Address by the Late President McKinley at the Pan American Exposition

Performed by Harry Spencer
Recorded 1904

(heavily abridged)

My fellow citizens, trade statistics indicate that this country is in a state of unexampled prosperity. The figures show that we are furnishing profitable employment to the millions of workingmen throughout the United States

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.

By sensible trade arrangements which will not interrupt our home production we shall extend the outlets for our increasing surplus.

What we produce beyond our domestic consumption must have a vent abroad.

The expansion of our trade and commerce is the pressing problem.

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 wherever they go.

Reciprocity treaties are in harmony with the spirit of the times. 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 longer postponed.

In the furthering of these objects of national interest and concern you are performing an important part. 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 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.