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Remarks to the Notification Committee of the Republican National Convention Accepting the Presidential Nomination in Indianapolis, Indiana

July 04, 1888

Mr Chairman and Gentlemen of the Committee—The official notice which you have brought of the nomination conferred upon me by the Republican National Convention recently in session at Chicago excites emotions of a profound, though of a somewhat conflicting, character. That after full deliberation and free consultation the representatives of the Republican party of the United States should have concluded that the great principles enunciated in the platform adopted by the convention could be in some measure safely confided to my care is an honor of which I am deeply sensible and for which I am very grateful. I do not assume or believe that this choice implies that the convention found in me any pre eminent fitness or exceptional fidelity to the principles of government to which we are mutually pledged My satisfaction with the result would be altogether spoiled if that result had been reached by any unworthy methods or by a disparagement of the more eminent men who divided with me the suffrages of the convention. I accept the nomination with so deep a sense of the dignity of the office and of the gravity of its duties and the responsibilities as altogether to exclude any feeling of exultation or pride. The principles of government and the practices in administration upon which issues are now fortunately so clearly made are so important in their relations to the national and to individual prosperity that we may expect an unusual popular interest in the campaign. Relying wholly upon the considerate judgment of our fellow-citizens and the gracious favor of God, we will confidently submit our cause to the arbitrament of a free ballot.

The day you have chosen for this visit suggests no thoughts that are not in harmony with the occasion. The Republican party has walked in the light of the Declaration of Independence. It has lifted the shaft of patriotism upon the foundation laid at Bunker Hill. It has made the more perfect union secure by making all men free. Washington and Lincoln, Yorktown and Appomattox, the Declaration of Independence and the Proclamation of Emancipation are naturally and worthily associated in our thoughts to-day.

As soon as may be possible I shall by letter communicate to your chairman a more formal acceptance of the nomination, but it may be proper for me now to say that I have already examined the platform with some care, and that its declarations, to some of which your chairman has alluded, are in harmony with my views. It gives me pleasure, gentlemen, to receive you in my home and to thank you for the cordial manner in which you have conveyed your official message.

Benjamin Harrison, Remarks to the Notification Committee of the Republican National Convention Accepting the Presidential Nomination in Indianapolis, Indiana Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project