President Milburn, Director
General Buchanan, Commissioners, ladies and gentlemen: I am glad
to be again in the city of Buffalo, and exchange greetings with
her people, to whose generous hospitality I am not a stranger, and
with whose good will I have been repeatedly and signally honored.
To-day I have additional satisfaction in meeting and giving welcome
to the foreign representatives assembled here, whose presence and
participation in this Exposition have contributed in so marked a
degree to its interest and success.
To the Commissioners of the Dominion
of Canada and the British colonies, the French colonies, the Republics
of Mexico and of Central and South America, and the Commissioners
of Cuba and Porto Rico, who share with us in this undertaking, we
give the hand of fellowship and felicitate with them upon the 
triumphs of art, science, education and manufacture, which the old
has bequeathed to the new century.
Expositions are the timekeepers of
progress. They record the world’s advancement. They stimulate the
energy, enterprise and intellect of the people, and quicken human
genius. They go into the home. They broaden and brighten the daily
life of the people. They open mighty storehouses of information
to the student. Every Exposition, great or small, has helped to
some onward step. Comparison of ideas is always educational, and
as such instructs the brain and hand of man. Friendly rivalry follows,
which is the spur to industrial improvement, the inspiration to
useful invention and to high endeavor in all departments of human
HIGH GRADE AND NEW PRICES.
It exacts a study of
the wants, comforts and even the whims of the people, and recognizes
the efficacy of high quality and new prices to win their favor.
The quest for trade is an incentive to men of business to devise,
invent, improve and economize in the cost of production. Business
life, whether among ourselves, or with other people, is ever a sharp
struggle for success. It will be none the less so in the future.
Without competition, we would be clinging to the clumsy and antiquated
processes of farming and manufacture and the methods of business
of long ago, and the twentieth would be no further advanced than
the eighteenth century. But though commercial competitors we are,
commercial enemies we must not be.
The Pan-American Exposition has done
its work thoroughly, presenting in its exhibits evidences of the
highest skill, and illustrating the progress of the human family
in the Western Hemisphere. This portion of the earth has no cause
for humiliation for the part it has performed in the march of civilization.
It has not accomplished everything; far from it. It has simply done
its best, and without vanity or boastfulness, and recognizing the
manifold achievements of others, it invites the friendly rivalry
of all the powers in the peaceful pursuits of trade and commerce,
and  will co-operate with
all in advancing the highest and best interests of humanity. The
wisdom and energy of all the nations are none too great for the
world’s work. The success of art, science, industry and invention
is an international asset and a common glory.
After all, how near one to the other
is every part of the world. Modern inventions have brought into
close relation widely separated peoples and made them better acquainted.
Geographic and political divisions will continue to exist, but distances
have been effaced. Swift ships and fast trains are becoming cosmopolitan.
They invade fields which a few years ago were impenetrable. The
world’s products are exchanged as never before, and with increasing
transportation facilities come increasing knowledge and larger trade.
Prices are fixed with mathematical precision by supply and demand.
The world’s selling prices are regulated by market and crop reports.
THE COMMUNITY OF NATIONS.
We travel greater distances
in a shorter space of time than was ever dreamed of by the fathers.
Isolation is no longer possible or desirable. The same important
news is read, though in different languages, the same day in all
Christendom. The telegraph keeps us advised of what is occurring
everywhere, and the press foreshadows, with more or less accuracy,
the plans and purposes of the nations. Market prices of products
and of securities are hourly known in every commercial mart, and
the investments of the people extend beyond their own national boundaries
into the remotest parts of the earth. Vast transactions are conducted
and international exchanges are made by the tick of the cable. Every
event of interest is immediately bulletined.
The quick gathering and transmission
of news like rapid transit, are of recent origin, and are only made
possible by the genius of the inventor and the courage of the investor.
It took a special messenger of the Government, with every facility
known at the time for rapid travel, nineteen days to go from the
city of Washington to New Orleans with a message to General Jackson
 that the war with England
had ceased and a treaty of peace had been signed. How different
We reached General Miles in Porto
Rico by cable, and he was able through the military telegraph to
stop his army on the firing line with the message that the United
States and Spain had signed a protocol suspending hostilities. We
knew almost instantly of the first shots fired at Santiago, and
the subsequent surrender of the Spanish forces was known at Washington
within less than an hour of its consummation. The first ship of
Cervera’s fleet had hardly emerged from that historic harbor when
the fact was flashed to our capital, and the swift destruction that
followed was announced immediately through the wonderful medium
ANXIETY CONCERNING PEKIN.
So accustomed are we
to safe and easy communication with distant lands that its temporary
interruption, even in ordinary times, results in loss and inconvenience.
We shall never forget the days of anxious waiting and awful suspense
when no information was permitted to be sent from Pekin, and the
diplomatic representatives of the nations in China, cut off from
all communication, inside and outside of the walled capital, were
surrounded by an angry and misguided mob, that threatened their
lives; nor the joy that thrilled the world when a single message
from the Government of the United States brought through our minister
the first news of the safety of the besieged diplomats.
