Soldiers, I intend to stay here, not only as long as a man remains, but as long as a piece of a man is left.
In no case can I permit myself to be a candidate of any party or yield myself to any party schemes.
Economy I consider a virtue & should be practiced by all; there is certainly no way in which money can be laid out than in the education of children.
The idea that I should become president seems to me too visionary to require a serious answer. It has never entered my head, nor is it likely to enter the head of any other person.
The appointing power vested in the president imposes delicate and onerous duties. So far as it is possible to be informed, I shall make honesty, capacity, and fidelity indispensable prerequisites to the disposal of office, and the absence of either of these qualities shall be deemed sufficient cause for removal.
For more than a quarter of a century on active duty, my house has been my tent, and my home the battlefield.
As American freemen, we cannot but sympathize in all efforts to extend the blessings of civil and political liberty, but at the same time, we are warned by the admonitions of history and the voice of our own beloved Washington to abstain from entangling alliances with foreign nations.
I cannot in any case permit myself to be brought before the people, exclusively, by any of the political parties that now so unfortunately divide our country, as their candidate for office.
Never judge a stranger by his clothes.
My wife was as much of a soldier as I was.
My duty to the army and to the republic whose battles we were waging forbade me assuming a position of seeming hostility to any portion of the brave men under my command.
I will not say I would not serve if the good people were imprudent enough to elect me.
If elected, I would not be the mere president of a party – I would endeavor to act independent of party domination and should feel bound to administer the government untrammeled by party schemes.
It would be judicious to act with magnanimity towards a prostrate foe.
The confidence and respect shown by my countrymen in calling me to be the Chief Magistrate of a Republic holding a high rank among the nations of the earth have inspired me with feelings of the most profound gratitude.
I have never yet exercised the privilege of voting, but had I been called upon at the last presidential election to do so, I should most certainly have cast my vote for Mr. Clay.
I congratulate you, my fellow-citizens, upon the high state of prosperity to which the goodness of Divine Providence has conducted our common country.
I hope some compromise will be entered into between the two parties, slavery & antislavery, which will have the effect of allaying violent passions on both sides.