here to welcome me, and in his remarks I hope the Governor represents the feelings of the people of Kansas in his grandly welcome, and in this reception which we have received upon entering the gateway of the familiar State of Kansas. Surely I do not know any community anywhere on earth whose welcome and hearty approval I would value more highly than that of the people of Kansas. The people of Kansas have been attracted to this beautiful land by many motives, but it cannot be forgotten that these people fought these battles of freedom, which caused her to gain the reputation she has won, and so well deserved. You were here in the beginning of that conflict, and the people of your State, under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, stood by your principles, and battled for the freedom of your whole country. You stood here to the end; and when the history of the State comes to be written, your noble conduct will be recorded, and it will give a high, conspicuous and noble place to the people of Kansas. I wish to do what I was told to do very shortly after I was inducted into the office under the Government which I now hold. A friend said to me that the business of the President is to preside, and accordingly, when I meet my fellow citizens I am in the habit, as far as I can, of pushing to one side these other gentlemen, and undertake to preside in that capacity, I now have the pleasure of introducing to you a gentleman somewhat famous in the military history of the country, General Sherman.