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Source:
Pioneer Period and Pioneer People of Fairfield Co., Ohio.
by C. M. L. Wiseman
Publ. F. J. Heer Printing Co., Columbus, O.  1901

Transcribed by Sharon Wick

PIONEER FAMILIES:

THE LAST SPEECH OF JAMES G. BLAINE IN LANCASTER, O.
WHEN A CANDIDATE FOR THE PRESIDENCY IN 1884.  AN ELOQUENT SPEECH RECALLING HIS BOYHOOD DAYS THERE AND THE BOYS IT HAS SENT FORTH TO FAME AND HONOR.
Pg. 79

     At the public reception given him on Saturday night, Oct. 12, in Lancaster, and in response to a serenade by a Republican clubs of the town, Mr. Blaine delivered the following speech:

     MY FRIENDS:  I confess that in thsi place and at this time I hardly feel disposed to make any allusion to public affairs.  the recollections that rush upon me as I stand here carry me back through many yeas, to a time before most of you were born.  In 1840 I was a schoolboy in this town, attending the school of a Mr. William Lyons, a cultivated English gentleman (younger brother of the Lord Lyons and uncle.  I believe, of the British Minister of Washington), who taught with great success the youth of this vicinity.
     I known not whether he be living, but if he is I beg to make my acknowledgments to him for his efficiency and excellence as an instructor.
     As I look upon your faces I am carried back to those days, to Lancaster as it then was.  In that row of dwellings, on the opposite side of the street, in one of which I am now a guest, lived at that time the first three lawyers of Ohio, Thomas Ewing, Henry Stanbery and Hocking Hunter.  I vividly recall their persons and their peculiarities.  Shortly before that time there had come home from West Point a tall and very slender young man, straight as an arrow, with a sharp face, and a full suit of red hair.  His name was Sherman, and he had in his pocket an order to join the army in Florida.  You have heard of him since [Laughter and cheers.]  You have heard of him

Page 80 -
and he will be heard of as long as the march through Georgia holds its place in history.  He will be heard of as long as lofty character and military genius are esteemed among men.  [Renewed cheering.]
     About the same time, from a country town to the southwest of this place, there was sent to West Point a sturdy strong-headed youth, who also was heard of in the war, and whose fame has since encircled the globe.  His name in Ulysses S. Grant. [Great cheering.]  Right in the adjoining county of Perry there lived a short, stout, stout boy, who has since become known to the world as Phil Sheridan. [Three cheers Sheridan.]  Combative, yet gentle in nature, he achieved a reputation not unlike that which they obtained in the Napoleonic wars.  So that Ohio was then preparing military leaders for great contingencies and for unforeseen crises.  I remember another youth of this town, slender, tall, stately, who had just left school, and was a civil engineer on the Muskingum River improvements.  You have since heard of him.  His name is John Sherman. [Cheers.]  At that time this town seemed to my boyish vision to be the center of the universe, and my idea was that the world was under deep obligations for being permitted to revolve around Lancaster.  [Laughter and cheers.]
     I recall these scenes, I recall my early attachment and love for this town, and for the near kindred and the near friends that were in it, some of whom were here when Arthur St. Clair was Governor of the Northwest Territory, and some of whom are here still; and when I think of those days, and of the deep attachments I inherited and have since maintained, I feel more like dwelling upon old stories and old scenes than talking about political contests.  [Hurrah for Blaine.]  But after all these things are gone by for more than forty years, and a new generation meets, in a new era and under new responsibilities, we meet upon the eve of an important election, and the people of Ohio, as is their wont, and has been there fortune, are placed in the vanguard of the fight.  I am satisfied that on Tuesday next you will show, as you have shown in preceding presidential elections, that Ohio is fit to be entrusted with the responsibility of leadership in great national contests.  [Great cheering]  I do not stop to argue any question; the time for argument has passed.

Page 81 -
     I do not stop even to appeal to you; appeal has been made.  I stop only to remind you that if you do your duty on Tuesday next as becomes men of your lineage and your inheritance, the Republican administration of this Government will be continued; [Cheers] the protective tariff will be upheld; [Great cheering] the patriotism and the fruits of the civil struggle will be maintained, and the Government of the Union, preserved by the loyalty of the Union, will continue to be administered by the loyalty of the Union, will continue to the administered in loyalty to the Union.  Good night. [Prolonged cheering.]
     Mr. Blaine spent a quiet Sunday as a guest of his cousin, Honorable P. B. Ewing.  In the forenoon he attended Presbyterian service; and the afternoon he devoted to visiting, in company with Judge Ewing, old relatives and friends, of whom he has a large number in this vicinity.

 

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