At the Galena Grant Anniversary

Addressees 235

Address at the Grant Anniversary at Galena, Ill., April 27,1900


Fellow Citizens:

In the long run every great nation instinctively recognizes the men who peculiarly and preeminently represent its own type of greatness. Here in our country we have had many public men of the first rank—soldiers, orators, constructive statesmen and popular leaders. We have even had great philosophers who were also leaders of popular thought. Each one of these men has had his own group of devoted followers, and some of them have at times swayed the nation with a power such as the foremost of all hardly wielded. Yet as the generations slip away, as the dust of conflict settles, and as through the clearing air we look back with keener wisdom into the nation's past, mightiest among the mighty dead loom the three great figures of Washington, Lincoln and Grant. There are great men also in the second rank; for in my gallery of merely national heroes, Franklin and Hamilton, Jefferson and Jackson would surely have their place. But these three greatest men have taken their place among the great men of all nations, the great men of all time. They stood supreme in the two great crises of our history, on the two great occasions when we stood in the van of all humanity and struck the most effective blows that have ever been struck for the cause of human freedom under the law; for that spirit of orderly liberty which must stand at the base of every wise movement to secure to each man his rights, and to guard each from being wronged by his fellows. Washington fought in the earlier struggle, and it was his good fortune to win the highest renown alike as

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