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Autograph Letter Signed by U.S. Grant as General to General Hancock courtesy of the Gallery of Fame -- to purchase click here.

Head Quarters Armies of United States

"City Point, Virginia, 18 March 1865

Maj. General Hancock, Winchester, Va., March 18th"

Gen. Sheridan was last night ten miles from White House North of the peninsula. I had previously sent troops and supplies to White House and last evening the road between Sheridan and that base was open to travel. He is no doubt there now and all safe.

U.S. Grant
Lt. Gen."

Sheridan, with his cavalry, was sent in advance to Dinwiddie Court-House. The 5th corps had some fighting on the 29th, and in moving forward on the 31st was attacked and driven back a mile. Supported by a part of the 2d corps, it made a counter-attack, drove the enemy back into his breastworks, and secured an advanced position. Sheridan had pushed on to Five Forks, but his command encountered a strong force of infantry and cavalry, and after heavy fighting all day he fell back to Dinwiddie Court-House, where he repelled the repeated assaults made upon him, and held the place. The 5th corps was that night ordered to report to Sheridan. The enemy, on the morning of 1 April, fell back toward Five Forks, closely followed by the cavalry, which pressed him closely. In the afternoon he had taken up a strongly entrenched position at Five Forks, on Lee's extreme right. The 5th corps having joined Sheridan, he made a combined attack, with infantry and cavalry, and by nightfall had gained a brilliant victory, capturing the Confederate works, 6 guns, and nearly 6,000 prisoners, His cavalry pursued the broken and flying enemy for six miles beyond the field of battle. That night, after getting the full details of Sheridan's success, Grant determined to make a vigorous assault the next day, with all his troops, upon the lines around Petersburg. 

It began at daylight, 2 April; the works were carried, and in a few hours Grant was closing in upon the inner defenses of the City. Two of the forts, Gregg and Whitworth, were secured in the afternoon. The former was captured by assault, the latter was evacuated; 12,000 prisoners and over fifty guns were already in Grant's hands. Richmond and Petersburg were evacuated that night, and the National forces entered and took possession on the morning of the 3d. Grant, anticipating this, had begun a movement westward during the night, to head off Lee from Danville, and a vigorous pursuit by the whole army was ordered, it became evident that Lee was moving toward Amelia Court House, and a force was urged forward to Jetersville, on the Danville railroad, to get between him and Danville. Part of Sheridan's cavalry and the head of the 5th corps reached there on the afternoon of the 4th and entrenched. The Army of the Potomac arrived by forced marches on the 5th, while the Army of the James, under Ord, pushed on toward Burkesville. An attack was ordered upon Lee on the morning of the 6th, but he had left Amelia Court House during the night and was pushing on toward Farmville by the Deatonsville road. He was closely pursued, and on the afternoon of the 6th, Sheridan, with his cavalry and the 6th corps, attacked him at Sailor's Creek, capturing 7 general officers , about 7,000 men, and 14 guns. The 2d corps had kept up a running fight with the enemy all day, and had captured 4 guns, 1,700 prisoners, 13 flags, and 300 wagons. 

Lee was continuing his retreat through Farmville, and Grant urged troops to that place by forced marches on the 7th. The 2d corps and a portion of the cavalry had been repelled in their attacks on Lee, north of the Appomattox, and the 6th corps crossed from Farmville on the evening of the 7th to re-enforce them. That night Grant sent a note from Farmville to Lee, calling his attention to the hopelessness of further resistance, and asking the surrender of his army. He received a reply from Lee on the morning of the 8th, saying he was not entirely of Grant's opinion as to the hopelessness of further resistance, but asking what terms would be offered. Grant, who was still at Farmville, immediately replied, saying that, as peace was his great desire, he would insist on but one condition--that the men and officers surrendered should be disqualified from taking up arms again until properly exchanged. 

On the 8th Lee's troops were in full retreat on the north side of the Appomattox. The 2d and 6th corps followed in hot pursuit on that side, while Sheridan, Ord, and the 5th corps were pushed forward with all speed on the south side to head off Lee from Lynchburg. Near midnight on the night of the 8th Grant received another note from Lee, saying he had not intended to propose the surrender of his army, but desired to know whether Grant's proposals would lead to peace, and suggested a meeting at 10 A. M. the next morning. Grant replied that such a meeting could lead to no good, as he had no authority to treat on the subject of peace, but suggested that the south's laying down their arms would hasten the event and save thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of property. 

