When requested to select a toast to which I would reply this evening, my answer was, you make the choice and I will try to say something to back it up. In fact having, during my seven terms of the Mayoralty, replied to so many toasts, I felt equal to talking on almost any subject the committee would suggest. As it has happened, I could not have chosen a better subject than "illumination". It is most appropriate for a Baltimore festival. For this monumental city, the first to erect a column to Christopher Columbus and to George Washington, the first to which [Samuel F. B.] Morse ran a telegraph from the Capitol, to which Peter Cooper ran the first locomotive engine from Ellicott City, and by the way was beaten by [the] Stockton and Stokes old stage coach gray horse, was the first to use gas for illuminating purposes. This it did in 1876 in what was known as Peale's Museum situated on Holiday Street, a building afterward used as the City Hall, and now as the Construction Department of the Baltimore City water works.
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