November 2, 1882

Cincinnati, Ohio


I am glad to have this opportunity to meet so many representatives of the business interests of Cincinnati.  It is always agreeable when you meet men from whom you have been separated, to be able honestly to congratulate them as you meet them upon their good health, their condition, and their prosperity.  And certainly no one acquainted with Cincinnati, and with the condition and business interests of Cincinnati, can doubt that with the utmost sincerity one can rise before you and congratulate you upon your present condition and upon your future prospects.  It has happened to me, as a matter of course, to have some opportunity to know the condition of the business men and business interests of Cincinnati for thirty or thirty-five years.  And if what I see and hear can learn in a hasty visit here gives to me anything like a correct presentation of your condition, it is perfectly true that at no time in that thirty or thirty-five years has the condition of Cincinnati business men, and the prospects of Cincinnati and her business been better than they are to-day.  It so happens that Cincinnati is exceedingly happy in this: That just at the point of time when the divisions that formerly existed between the South and North are disappearing under the healing influences of time, and under wise and better methods and measures of administration, just at the time when we are coming to better know each other, when the mineral resources and all description of resources of that southern country are better known and better developed-that just at this time Cincinnati, by means of the Southern Railroad, has opened to her the vast and important territory.


And therefore it is my friends, that I can heartily congratulate you.  I thank you for the kindness of inviting me here to see you again.  I thank you for your kind attention, and wish you good speed and God speed in all your business labors, understanding that at last, let religion, let education, let all those influences that make men better be given their full credit.  Yet it must be admitted that the civilization of the world has been largely promoted simply by commercial and business efforts.  Though each man labors under the mental principle that the pocket nerve is the nerve, and self-interest is the interest; yet after all, laboring in that way, you are doing your share for the general welfare and the general civilization of our country and of the world.