To my fellow Bourbon Democrats and interested Mugwumps,
I write to you this day regarding a matter of personal and national interest. For many months, my name has been bandied about as a candidate for the highest office in the land. Rumor and innuendo have spread throughout our coalition, even (I'm told) as far as the Arizona territory. Mr. Hill, as you are no doubt aware, has struggled to solidify a sufficient base of support to pose a viable challenge to President Harrison. Under the circumstances, it is only natural that partisans would begin wondering about my willingness to return to the White House.
When word of this speculation came to my attention, I was naturally humbled and flattered. I have already been accorded the prestige of serving as your president, a title bestowed on only a handful of men in our nation's brief history. While I was honored to serve, I also learned that the burden of leadership weighs firmly upon a man. Heavy, indeed, hangs the head that wears the crown.
These past three years since Frances and I left Washington have offered sorely needed respite. Here in Manhattan, Frances gave birth to our dear Ruth. Meanwhile, I have maintained a small office at Bangs, Stetson, Tracy, and MacVeigh. This modest practice has afforded me the opportunity to continue serving the public good while attending to my family. Life as a private citizen has brought me sweetness and consolation. I am loathe to leave it.
Nevertheless, I confess to you that these tumultuous times have aroused within me a great dread. I know that many of you share my concern. Mr. Harrison came to office with lavish promises, but three years of his administration have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Free Silver is the path to ruin for our fragile country. We are not yet thirty years from the preservation of our Union, yet President Harrison threatens to rend us asunder with financial madness. That Mr. Hill shares the president's economic philosophy unnerves me all the more.
I believe that we must have a Gold Standard if our nation is to thrive in the coming century. I also firmly believe that the American people deserve a legitimate choice among rival philosophies at the ballot box. With no new advocate for gold on the horizon, an old advocate must return. I therefore formally announce my intention to run for my party's nomination for the office of President of these United States.
I recognize that no man has ever returned to the Presidency after his departure from Washington. Our path to victory has no precedent, and my detractors will undoubtedly say that I am uncooth to make the attempt. But if men only attempted that which had already been achieved, then our ancestors would never have sailed to these shores to found this blessed Union. In honor of their innovative spirit, I invite your support as I seek to become our nation's first "nonconsecutive executive."