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President McKinley at Monterey

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Joined: 27 Nov 2007
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Location: Monterey County, California

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:17 pm    Post subject: President McKinley at Monterey Reply with quote

The special train consisting of an engine and seven cars, upon which the President and his party made the trip to this coast, is now side-tracked at Hotel Del Monte.

The train is composed of the combination baggage and smoking car Atlantic, the dining car, St. James, two compartment cars, the Omena and the Diana, two twelve-section drawing-room sleepers, the Pelion and the Charmion, and the private car, Olympia, which is occupied by President and Mrs. McKinley.

It is one of the finest trains ever sent out upon the track. The Olympia is seventy feet long and has five private rooms and one sofa section. Two of the rooms contain brass beds, large mirrors and wardrobes. At the rear of the car is the dining and observation car. It is sixteen feet long and contains an extension table and two cabinets. The private rooms are finished in maple, mahogany and koko, and the kitchen in English oak.

The compartment cars, in which the members of the cabinet, their wives and guests are accommodated, are finished in vermilion, elaborately carved. The rooms are painted in ivory and gold. The ceilings are beautifully decorated and the upholstery and draperies are in harmony with the general color scheme. The smoking car is fitted up with a barber shop, bathroom, writing cabinets and library.

The members of the party besides the President and Mrs. McKinley are Private Secretary Cortelyou, Secretary of State John Hay, Secretary of the Treasury Lyman J. Gage, Secretary of War Elihu Root, Attorney General Knox, Postmaster General Emory Smith, Secretary of the Navy John D. Long, Secretary of the Interior Ethan A. Hitchcock, Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson, Senators Joseph Benson Foraker, Marcus A. Hanna; Representatives Wm. B. Shattuck, Jacob H. Bromwell, Robert N. Nevins, Robert B. Gordon, John S. Snook, Charles Q. Hilderbrand, Thomas S. Kyle, Wm. R. Morgan, Charles Grosvenor, Emmett Thompson, James A. Norton, C. E. Skiles, Henry C. Van Voorhees, Joseph J. Gill, John W. Cassingham, Robert W. Taylor, Charles Dick, Jacob A. Beidler, Theo. E. Burton.

The Presidential party's visit to Monterey was during the G. A. R. Encampment of 1901 and the following is the speech delivered by President McKinley on that occasion:

"I am greatly pleased to meet with the Civil War veterans and my comrades of the Grand Army of the Republic. The shell that has exploded is safer than when exploded. It is a good deal more comfortable to talk about the war than it was to take part in war very much safer. There is not nearly so much peril in it. And the events of war lose nothing by time; we rarely ever understand the story of our achievements. We fight our battles o'er, but we fight them at long distance, and none of our heroic adventures are forgotten. That is to my comrades of the war.

"The Nation you served so well owes you a debt of gratitude which it can never repay. You saved the jewel of freedom for the family of nations. You preserved with sword and by your sacrifices the freest government on earth. The South went to war rather than that the Union should live. The North engaged in the war rather than see the Union perish, and you triumphed. We consider less, great and appalling as it was, what the war cost us in life and treasure when we see what the war brought us in liberty, equality and opportunity. Americans never surrender but to Americans. The men who yielded after four and a half years of struggle, who were blood of our blood, finally yielded to their own fellow-citizens, and we are today a Nation reunited. I have passed, within the last ten days, over the track of many of the battlefields on which you fought. I have been greeted by the men whom you fought. I have seen the beautiful sight, beautiful to every lover of his country, of the members of the Grand Army of the Republic walking arm in arm with the Confederate Veterans, bearing the American flag and given welcome and each vying with the other in the warmpth of that welcome to the President of the United States, and each demonstrating in friendly rivalry their devotion to the GovČernment and to the flag that shelters us all.

"And so you are to be congratulated today upon what you did, upon what you suffered, upon what you sacrificed, that liberty and union might not perish. It cost a great deal. More than 500,000 lives were given up as a sacrifice for the preservation of the Union. Some things are so precious and so good that nations which get them pay only with blood. And what blood this Union has cost us! But what a Union it is now! Washington, in addressing his troops before one of his battles, said to them: 'Liberty, property and life and honor are all at stake; upon your courage and conduct rest the hopes of our bleeding and insulted country; our wives, children and parents expect safety from us only, and they have every reason to believe that heaven will crown with success so just a cause.'

"Their cause was crowned with success and the Union was formed. In 1864 Mr. Lincoln at Gettysburg said: Tour score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.'

"That issue was settled and the principals of free government live, and they are brighter and more glorious than they have ever been before, and all due to the courage and valor and sacrifices of the veterans of the war.

"I suppose in this Grand Army Encampment of California and Nevada the soldiery of practically every state in the Union are represented. You were not all Californians in 1862. You came from the old states of the East, the Central States, the Northwestern States, some of you from the Southern States. All are Californians now, but when you enlisted you represented other states, and here you are today, comrades in feeling, in heart, in sympathy; comrades having the right to rejoice that liberty was saved to mankind and to civilization. I congratulate you. I cannot tell what pleasure it gives me to be with you today. I have been welcomed by all of my fellow-countrymen, but this is the first time in my long journey that I have felt the warm heart touch of so many of the men with whom I kept step from '61 to '65. And having saved the Union, it is the duty of all to keep it saved. We will not always be here, but the sons of the veterans on both sides of our war will be here, and their sons will follow, and this priceless heritage will be transmitted to our latest generation. Indeed, what you won, and what we mean to preserve, belongs to civilization and to the ages."

Secretary Hay said: "I must only say a word, for on an occasion like this an old soldier never knows when to stop. My own experience had nothing remarkable in it. I went where I was sent and did what I was told to do. I had no special hardship or privation, and won no glory. I have been embarrassed sometimes when my boys asked me how many rebels I killed. I generally got out of it by saying that I killed as many as they did of me.

"It is my pride to say that of all the veteran soldiers of many lands that I have seen in travels about the world, there were none that fought with more desperate courage, none that behaved with greater magnanimity to the foe, and none that after the war became as splendid citizens as the soldiers of the United States."

The invitation presented to President McKinley to attend the banquet was enameled upon a large abalone shell, and upon its polished surface, also appeared the badge of the G. A. R. in colors.
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