Early on the morning of 9 April, Lee's advance arrived at Appomattox Court-House; but by extraordinary forced marches. Sheridan. Ord, and Griffin reached that place at the same time. Lee attacked the cavalry; but, when he found infantry in his front, he sent in a flag of truce, and forwarded a note to Grant, asking an interview in accordance with the offer contained in Grant's letter of the day before. Grant received it on the road while riding toward Appomattox Court-House, and sent a reply saying he would move forward and meet Lee at any place he might select. They met in the McLean house, in Appomattox (see accompanying illustration), on the afternoon of the 9th, and the terms of surrender were drawn up by Grant and accepted by Lee. 

The conference lasted about three hours. The men and officers were paroled and allowed to return to their homes; all public property was to be turned over, but the officers were allowed to keep their side-arms, and both officers and men to retain their private horses and baggage. These terms were so magnanimous, and the treatment of Lee and his officers so considerate, that the effect was to induce other Confederates to seek the same terms and bring the rebellion to a speedy close. In riding to his camp after the surrender, Grant heard the firing of salutes. He sent at once to suppress them, and said: "The war is over; the rebels are again our countrymen, and the best sign of rejoicing after the victory will be to abstain from all demonstrations in the field." 

The number paroled was 28.356. In addition to these, 19,132 had been captured during the campaign since 29 March. The killed were estimated at 5,000. After 9 April, over 20,000 stragglers and deserters besides came in and surrendered. The National losses during this period were 2,000 killed, 6,500 wounded, and 2,500 missing. Grant's losses, including those of Butler's army, during the year beginning with the battle of the Wilderness, were 12,663 killed, 49,559 wounded, and 20,498 missing; total, 82,720. No accurate reports of the Confederate losses can be obtained; but Grant's captures in battle during this year were 66,512.

On 10 April, Grant went to Washington to hasten the disbanding of the armies, stop purchases of supplies, and save expense to the government. He did not stop to visit Richmond. President Lincoln was assassinated on the 14th, and Grant would probably have shared the same fate but for his having left Washington that day. On 18 April, Sherman received the surrender of Johnston's army, but on terms that the government did not approve, and Grant was sent to North Carolina to conduct further negotiations. On the 26th Johnston surrendered to Sherman on terms similar to those given to Lee, and 31,243 men were paroled. Grant remained at Raleigh and avoided being present at the interview, leaving to Sherman the full credit of the capture. Canby's force appeared before Mobile on 27 March, the principal defensive works were captured on 9 April, and Mobile was evacuated on the llth, when 200 guns and 4,000 prisoners were captured, but about 9,000 of the garrison escaped. Wilson's cavalry command captured Selma, Alabama, on 2 April, and Tuscaloosa on the 4th, occupied Montgomery on the 14th, and took West Point and Columbus, Georgia, on the 16th. Macon surrendered on the 21st. Kirby Smith surrendered his command, west of the Mississippi, on the 26th. 

There was then not an armed enemy left in the country, and the rebellion was ended. Grant established his headquarters in Washington. He was greeted with ovations wherever he went, honors were heaped upon him in every part of the land, and he was universally hailed as the country's deliverer. In June, July, and August, 1865, he made a tour through the northern States and Canada. In November he was welcomed in New York by a demonstration that exceeded all previous efforts. It consisted of a banquet and reception, and the manifestations of the people in their greetings knew no bounds. Immediately after the war, Grant sent General Sheridan with an army corps to the Rio Grande River to observe the movements of the French, who were then in Mexico supporting the Imperial government there in violation of the Monroe doctrine. This demonstration was the chief cause of the withdrawal of the French. Maximilian, being left without assistance from a European power, was soon driven from his throne, and the republic of Mexico was re-established.

The United States court in Virginia had found indictments against General Lee and other officers prominent in the rebellion, and much anxiety was manifested by them on this account. Two months after the war, Lee applied by letter to be permitted to enjoy privileges extended to those included in a proclamation of amnesty, which had been issued by the president. Grant put an endorsement on the letter, which began as follows: "Respectfully forwarded through the secretary of war to the president, with the earnest recommendation that the application of General Robert E. Lee for amnesty and pardon be granted him." But President Johnson was at that time embittered against all participants in the rebellion, and seemed determined to have Lee and others punished for the crime of treason. Lee afterward made a strong appeal by letter to Grant for protection. 

