Mr. Bayard to Mr. Olney.

Dear Mr. Secretary: The closing of the mail on Saturday last at 2 p.m. did not allow me time, after deciphering your telegram relating to the remarks made by me in August last on the occasion of the distribution of prizes at the grammar school in Boston, Lincolnshire, to make search at my residence for copies of the local newspapers in which the proceedings were reported.

On returning home I looked them up, and have now the honor to inclose herewith copies1 (in duplicate) of the Boston Independent and Lincolnshire Advertiser, and the Boston Guardian and Lincolnshire Independent, both published August 10, 1895, and each containing what purports to be a full report of the proceedings, and it is the only form in which they have ever been published, so far as I am informed.

Sundry discrepancies are obvious in these two reports, and they are such as are usually incidental under similar circumstances; but as to the remarks attributed to me, I spoke without premeditation, without notes, unaware of a reporter’s presence, and have no means except recollection (now somewhat vague) to enable me to correct either report. Therefore, I shall not now essay it, although it is obvious the reporters failed to catch my words (sometimes in Latin) and confused them.

But both reports are sufficiently full and accurate to describe the purpose of my visit and general nature and intent of my remarks.

I also inclose herewith two additional copies of the address I made before the Philosophical Institution of Edinburgh on November 7 last.

If it is desired to gather the actual purport and meaning of any statement, it would appear to be necessary that phrases should not be separated from the context, but that all the parts should be considered in their relation to each other; and as the honorable House of Representatives have in the grave exercise of their public duty instituted inquiry into what has been said and done by me on the occasions referred to, including the circumstances attendant, it may not be unreasonable for me to express the hope that, in simple justice, a full publication of the remarks undergoing criticism may accompany the expression of any judgment they may arrive at in the premises.

This I respectfully await, and am,

Most obediently, yours,

T. F. Bayard.
  1. Not reprinted.