To my fellow Bourbon Democrats and interested Mugwumps,

I write this letter from a charming Queen Anne inn located in Sioux City, Iowa. As I glance out a second-story bay window, I confess to you that I am looking at the future of intra-city public transit: an elevated railway. Local businessman Mr. Arthur Garretson led the charge on this wondrous achievement, which had but one antecedent on Earth. These steam-powered elevated trains may even be converted to electricity by the end of the year, thus creating the world's first electric "El." Would that Chicago had such a system!

This rail system is, to me, the very essence of who we are as an American people. We settle land that others balk at traversing. Where other nations see intractable problems, we see inventive solutions. This optimistic spirit infused itself into the Revolution of our great-grandfathers. I see this spirit roaming ever more freely across this continent with each passing year.

Consider the pioneer response to the Grasshopper Plagues of the 1870s. As you will recall, swarms of Rocky Mountain locusts descended on the frontier. The pests decimated crops on hundreds of thousands of acres. After years of defeat, some folks naturally packed up and moved back East. 

But a small group of those who remained studied the invaders. Their findings revealed the mechanical, gear-based inner workings of the grasshopper. This discovery led directly to the 'Grasshopper Devil,' the famed rusting instrument which brought the pests to the negotiating table. They no longer bother our crops, and we do not disturb their moon temple. Innovation! Progress! Peace!

In a matter of days, we will be at our party's convention in Chicago. While there, I might share a word with the city fathers about this "El" business. I challenge you to share a novel idea with members of your community. Our next great achievement may have already appeared in your mind!

An inventive century beckons to us. We are nearly upon it! Will you help build up American greatness? Will you fashion the 'Grasshopper Devil' of Tomorrow? Will you dare to dream when fainter men falter?

Grover Cleveland