October 12, 1869

Columbus, Ohio

FELLOW CITIZENS:—It is quite natural that, after the noisy and premature demonstrations of last evening, of our adversaries, in celebrating their supposed victory, that the Republican people of Columbus should feel disposed to show their satisfaction with the result of the election of yesterday, and should meet to congratulate each other upon it; and certainly there is great reason for rejoicing.

Before speaking of what has been achieved by the election, allow me, in the name of the Republican Party of Ohio, to thank the Republican Executive Committee of the State for the zeal, efficiency, industry and prudence by which they have contributed so much to achieve the victory we have assembled to celebrate. Allow me, also, in the name of the Republican people of the Sate, to thank the Republicans of Franklin County, and the republicans of the city of Columbus, and the Executive Committee of the County, for their success in making such large strides toward redeeming the capital of the State.

It would be difficult to overrate the importance of the victory we are celebrating. At the beginning of the canvass I supposed the discussions of the canvass would mainly turn upon State issues; but the nomination of the distinguished gentleman who was my competitor, and the speech which contained his platform of principles, gave to the canvass a national significance. The success of Mr. Pendleton upon that speech would have signified that a reaction had begun in Ohio on the subject of reconstruction, on the question of repudiation, and on the record of the public men who, from beginning to end, opposed the war. By deciding against Mr. Pendleton the people of Ohio have decided to stand by the Republican plan of reconstruction, and to complete it by the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. They wish what has been settled to remain settled. They have again said, as they said last fall, in regard to all these troubles, in the language of General Grant, “Let us have peace.”

By this election the people of Ohio have also decided to support no man whose principles lean toward repudiation. They believe that honesty is the best policy, and that there is no half-way house between an honest payment of the public debt and repudiation. They believe with Grant that the sound financial policy is economy, retrenchment, the faithful payment of the public debt.

On the subject of elevating to office the men who were against the country during the war, they have again declared that until every question arising out of the rebellion relating to the payment of the public debt, to the integrity of the nation, and the rights of man, has been wisely settled, and that no man should be trusted with political power who in the great conflict for the nation’s life was unfaithful to the cause of the union and liberty.

I thank you, fellow-citizens, for your attention, and beg to assure men of all parties that nothing has occurred, during the canvass, calculated to produce in me any unkind feeling toward my adversaries; and I trust, if the official figures shall correspond with what the Committee have furnished us this evening, that I shall be able to discharge the duties of my second term without partisan bias toward any citizen.

Again thanking you, I bid you good night.