Grant put a long and emphatic endorsement upon this letter, in which he used the following language:" In my opinion, the officers and men paroled at Appomattox Court-House, and since upon the same terms given to Lee, can not be tried for treason so long as they preserve the terms of their parole.... The action of Judge Underwood in Norfolk has already had an injurious effect, and I would ask that he be ordered to quash all indictments found against paroled prisoners of war, and to desist from further prosecution of them." Grant insisted that he had the power to accord the terms he granted at Appomattox, and that the president was bound to respect the agreements there entered into unless they should be abrogated by the prisoners violating their paroles. He went so far as to declare that he would resign his commission if so gross a breach of good faith should be perpetrated by the executive. The result was the abandonment of the prosecutions. 

This was the first of a series of contests between Grant and President Johnson, which finally resulted in their entire estrangement. In December, Grant made a tour of inspection through the south. His report upon affairs in that section of the country was submitted to congress by the president, and became the basis of important reconstruction laws. In May, 1866, he wrote a letter to the secretary of war, which was submitted to congress, and became the basis for the reorganization of the army, and also for the distribution of troops through the south during the process of reconstruction. The Fenians were now giving the government much trouble, and, in consequence of their acts, the relations between the United States and Great Britain were becoming strained. They had organized a raid into Canada, to take place during the summer; but Grant visited Buffalo in June, took effective measures to stop them, and prevented all further unlawful acts on their part. Congress had passed an act creating the grade of general, a higher rank than had before existed in the army, to be conferred on Grant as a reward for his illustrious services in the field, and on 25 July 1866, he received his commission. 

In the autumn of 1866, President Johnson having changed his policy toward the south, finding that Grant refused to support him in his intentions to assume powers that Grant believed were vested only in congress, ordered him out of the country, with directions to proceed on a special mission to Mexico. Grant refused, saying that this was not a military service but a diplomatic mission, and that he claimed the right possessed by every citizen to decline a civil appointment. An effort was afterward made to send him west, to prevent his presence in Washington, but it was soon abandoned. The 39th congress, fearing the result of this action on the part of the president, attached a clause to the army appropriation bill, passed on 4 March 1867, providing that "all orders and instructions relating to military operations shall be issued through the general of the army," and added that he should "not be removed, suspended, or relieved from command, or assigned to duty elsewhere than at the headquarters in Washington, except at his own request, without the previous approval of the senate." The president signed the bill, with a protest against this clause, and soon obtained an opinion from his attorney general that it was unconstitutional. The president then undertook to send this opinion to the district commanders, but, finding the secretary of war in opposition, he issued it through the adjutant general's office. 

General Sheridan, then at New Orleans, in command of the fifth military district, inquired what to do, and Grant replied that a " legal opinion was not entitled to the force of an order," and " to enforce his own construction of the law until otherwise ordered." This brought on a crisis. The president claimed that under the constitution he could direct the district commanders to issue such orders as he dictated, and was met by an act of congress, passed in July making the orders of the district commanders "subject to the disapproval of the general of the army." Thus Grant was given chief control of affairs relating to the reconstruction of the southern states. The president still retained the power of removal, and on the adjournment of congress he removed Sheridan and placed General Hancock in command of the fifth military district. Some of Hancock's orders were revoked by Grant, which caused not a little bitterness of feeling between these officers, and provoked opposition from the Democratic Party . Subsequently, when a bill was before congress to muster General Hancock out of the service for his acts in Louisiana, Grant opposed it, and it was defeated. Soon afterward he recommended Hancock for a major generalship in the regular army, to which he was appointed. 

