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SPEECH IN THE COLISEUM, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, OCTOBER 14, 1898.
"My Fellow Citizens:-My former visits to St. Louis are full of pleasant memories. My present one I shall never forget. It has warmed my heart and given me encouragement for greater effort to administer the trust which I hold for my country. My first visit was in 1888, and then again in 1892, both of which afforded me an opportunity of becoming acquainted with your people, and of observing the substantial character of your enterprising city. I omitted my quadrennial visit in 1896 for reasons which were obvious to you, and have always been thankful that my absence seemed to have created no prejudice in your minds. (Laughter and applause.]
“I remember, on the occasion of a former visit, in company with Governor Francis and other citizens, to have witnessed the assembled pupils of the schools of the city at your great fair. It was an inspiring sight, and it has never been effaced from my recollection. As I looked into the thousands of young faces of the boys and the girls, preparing themselves for citizenship, I had my faith confirmed in the stability of our institutions. [Applause.] I saw them to-day as I drove about your city with the flag in their hands, and heard their voices ringing with the song we love
“My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty.' To the youth of the country trained in the schools, which happily are opened to all, must we look to carry forward the fabric of government. It is fortunate for us that our republic appeals to the best and noblest aspirations of its citizens, and makes all things possible to the worthy and industrious youth.
“The personal interest and participation of our citizenship in the conduct of the government make its condition always absorbing and interesting.
“It must be a matter of great gratification to the people of the United States to know that the national credit was never better than now, while the national name was never dearer to us, and never more respected by others the world over. For the first time in the country's history the government has sold a 3 per cent bond, every dollar of which was taken at par. This bond is now at a premium of 5 cents on the dollar; and the profit has gone to the people. [Applause.] The loan was a popular one, and it has been a source of much satisfaction that the people, with their surplus savings, were able to buy the bonds. It is an interesting fact that while we offered two hundred millions of bonds for sale, over fourteen hundred millions were subscribed
by the people of the country, and by the terms of sale no one was able to receive bonds in excess of $5,000. [Applause.]
"It is not without significance, too, that the government has not been required, since 1896, to borrow any money for its current obligations until the war with Spain, while its available balance, October 1, 1898, was upward of three hundred and seven million, of which sum over two hundred and forty-three millions were in gold. Nothing more impressed the nations of the world than the appropriation of a large national defense fund which the treasury was able to pay from its balance, without resort to a loan. While the credit and finance of the government have improved, the business conditions of the people have also happily improved. We are more cheerful, more happy, more contented. Both government and citizens have shared in the general prosperity. The circulation of the country on the ist of July, 1898, was larger than it had ever been before in our history. It is not so large to-day as then, but the reason for it is that the people put a part of that circulation in the treasury to meet the government bonds which they hold in their hands.
“The people have borne the additional taxation made necessary by the war with the same degree of patriotism that characterized the soldiers who enlisted to fight the country's battles. [Applause.) We have not only prospered in every material sense, but we have established a sentiment of good feeling and a spirit of brotherhood such as the nation has not enjoyed since the earlier years of its history. My countrymen, not since the beginning of the agitation of the question of slavery has there been such a common bond in name and purpose, such genuine affection, such a unity of the sections, such obligation of party and geographical divisions. National pride has been again enthroned; national patriotism has been restored; the national Union cemented closer and stronger; the love for the old flag enshrined in all hearts. North and South have mingled their best blood in a common cause, and to-day rejoice in a common victory. [Great applause.} Happily for the nation to-day, they follow the same glorious banner, together fighting and dying under its sacred folds for American honor and for the humanity of the race. [Loud and prolonged applause.]
“We must guard this restored Union with zealous and sacred care, and, while awaiting the settlements of the war and meeting the problems which will follow, we must stand as Americans, not in the spirit of party, and unite in a common effort for that which will give to the nation its widest influence in the sphere of activity and usefulness to which the war has assigned it. My fellow citizens, let nothing distract us; let no discordant voice intrude to embarrass us in the solution of the mighty problems which involve such vast consequences to our
selves and posterity. Let us remember that God bestows supreme opportunity upon no nation which is not ready to respond to the call of supreme duty. [Prolonged applause.]
SPEECH AT FIRST REGIMENT ARMORY, CHICAGO, BEFORE THE ALLIED
ORGANIZATIONS OF RAILROAD EMPLOYEES, OCTOBER 20, 1898.
"Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen:-I count myself fortunate to have the privilege of meeting with the allied railroad organizations assembled in this great metropolis. I have had in the last ten days very many most interesting and pleasant experiences, as I have journeyed through the country; but I assure you that none of them has given me greater pleasure than to meet the men and the women connected with the operation of the great railroads of the country. It is fortunate, too, that this body of representative men and women should have assembled in this city at a time when the people are celebrating the suspension of hostilities, and their desire for an honorable and just and triumphant peace. The railroad men of the country have always been for the country; the railroad men of the country have always been for the flag of the country; and in every crisis of our national history, in war or in peace, the men from your great organizations have been loyal and faithful to every duty and obligation. [Applause.]