At the beginning of the nineteenth
century there was not a mile of steam railroad on the globe. Now
there are enough miles to make its circuit many times. Then there
was not a line of electric telegraph; now we have a vast mileage
traversing all lands and all seas. God and man have linked the nations
together. No nation can longer be indifferent to any other. And
as we are brought more and more in touch with each other the less
occasion is there for misunderstanding, and the stronger the disposition,
when we have differences, to adjust them in the court of arbitration,
which is the noblest forum for the settlement of international disputes.
My fellow citizens, trade statistics
indicate that this country is in a state of unexampled prosperity.
The figures are almost appalling. They show that we are utilizing
our fields and forests and mines, and that we are furnishing profitable
employment to the millions of workingmen throughout the United States,
bringing comfort and happiness to their homes, and making it possible
to lay by savings for old age and disability. That all the people
are participating in this great prosperity is seen in every American
community and shown by the enormous and unprecedented deposits in
our savings banks. Our duty is the care and security of these deposits,
and their safe investment demands the highest integrity and the
best business capacity of those in charge of these depositories
of the people’s earnings.
IMMENSE COMMERCIAL INTERESTS.
We have a vast and
intricate business, built up through years of toil and struggle,
in which every part of the country has its stake, which will not
permit either of neglect, or of undue selfishness. No narrow, sordid
policy will subserve it. The greatest skill and wisdom on the part
of manufacturers and producers will be required to hold and increase
it. Our industrial enterprises, which have grown to such great proportions,
affect the homes and occupations of the people and the welfare of
Our capacity to produce has developed
so enormously and our products have so multiplied that the problem
of more markets requires our urgent and immediate attention. Only
a broad and enlightened policy will keep what we have. No other
policy will get more. In these times of marvelous business energy
and gain we ought to be looking to the future, strengthening the
weak places in our industrial and commercial systems, that we may
be ready for any storm or strain.
By sensible trade arrangements, which
will not interrupt our home production, we shall extend the outlets
for our increasing surplus.
A system which provides a mutual exchange
of commodities  is manifestly
essential to the continued and healthful growth of our export trade.
We must not repose in fancied security that we can forever sell
everything and buy little or nothing. If such a thing were possible,
it would not be best for us or for those with whom we deal. We should
take from our customers such of their products as we can use without
harm to our industries and labor. Reciprocity is the natural outgrowth
of our wonderful industrial development, under the domestic policy
now firmly established. What we produce beyond our domestic consumption
must have a vent abroad. The excess must be relieved through a foreign
outlet, and we should sell everywhere we can and buy wherever the
buying will enlarge our sales and productions, and thereby make
a greater demand for home labor.
The period of exclusiveness is past.
The expansion of our trade and commerce is the pressing problem.
Commercial wars are unprofitable. A policy of good will and friendly
trade relations will prevent reprisals. Reciprocity treaties are
in harmony with the spirit of the times; measures of retaliation
If perchance some of our tariffs are
no longer needed, for revenue or to encourage and protect our industries
at home, why should they not be employed to extend and promote our
STEAMSHIP SERVICE INADEQUATE.
Then, too, we have inadequate
steamship service. New lines of steamers have already been put in
commission between the Pacific coast ports of the United States
and those of the western coasts of Mexico and Central and South
America. These should be followed up with direct steamship lines
between the eastern coast of the United States and South American
ports. One of the needs of the times is direct commercial lines
from our vast fields of production to the fields of consumption
that we have but barely touched. Next in advantage to having the
thing to sell is to have the convenience to carry it to the buyer.
We must encourage our merchant marine. We must have more ships.
They must be under the American flag, built and manned and owned
by Americans. These will not only be profitable in a commercial
 sense; they will be messengers
of peace and amity wherever they go. We must build the isthmian
canal, which will unite the two oceans and give a straight line
of water communication with the western coasts of Central and South
America and Mexico. The construction of a Pacific cable cannot be
In the furtherance of these objects
of national interest and concern you are performing an important
part. This Exposition would have touched the heart of that American
statesman whose mind was ever alert and thought ever constant for
a larger commerce and a truer fraternity of the republics of the
new world. His broad American spirit is felt and manifested here.
He needs no identification to an assemblage of Americans anywhere,
for the name of Blaine is inseparably associated with the Pan-American
movement which finds this practical and substantial expression,
and which we all hope will be firmly advanced by the Pan-American
Congress that assembles this autumn in the capital of Mexico. The
good work will go on. It cannot be stopped. These buildings will
disappear; this creation of art and beauty and industry will perish
from sight, but their influence will remain to
“Make it live beyond its too short living,
With praises and thanksgiving.”
GRANDEUR OF THE EXPOSITION.
Who can tell the new
thoughts that have been awakened, the ambitions fired and the high
achievements that will be wrought through this Exposition? Gentlemen,
let us ever remember that our interest is in concord, not conflict,
and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not
those of war. We hope that all who are represented here may be moved
to higher and nobler effort for their own and the world’s good,
and that out of this city may come, not only greater commerce and
trade for us all, but more essential than these relations of mutual
respect, confidence and friendship which will deepen and endure.
Our earnest prayer is that God will
graciously vouchsafe prosperity, happiness and peace to all our
neighbors, and like blessings to all the peoples and Powers of earth.