The " tenure of office" act forbade the president from removing a cabinet officer without the consent of the senate; but President Johnson suspended Sec. Stanton, and appointed Grant secretary of war ad interim on 12 August 1867. Grant protested against this action, but retained the office until 14 January 1868, when the senate refused to confirm the suspension of Stanton. Grant immediately notified the president, who, finding that the general of the army would not retain the place in opposition to the will of congress, and that Sec. Stanton had reentered upon his office, ordered Grant verbally to disregard Stanton's orders. Grant declined to do so unless he received instructions in writing. This led to an acrimonious correspondence. the president claimed that Grant had promised to sustain him. This Grant emphatically denied, and in a long letter reviewing his action said: " The course you would have it understood I agreed to pursue, was in violation of law, and was without orders from you, while the course I did pursue, and which I never doubted you understood, was in accordance with law .... And now, Mr. President, when my honor as a soldier and integrity as a man have been so violently assailed, pardon me for saying that I regard this whole matter, from the beginning to the end, as an attempt to involve me in the resistance of law for which you hesitate to assume the responsibility in orders." 

On 21 February the president appointed Lorenzo Thomas adjutant general of the army, secretary of war, and ordered him to take possession of the office. On 24 February articles of impeachment were passed by the House of Representatives. Throughout these years of contest between the executive and congress, Grant's position became very delicate and embarrassing. He was compelled to execute the laws of congress at the risk of appearing insubordinate to his official chief, but his course was commended by the people, his popularity increased, and when the Republican convention met in Chicago, 20 May 1868, he was unanimously nominated for the presidency on the first ballot. In his letter of acceptance, dated nine days after, he made use of the famous phrase, " Let us have peace." The Democratic Party  nominated Horatio Seymour, of New York. When the election occurred, Grant carried twenty-six states with a popular vote of 3,015,071, while Seymour carried eight states with a popular vote of 2,709,613. It was claimed that the state of New York was really carried by Grant, but fraudulently counted for Seymour. Out of the 294 electoral votes cast for president, Grant received 214 and Seymour 80 Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia not voting. 

Grant possessed in a striking degree the essential characteristics of a successful soldier. His self-reliance was one of his most pronounced traits, and enabled him at critical moments to decide promptly the most important questions without useless delay in seeking advice from others, and to assume the gravest responsibilities without asking any one to share them. He had a fertility of resource and a faculty of adapting the means at hand to the accomplishment of his purposes, which contributed no small share to his success. His moral and physical courage were equal to every emergency in which he was placed. His unassuming manner, purity of character, and absolute loyalty to his superiors and to the work in which he was engaged, inspired loyalty in others and gained him the devotion of the humblest of his subordinates. He was singularly calm and patient under all circumstances, was never unduly elated by victory or depressed by defeat, never became excited, and never uttered an oath or imprecation. His habits of life were simple, and he was possessed of a physical constitution that enabled him to endure every form of fatigue and privation incident to military service in the field. He had an intuitive knowledge of topography, and never became confused as to locality in directing the movements of large bodies of men. He exhibited a rapidity of thought and action on the field that enabled him to move troops in the presence of an enemy with a promptness that has rarely been equaled. 

He had no hobby as to the use of any particular arm of the service. He naturally placed his main reliance on his infantry, but made a more vigorous use of cavalry than any of the generals of his day, and was judicious in apportioning the amount of his artillery to the character of the country in which he was operating. While his achievements in actual battle eclipse by their brilliance the strategy and grand tactics employed in his campaigns, yet the extraordinary combinations effected and the skill and boldness exhibited in moving large armies into position entitle him, perhaps, to as much credit as the qualities he displayed in the face of the enemy. 

On 4 March 1869, Grant was inaugurated the eighteenth president of the United States under the constitution. General Grant had never taken an active part in politics, and had voted for a presidential candidate but once. In 1856, although his early associations had been with the Whigs, he cast his vote for James Buchanan, the Democratic candidate; but this was on personal rather than political grounds, as he believed that the Republican candidate did not possess the requisite qualifications for the office. So much doubt existed as to his political proclivities that prominent Democrats had made overtures to him to accept a nomination from their party only a few months before the nominating conventions were held. But he was at heart in thorough accord with the principles of the Republican Party. He believed in a national banking system, a tariff that would fairly protect American industries, ill the fostering of such internal improvements as would unite our two seaboards and give the eastern and western sections of the country mutual support and protection, in the dignifying of labor, and in laws that would secure equal justice to all citizens of the republic, regardless of race, color, or previous condition. As early as August 1863, he had written a letter to Elihu B. Washburne, member of congress, in which he said : " It became patent to my mind early in the rebellion that the north and south could never live at peace with each other except as one nation, and that without slavery. As anxious as I am to see peace established, I would not, therefore, be willing to see any settlement until this question is forever settled." 

