July 4, 1878
Wilkesbarre, PA

Celebration following day, July 4, 1878 at Wilkesbarre [Pa.];

President Hayes:

My friends, if it were at all possible for my voice to reach any considerable portion of this grand gathering, I would gladly gratify your desire to hear me speak. I desire to express my gratitude to this vast assemblage of the inhabitants of Wyoming, for the splendid reception we have received.

I understand it however to mean not a personal compliment to any one individual, but that you, by your actions honor the Nation and the flag of liberty; in your respect for the President, forgetting all distinctions and parties, and if need be, to stand up for our flag as your fathers did one hundred years ago.

Yours is not an obscure portion of the great National Commonwealth. Its story is known throughout the length and breadth of this broad land; yes, where ever the English language is spoken, and from my earliest boyhood I have had a desire to look upon a valley so renowned in song and story, and so rich in the material elements that go to strengthen the nation both in peace and war. I am not surprised that you are proud of this noble inheritance, purchased by the blood and suffering of your ancestors, I am glad that I am here to unite with you in showing honor to the memory of the brave men of one hundred years ago, and to rejoice with you, on this, the day of the Nation, whose destinies, I for a brief space am called upon to administer.