April 27, 1889

New York City, New York


Mr. President and Gentlemen: I doubt not there are those present who would excuse me if I should attempt without preparation a discourse on the subject presented by this toast, but I do not think I should. When informed to-day that I was expected to respond, it struck me that it would be speech enough to ask a single question and to make a categorical reply. Before doing so I would convey my thanks to this society for the privilege of being with the successors of Washington and Steuben and Lafayette and their associates on this occasion. How the recollections of these men cling in adamant around this present age! Your society, formed just when the officers were about to separate after the seven years struggle, was to be a memorial of what was accomplished in those years. What fruit has the achievement of those days borne? What have we to show for it? What was the result? Those days gave to the world, gave to America, gave to the future, the United States of America.