August 23, 1877

Worcester, Massachusetts


FELLOW-CITIZENS OF WORCESTER:  I need not say to you that this is a great reception and very gratifying to us.  The Government of the United States is of interest to all of you, and it is because of your interest in that Government that you have turned out as you have in such vast numbers to welcome those to whose charge the administration of this Government has been committed.  We understand perfectly well that this is no personal compliment to us.  You entertain very decided opinions as to the course the Government shall pursue; as to who shall administer it.  There is a wide diversity of opinion as to the precise measures of the Government; but there are a few things I have acquired the habit of saying, since our trip through New England began, upon which the whole people of the United States are substantially agreed.  We are all agreed that hereafter, and for all time, the territory of the United States, embracing as it does the best part of the continent, extending from the torrid zone on the south to the frigid zone on the north; from the Atlantic Ocean on the east to the Pacific on the west, is forever hereafter to belong to one nation and to one nation only.  We are all agreed that all the States of the Union shall have equal rights; that every State is equal to each other; that all citizens of the United States, black or white, native-born or naturalized, capitalists or laborers, shall have equal rights before the law, and that the Government of the people shall continue to be ever supreme over all.  These differences as to the methods, and whatever errors may be made you will remember that it is our purpose honestly to pursue a course in support of the propositions I have offered you.  And now, having already spoken too long, I must give way to one who, although he has not always been with us, in support of the ideas I have given you is as sound as you and I.  I now have the pleasure of introducing Judge Key, of Tennessee.