To my fellow Bourbon Democrats and interested Mugwumps,

Tonight, we take leave of the America II to drink in the lights of Charleston. As we refresh the ship at a local helium station, Frances and I have visited with folks along the waterfront. Not many years ago, men, women, and children were sold in bonded servitude at this very place. Now, free black men stroll alongside water-helmeted Atlanteans. What extraordinary progress!

Few men in our time contributed more to this progress than the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher. A dedicated abolitionist, he preached openly and honestly about Christ's love of all men. Rev. Beecher was the first northerner to speak in the South after the war, an occasion overshadowed only by the simultaneous news of President Lincoln's assassination. In 1884, the renowned preacher broke rank with his powerful friends, crossing party lines to endorse my candidacy. His grace toward me meant more than I can say.

In the years since his passing, Rev. Beecher has been remembered mostly for the scandalous accusations leveled against him late in life. His legacy of service to God and country is in danger of being forgotten. As I look out my hotel window to Ft. Sumter, where the war began and where Beecher so bravely spoke at its conclusion, I cannot help but be thankful for all the good he did in his lifetime. To the nation, he was a great champion of the rights of man. To me, he was a loyal friend and a generous lover. I miss him terribly.

The work we undertake to reclaim the White House is not for personal glory or selfish gain. We seek only the betterment of our nation, regardless of how history chooses to remember us. Will you join with us in this cause by contributing today in whatever way you are able? I invite your support -- not for my place in history, but for our future as a people.

Grover Cleveland