September 30, 1880

Albany, Oregon


MR. MAYOR, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN; I am greatly obliged to the mayor for our kindly greeting. Our visit to this coast has been a succession of surprises, agreeable surprises. We have been thirty days on the way and we are now to have two more surprises. The first of these surprises is that I learn to-day for the first time that the ladies can play wind instruments even better than men. I had known for a long time that there were some wind instruments that ladies could play better than men, that was the first surprise. The second was that I hear we will be surprised with rain. I do not propose to make an address as dinner is ready and I am rather hungry. You have an improving country, a healthful country. It is not like every other new country that has its diseases. I understand that you are not afflicted with diseases usually incident to new countries. Your social arrangements are far in advance of other new countries you being at a point with old states who had half a century the start. You have good schools. Free schools are the corner-stone of our institutions. Good schools will attract the best class of citizens to your state. I look to them as the safety of the future. Your geographical influence places you in a position where you control the Pacific Ocean, with its wealth and commerce. I congratulate you on what you have, on what you own and your future.  I will now introduce Secretary Ramsey.