In his inaugural address he declared that the government bonds should be paid in gold, advocated a speedy return to specie payments, trod made many important recommendations in reference to public affairs. Regarding the good faith of the nation he said: "To protect the national honor, every dollar of government indebtedness should be paid in gold, unless otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract .... Let it be understood that no repudiator of one farthing of our public debt will be trusted in public place, and it will go far toward strengthening a credit which ought to be the best in the world, and will ultimately enable us to replace the debt with bonds bearing less interest than we now pay." 

Congress acted promptly upon his recommendation, and on 18 March 1869. an act was passed entitled "An act to strengthen the public credit." its language gave a pledge to the world that the debts of the country would be paid in coin unless there were in the obligations express stipulations to the contrary. Both in his inaugural address and in his first annual message to congress he took strong ground in favor of an effort to "civilize and Christianize" the Indians, and fit them ultimately for citizenship. His early experience among these people, while serving on the frontier, had eminently fitted him for inaugurating practical methods for improving their condition. He appointed as commissioner of Indian affairs the chief of the Six Nations, General Ely S. Parker, a highly educated Indian, who had served on his staff, and selected as members of the board of Indian commissioners gentlemen named by the various religious denominations throughout the country. Although such men were not always practical in their views, and many obstacles had to be overcome in working out this difficult problem, great good resulted in the end; public attention was attracted to the amelioration of the condition of our savage tribes; they came to be treated more like wards of the nation, were gathered upon government reservations, where they could be more economically provided for, the number of Indian wars was reduced, and large sums of money were saved to the government. 

The 15th amendment to the constitution, adopted 26 February 1869, guaranteed the right of suffrage without regard to race, color, or previous condition of servitude. It was ratified by the requisite three fourths of the states, and declared in force, 30 March 1870. The adoption of this amendment had been recommended by President Grant, and had had his active support throughout, and it is largely due to his efforts that it is now a part of the constitution. He proclaimed its adoption by the somewhat unusual course of sending a special message to congress, in which he said : "I regard it as a measure of grander importance than any other one act of the kind from the foundation of the government to the present day." 

He also urged in this message that congress should encourage popular education, in order that the Negro might become better fitted for the exercise of the privileges conferred upon him by this amendment. In the summer of 1869 a representative from Santo Domingo informed the president that the government and people of that republic favored annexation to the United States. The president sent several officers of the government to investigate the condition of affairs there, and became so clearly impressed with the advantages that would result from the acquisition of that country that he negotiated a treaty of annexation, and submitted it to the senate at the next meeting of congress. 

In May 1870, he urged favorable action on the part of that body in a message in which he set forth the reasons that had governed him, and again called attention to it in his second annual message. He claimed, among other things, that its admission into the Union as a territory would open up a large trade between the two lands, furnish desirable harbors for naval stations, and a place of refuge for Negroes in the south who found themselves persecuted in their old homes; would favor the abolition of slavery in the West Indies, would be in harmony with the Monroe doctrine, and would redound to the great benefit of both countries and to civilization, and that there was danger, if we failed to receive it, that it would be taken by some European power, and add another to the list of islands off our coast controlled by European powers, and likely to give us trouble in case we became engaged in war. The measure was debated for a long time, but the senate did not act favorably upon it. 

In 1871 a commission of distinguished citizens was sent to investigate and report upon all matters relating to Santo Domingo and the proposed treaty. They visited that country, and made an exhaustive report, which was highly favorable to the plan of annexation ; but the treaty was constitutionally rejected, having failed to receive the necessary two-third vote, and was never brought up again. The president declared that he had no policy to enforce against the will of the people. He referred to the subject in his last annual message to congress, and reviewed the grounds of his action, not in order to renew the project, but, as he expressed it, "to vindicate nay previous action in regard to it." Many outrages had been committed in the south against the freedmen, and congress spent much time in considering measures for the suppression of these crimes. 

