History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the McKinley-Bryan Campaign of 1896 - Vol. 7

By James Ford Rhodes | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXIX
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

GRANT needed all the glory he could get out of the Treaty of Washington and the Geneva arbitration to atone for the faults of his first administration. Going into office with almost universal acclaim and respect he had so lost ground that in less than two years it could be said of him with the assent of many of the best men of his party: "The wreck of General Grant's fame is a national misfortune. That fame was a national possession, and it was the best people of the country, those whom he is now repudiating or refusing to rely on, who built it up by giving him a hearty and unfaltering support in the field and at the polls."1 The President for the most part gravitated to men of vulgar tastes and low aspirations. Himself pure in thought and deed, he nevertheless liked to talk "horse," and "horsey" men were among his chosen companions. Nor was he, apart from soldiers, a good judge of men. His association during the first year of his administration with Gould and Fisk, his delegation of important powers to Babcock in the San Domingo business were a shock to all those who wished to see dignity in official life. He made wretched appointments in the diplomatic service and on the whole his other selections were a disappointment, in many of which he was strongly influenced by nepotism. In one

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1
The Nation, Nov. 17, 1870, p. 322; see Life of Bowles, Merriam, vol. ii. p. 129. George W. Curtis wrote to C. E. Norton on June 26, 1870: "I think the warmest friends of Grant feel that he has failed terribly as president, not from want of honesty or desire but from want of tact and great ignorance. It is a political position and he knew nothing of politics -- and rather despised them." -- Life of Curtis, Cary, p. 213.

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History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the McKinley-Bryan Campaign of 1896 - Vol. 7
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents of the Seventh Volume v
  • Chapter Xxxix - History of the United States 1
  • Chapter XL 65
  • Chapter XLI 138
  • Chapter XLII 192
  • Chapter XLIII 239
  • Chapter XLIV 291
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