December 13, 1876

Dayton, Ohio


MY FRIENDS:  I will not detain you longer than four or five minutes.  I am here on a short visit to your beautiful city of Dayton, not on any political mission, or to talk on any of the political questions of the remarkable canvass that has just been closed.  I understand that these greetings here to-night are not so much in honor of myself as on account of the peculiar interest that is felt in the present condition of the country.  In the excitement that has pervaded before and since the election, people of ardent temperaments have said and done things that are indiscreet, but as the excitement subsides we begin to return to our better wisdom and judgment.  I have too much faith in the saving common sense of the American people to think that they desire to see in their country a Mexicanized Government.  Whatever may be the result at which the lawful authorities shall arrive, you and I will quietly submit, and I have sufficient respect and confidence in the great majority of the opposition party to believe that they will do the same.


I was glad to see in the paper this evening an article from The London Times respecting the condition of this country.  “Such a state of affairs,” it said, “could not occur anywhere else in the world.  The entire area of the country agitated by the uncertain issue of a political conflict, yet not one shot fired, not one man killed, no breaches of the peace.”


We have seen this Centennial year the wonders of our growth displayed in the exhibition of agricultural and mechanical arts and we are now afforded an opportunity of giving to the world an example of the value of republican government.  In speaking to you this evening I have referred without previous thought to what must have occurred to every one of us standing here, and I take my leave of you with the most sincere acknowledgment of this expression of your friendship and good will.