"Yours is at once a profession of great risk and of great responsibility. I know of no occupation in the field of human endeavor that carries with it graver obligations and higher responsibilities than that of the men who sit about me to-day. You transport the commerce of the country; you carry its rich treasures from the Atlantic to the Pacific; and you carry daily and hourly the freightage of humanity that trust you, trust your integrity, your intelligence, your fidelity, for the safety of their lives and of their loved ones. And I congratulate the country that in this system, so interwoven with the everyday life of the citizen and the republic, we have men of such splendid character and ability and intelligence.
“I bring to you to-day not only my good will, but the good will and respect of seventy-five millions of American citizens. Your work is ever before a critical public. You go in and out every day before your countrymen, and you have earned from them deserved and unstinted praise for your fidelity to the great interests of the people whom you serve and of the roads which you operate.
"The virtue of the people lies at the foundation of the republic. The power of the republic is in the American fireside. The virtue that comes out from the holy altar of home is the most priceless gift this nation has; and when the judgments of the people are spoken through the homes of the people, they command the congress and the executive, and at last crystallize into public law.
"I thank you, my fellow citizens, for your cordial greeting, and I congratulate you upon the evidences of returning prosperity everywhere to be seen. The figures read by your chairman represent the growth of the great railroad system of the country. What you want, what we all want, is business prosperity. When you have that you have something to do. When you have it not you are idle.
“There are few ‘empties' now on the side tracks, and so there are few railroad men unemployed. The more you use the freight car the oftener you see the pay car. [Applause.]
"I am glad to observe the First Illinois here with you to-day. That gallant regiment, made up of the volunteers from the homes of Chicago, took their lives into their hands and went to Santiago to fight the battles of liberty for an oppressed people. I am glad to have this opportunity to greet them, to congratulate and to thank them in the name of the American people. [Great applause.]
“And now, having said this much, I bid you know that I will carry from this place, from this audience, from these warm-hearted men and women, one of the pleasantest memories of my long trip through the West.” [Loud and prolonged cheering.]
SPEECH AT THE AUDITORIUM, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, DECEMBER 15, 1898.
“Governor Candler, President Hemphill, Ladies and Gentlemen:I cannot withhold from this people my profound thanks for their hearty reception and the good will which they have shown me everywhere and in every way since I have been their guest. I thank them for the opportunity which this occasion gives me of meeting them, and for the pleasure it affords me to participate with them in honoring the army and the navy, to whose achievements we are indebted for one of the most brilliant chapters of American history.
"Other parts of the country have had their public thanksgivings and jubilees in honor of the historic events of the past year, but nowhere has there been greater rejoicing than among the people here, the gathered representatives of the South. I congratulate them upon their accurate observation of events, which enabled them to fix a date which insured them the privilege of being the first to celebrate the signing of the treaty of peace by the American and Spanish commissioners. Under hostile fire on a foreign soil, fighting in a common cause, the memory of old disagreements has faded into history. From
camp and campaign there comes the magic healing which has closed ancient wounds and effaced their scars. For this result every American patriot will forever rejoice. It is no small indemnity for the cost of the war.
“This government has proved itself invincible in the recent war, and out of it has come a nation which will remain indivisible forevermore. [Applause.] No worthier contributions have been made in patriotism and in men than by the people of these Southern states. When at last the opportunity came they were eager to meet it, and with promptness responded to the call of country. Intrusted with the able leadership of men dear to them, who had marched with their fathers under another flag, now fighting under the old flag again, they have gloriously helped to defend its spotless folds, and added new luster to its shining stars. That flag has been planted in two hemispheres, and there it remains the symbol of liberty and law, of peace and progress. [Great applause.] Who will withdraw from the people over whom it floats its protecting folds ? Who will haul it down? Answer me, ye men of the South, who is there in Dixie who will haul it down? [Tremendous applause.]
“The victory we celebrate is not that of a ruler, a president, or a congress, but of the people. [Applause.] The army whose valor we admire, and the navy whose achievements we applaud, were not assembled by draft or conscription, but from voluntary enlistment. The heroes came from civil as well as military life. Trained and untrained soldiers wrought our triumphs.
“The peace we have won is not a selfish truce of arms, but one whose conditions presage good to humanity. The domains secured under the treaty yet to be acted upon by the senate came to us not as the result of a crusade or conquest, but as the reward of temperate, faithful, and fearless response to the call of conscience, which could not be disregarded by a liberty-loving and Christian people.
"We have so borne ourselves in the conflict and in our intercourse with the powers of the world as to escape complaint or complication, and give universal confidence in our high purpose and unselfish sacrifices for struggling peoples. The task is not fulfilled. Indeed, it is only just begun. The most serious work is still before us, and every energy of heart and mind must be bent, and the impulses of partisanship subordinated, to its faithful execution. This is the time for earnest, not faint, hearts.
“ 'New occasions teach new duties.' To this nation and to every nation there come formative periods in its life and history. New conditions can be met only by new methods. Meeting these conditions