On 31 Nov., 1870, a bill was passed, called the Enforcement act, which empowered the president to protect the freedmen in their newly acquired rights, and punish the perpetrators of the outrages. Several supplements to this were subsequently enacted, and a most onerous and exacting duty was imposed upon the executive in enforcing their provisions. The reconstruction of the states recently in rebellion now progressed rapidly under the 14th amendment, which guaranteed equal civil rights to all citizens, and in July 1870, all the states had ratified this amendment and been readmitted to the Union. The votes of Arkansas and Louisiana were not received by congress in the presidential election of 1872; but this was on account of fraud and illegal practices at the polls. In the president's annual message to congress, December 1869, he recommended the passage of an act authorizing the funding of the public debt at a lower rate of interest. This was followed by the passing of an act, approved 14 July 1870, which authorized the secretary of the treasury to issue bonds to the amount of $200,000,000. bearing interest at the rate of 5 per cent., 8300,000,000 at the rate of 41/2 per cent., and $1,000,000,000 at the rate of 4 per cent. Under this act, and subsequent amendments thereto, the national debt has been refunded from time to time, until the average rate of actual interest does not exceed 31/2 per cent.

In 1870 President Grant sent special messages to congress urging upon that body the necessity of building up our merchant marine, and the adopting of methods for increasing our foreign commerce, and relating to our relations with Spain, which had become strained in consequence of the action of Spanish officials in Cuba. In August of this year, soon after the beginning of the war between France and Germany, he issued a proclamation of neutrality as to both of those nations, and defined the duties of Americans toward the belligerentso He directed the U. S. minister to France, Elihu B. Washburne, to remain at his post in Paris, and extend the protection of the American flag to peoples of all nationalities who were without the protection of their own flag an act that saved much suffering and loss to individuals. 

In his annual message in 1870, the president took strong ground in favor of civil service reform, saying: "I would have it govern, not the tenure, but the manner of making all appointments, and the present system does not secure the best men, and not even fit men, for public place." This subject gave rise to a spirited controversy in congress, many declaring the principle to be wholly un-American, and calculated to build up a favored class, who would be in great measure independent of their executive chiefs, etc. But on 3 March 1871, an act was passed authorizing the president to appoint a civil service commission, and to prescribe rules and regulations governing the appointments of civil officers. He appointed seven gentlemen on this commission, selecting those who had been most prominent in advocating the measure, and transmitted their report to congress, with a special message urging favorable action. The plan recommended, which provided for competitive examinations, was approved, and was put into operation 1 January 1872. An appropriation was procured for the expenses of the commission and the carrying out of the plan, but congress gave little countenance to the measure. 

Up to 1874 the president continued to urge that body to give legislative sanction to the rules and methods proposed, and declared that it was impossible to maintain the system without the "positive support of congress" He finally notified congress that if it adjourned without action he would regard it as a disapproval of the system, and would abandon it" but he continued it until its expenses were no longer provided for. The agitation of the question had been productive of much good. The seeds thus sown had taken deep root in the minds of the people, and bore good fruit in after years. In March 1871, the disorders in the southern states, growing out of conflicts between the whites and the blacks, had assumed such proportions that the president sent a special message to congress requesting " such legislation as shall effectually secure life, liberty, and property, and the enforcement of law in all parts of the United States." 

On 20 April congress passed an act that authorized the president to suspend, under certain defined circumstances, the writ of habeas corpus in any district, and to use the army and navy in suppressing insurrections. He issued a proclamation. 4 May ordering all unlawful armed bands to disperse, and, after expressing his reluctance to use the extraordinary power conferred upon him, said he would "not hesitate to exhaust the power thus vested in the executive, whenever and wherever it shall become necessary to do so for the purpose of securing to all citizens of the United States the peaceful enjoyment of the rights guaranteed to them by the constitution and the laws." As this did not produce the desired effect, he issued a proclamation of warning, 12 October and on the 17th suspended the writ of habeas corpus in parts of North and South Carolina. He followed this by vigorous prosecutions, which resulted in sending a number of prominent offenders to prison, and the outrages soon ceased. The most important measure of foreign policy during President Grant's administration was the treaty with Great Britain of 8 May 1871, known as the treaty of Washington. Early in his administration the president had begun negotiations looking to the settlement of the claims made by the United States against Great Britain, arising from the depredations upon American vessels and commerce by Confederate cruisers that had been fitted out or obtained supplies in British ports, and the questions growing out of the Canadian fishery disputes and the location of our northern boundary line at its junction with the Pacific ocean, which left the jurisdiction of the Island of San Juan in controversy. 

