Before the American Red Cross
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am here this afternoon with so severe a cold in my head that even in this small room I am afraid it will not be easy for you to hear what I say, but I cannot deny myself the pleasure of saying how much gratification it gives me to be officially connected with the Red Cross Society. In common with all Americans who have been observant of its work, I am one of the very great admirers not only of the work done but of the people who have done it and the way in which it has been done. I esteem it an honor to be connected with the Society. During the months of the spring of the year, as you know, I had occasion to observe at somewhat short range the work of the society in dealing with most distressed conditions in the regions of the country which were visited by floods. Through the Secretary of War, who was in close cooperation with the officers of this society, I know how admirably they responded to the call not only, but with how practiced a hand they responded, -- how clearly the society understood its duty and what admirable instrumentalities it had through which to act. I, therefore, feel that already I have had an experience in dealing with the society which I hope will not be repeated, but which, nevertheless, has given me an opportunity to speak my admiration from direct contact.
I am precluded by physical reasons from attempting any kind of an address but shall take pleasure in presiding at what is to follow.