Ulysses S. Grant: Politician

By William B. Hesseltine | Go to book overview

Chapter XXVII Peace

FROM the time that the loyal 306 went down in defeat at Chicago, Grant's political career was closed. When an assassin, proclaiming himself a Stalwart, murdered Garfield, the bullet pierced the heart of the Grant and Conkling wing of the Republican Party. With Arthur, whom he had once appointed to the most lucrative job under the government, Grant's relations were strained. The President ignored the general's recommendations and followed the policy of conciliating the discordant factions while Grant looked on in uncomprehending disgust. "He seems more afraid of his enemies," said the general, ". . . than guided either by his judgment, personal feelings, or friendly influences." The remark throws considerable light on Grant's own Presidency.1

Removed from politics, Grant turned his attention to a search for employment. With all of his children married and well established in life,2 Grant could look forward to a pleasant old age in the companionship of his devoted Julia, and, so long as he refrained from politics, the admiration and the devotion of the nation. However, as he wrote Badeau, "one thing ts certain; I must do something to supplement my income, or continue to live in Galena or on a farm. I have not got the means to live in a city."3 With no desire to spend his days in Galena, the general kept an eye open for business opportunities and showed, in his travels, a constant interest in factories, banks, and the stock market.4

Opportunities for employment were supplied by corporations which hoped to profit from the use of Grant's name. A gold mining company in New Mexico elected him its president;5 and he was offered the presidency of the "New York World's Fair Commission."6 But these enterprises were speculative and promised little emolument. Instead, he accepted the presidency of a Mexican railroad company, one of Jay

____________________
1
Badeau, Grant in Peace, 334-339.
2
Fred was in the army, attached to Sherman's staff. Both Jesse and "Buck" married during the campaign of 1880.
3
Badeau, Grant in Peace, 350.
4
Cf. N. Y. Tribune, Dec. 20, 1879.
5
Ibid., July 25, 1880.
6
New York Tribune, January 7, 1880.

-444-

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Ulysses S. Grant: Politician
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Table of Contents ix
  • Illustrations xiii
  • Chapter I Forty Years of Failure 1
  • Chapter II Success 19
  • Chapter III the Strategy of Peace 48
  • Chapter IV an Ear to the Ground 70
  • Chapter V Joining the Radical Church 89
  • Chapter VI Grant Acts, Seymour Talks, Blair Blows 112
  • Chapter VII Rumors of Reform 132
  • Chapter VIII the First Clash 145
  • Chapter IX "Policy Enough for the Present" 157
  • Chapter X Midsummer Fantasy 169
  • Chapter XI the End of Reconstruction 180
  • Chapter XII Tarnished Halo 190
  • Chapter XIV Smoke Screen 220
  • Chapter XV Hydra Head 238
  • Chapter XVI Political Fagots 252
  • Chapter XVII the Election of 1872 269
  • Chapter XVIII Life in the White House 291
  • Xix Public Confidence 308
  • Chapter XX Inflation or Resumption? 327
  • Chapter XXI White Supremacy 341
  • Chapter XXII Politics of Depression 359
  • Chapter XXIII a Reformer in the Cabinet 375
  • Chapter XXIV Political Free-For-All 389
  • Chapter XXV a Disturbed Exit 405
  • Chapter XXVI a Political Resurrection 424
  • Chapter XXVII Peace 444
  • Bibliography 453
  • Index 461
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