August 18, 1877

East Brattleboro, Vermont


My fellow citizens, before I leave you I desire to say what I have hitherto omitted, and if you will kindly permit me to speak two or three sentences, I shall be glad to receive your attention. 


No language is too warm or too strong to express my gratitude for the cordial reception which you have given me and my family in Brattleboro.  My family, or rather the Hayes family, came to Brattleboro about 100 years ago; I do not know the exact date.  My grandfather was a blacksmith, the only one here, I think, when he came, and the people welcomed him cordially, as they always do so important a personage as the village blacksmith in a newly settled community.  Every one of the Hayes family, scattered as we are throughout the country, have most agreeable recollections of Brattleboro.  I thank you cordially for what you have done, for there are few dearer spots to me than this.


My father left here 60 years ago next month, and moved to Ohio, where I was born, but my older brother and sister were born here.  When a boy of 11 years, forty-three years ago, I first came to this place on a visit to my uncle John, who then lived in this village.  During my visit I walked over the very road by whih I rode this morning, and from the very house where I slept last night.  The place was beautiful then.  There have been many changes since, but the beauty continues and has been enhanced.  I hope the beauty and prosperity of Brattleboro will continue to increase, and I hope that again and often I shall come hither to meet you.  But I am extending my remarks beyond two or three sentences, and so must close by again thanking you for the hearty welcome you have given me.