William Howard Taft

Toast of President Porfirio Díaz of Mexico and President Taft's Response at the Custom House in Juarez, Mexico

October 16, 1909

President Díaz. Mr. President, Gentlemen: The visit His Excellency, President Taft, to-day makes to the Mexican territory will mark an epoch in die history of Mexico. We have had in our midst very illustrious American visitors, such as General Ulysses S. Grant and the Honorable Messrs. Seward and Root; but never before have we seen in our land the Chief Magistrate of the great American Union. This striking trait of international courtesy which Mexico acknowledges and appreciates to its full value and significance will henceforward establish a happy precedent for the Latin American Republics to cultivate unbroken and cordial relations among themselves, with us and with every nation of the Continent.

Actuated by these sentiments, which are also those of my compatriots, I raise my glass to the everlasting enjoyment by the country of the immortal Washington of all the happiness and prosperity which justly belong to the intelligent industry and eminent civism that are the characteristics of the manly and cultured American people, and to the enduring glory of its heroic founders. I raise my glass to the personal happiness of its illustrious President who has come to honor us with his presence and friendship whose display will make for the cultivation of the common interests which bind the two neighbor nations whose respective elements of life and progress find in their union reciprocal completion and enhancement.

President Taft. Responding as befits the cordiality of this auspicious occasion, I rise to express in the name and on behalf of the people of the United States their profound admiration and high esteem for the great, illustrious and patriotic President of the Republic of Mexico. I also take this occasion to pronounce the hearty sentiments of friendship and accord with which my countrymen regard the Mexican people.

Your Excellency, I have left the United States and set foot in your great and prosperous country to emphasize the more these high sentiments and to evidence the feeling of brotherly neighborhood which exists between our two great nations.

The people of the United States respect and honor the Mexicans, for their patriotic devotion, their will, energy, and for their steady advance in industrial development and moral happiness.

The aims and ideals of our two nations are identical, their sympathy mutual and lasting, and the world has become assured of a vast neutral zone of peace, in which the controlling aspiration of either nation is individual human happiness.

I drink to my friend, the President of this great Republic, to his continued long life and happiness, and to the never-ending bond of mutual sympathy between Mexico and the United States.

William Howard Taft, Toast of President Porfirio Díaz of Mexico and President Taft's Response at the Custom House in Juarez, Mexico Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/365219

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