ON the whole, the nation hailed the election results with relieved feelings. Among both Democrats and Republicans, the outcome was considered a triumph for conservative principles. In finance, it was obvious that the "Ohio Idea" had been successfully scotched, and the country was safe for the bondholders. As for the South, Grant's election "finally seal(ed) the restoration of the Union" and plans for upbuilding the section were put under way.1 In Tennessee, "Parson" Brownlow, the Radical governor, assured his legislature that the election "means peace; it means that carpetbaggers are not to be molested . . . that capital, coming to us from abroad . . . is not to be spurned. . . ."2 Even such violent Southerners as Wade Hampton and General N. B. Forrest accepted the result "cordially and heartily."3 Throughout the comment ran the refrain of Grant's epigram--"Let us have peace."
But although the election cleared the atmosphere concerning finances and Reconstruction, it served only to raise political problems of considerable moment. During the four months preceding his inauguration, Grant occupied a unique position. Accepted by the Radicals with considerable reluctance, and only because of his supposed powers as a vote-getter, he was singularly free from political entanglements. While Northern bayonets in the South and Democratic bungling in the North carried him to victory, Grant had remained silent as to the policies he would follow and the persons he would consult. As a result, when the country took stock after the election, there was wide diversity of views as to what had been gained. Grant's belated pronouncement for the Radicals, and his refusal to participate in the campaign, had left Republican leaders in doubt concerning his real opinions. No word favoring the Radical program had escaped the secretive general, and the Democratic papers began to claim that the President-elect was a good Democrat. Moreover, they called upon him to select a Cabinet which____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Ulysses S. Grant:Politician. Contributors: William B. Hesseltine - Author. Publisher: Dodd, Mead. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1935. Page number: 132.