September 20, 1877

Wartrace, Tennessee


MY FRIENDS:  Five minutes we are allowed to speak.  I cannot say much that will advance our acquaintance and our friendship, but I am glad to have the opportunity of meeting you, and of letting you hear my voice.  The General Government desires to have all the parts of the country feel that every part is regarded alike and equal with every other part.  We would like also if we could carry back to our Northern friends the information that local governments of all the Southern States will regard alike and equal the legal rights of all classes and races of people.  I believe that is now the disposition throughout the country, and upon that basis there can be as complete, I think, restoration of the ancient harmony as prevailed when the Declaration of Independence was made and the Union formed.