Ulysses S. Grant, from his first inaugural address.
A great debt has been contracted in securing to us and
our posterity the Union. The payment of this, principal and interest,
as well as the return to a specie basis as soon as it can be
accomplished without material detriment to the debtor class or to the
country at large, must be provided for. To protect the national honor,
every dollar of Government indebtedness should be paid in gold, unless
otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract. Let it be understood
that no repudiator of one farthing of our public debt will be trusted
in public place, and it will go far toward strengthening a credit which
ought to be the best in the world, and will ultimately enable us to
replace the debt with bonds bearing less interest than we now pay. To
this should be added a faithful collection of the revenue, a strict
accountability to the Treasury for every dollar collected, and the
greatest practicable retrenchment in expenditure in every department of
My how they change.