Neither of the two last mentioned questions had been settled by the treaty of peace of 1783, or any subsequent treaties. The fishery question was referred to arbitration by three commissioners, one to be chosen by the United States, one by Great Britain, and the third by the other two, provided they should make a choice within a stated time, otherwise the selection to be made by the Emperor of Austria the two commissioners having failed to agree, the third was named by the Austrian emperor. The award was unsatisfactory to the United States, the decision of the commission was severely criticized, and the dispute has from time to time been reopened to the detriment of both countries. The San Juan question was referred to the emperor of Germany as arbitrator, with sole power. His award fully sustained the claim of the United States. 

A high joint commission had assembled at Washington, composed of American and English statesmen, which formulated the treaty of Washington, and by its terms the claims against Great Britain growing out of the operations of the Confederate cruisers, commonly known as the "Alabama claims," were referred to a court of arbitration, which held its session at Geneva, Switzerland. In September. 1872, it awarded the United States the sum of $15,500,000, which was subsequently paid by the British government. War had at onetime seemed eminent, on account of the bitterness felt against Great Britain in consequence of her unfriendly acts during our civil war; but the president was a man who had seen so much of the evils of war that he became a confirmed believer in pacific measures as long as there was hope through such means. In his inaugural address he said : "In regard to foreign policy, I would deal with nations as equitable law requires individuals to deal with each other .... I would respect the rights of all nations, demanding equal respect for our own. If others depart from this rule in their dealings with us, we may be compelled to follow their precedent." 

The adoption of the treaty was a signal triumph for those who advocated the settlement of international disputes by peaceful methods. The adoption of the rules contained in the treaty for the government of neutral nations was of far more importance than the money award. These rules were to govern the action of the two contracting parties, and they agreed to bring them to the notice of other nations, and invite them to follow the precedent thus established. The rules stipulated chat a neutral shall not permit a belligerent to fit out, arm, or equip in its ports any vessel that it has reasonable ground to believe is intended to cruise or carry on war against a nation with which it is at peace, and that neither of the contracting parties shall permit a belligerent to make use of its ports or waters as a base of operations against the .other. The two nations also agreed to use due diligence to prevent any infraction of these rules. 

On 22 May 1872, the amnesty bill was passed by congress, restoring their civil rights to all but about 350 persons in the south who had held conspicuous positions under the Confederate government. President Grant's first administration had been vigorous and progressive. Important reforms had been inaugurated, and measures of vital moment to the nation, both at home and abroad, had been carried to a successful conclusion in the face of opposition from some of the most prominent men of his own political party. Not a few Republicans became estranged, feeling that they were being ignored by the executive, and formed themselves into an organization under the name of "Liberal Republicans." This opposition resulted in the holding of a convention in Cincinnati, and the nomination of Horace Greeley as its candidate for the presidency, which nomination was afterward adopted by the Democratic Party . 

The Republican convention met in Philadelphia, 5 June 1872, re-nominated President Grant, and adopted a platform approving the principles advocated by him in his previous administration. When the election took place, he carried 31 states, with a popular vote of 3,597,070, the largest that had ever been given for any president, while Greeley carried 6 states with a popular vote of 2,834,079. Grant received 286 electoral votes against 66 that would have been cast for Mr. Greeley if he had lived. The 14 votes of Arkansas and Louisiana were not counted, because of fraud and illegality in the election. The canvass had been one of the most aggressive and exciting in the history of the country, and abounded in personal attacks upon the candidates. General Grant, in his inaugural address on 4 March 1873, said, in alluding to the personal abuse that had been aimed at him: " Today I feel that I can disregard it, in view of your verdict, which I gratefully accept as my vindication." 

His second term was a continuation of the policy that had characterized his first. His foreign policy was steadfast, dignified, and just, always exhibiting a conscientious regard for the rights of foreign nations, and at the same time maintaining the rights of our own. He instructed the ministers to China and Japan to deal with those powers as "we would wish a strong nation to deal with us if we were weak." During the insurrection in the Island of Cuba, which had lasted for several years, a number of American citizens had been arrested by the Spanish authorities, under the pretence that they had been furnishing aid to the insurgents, and American vessels plying in Cuban waters had at times been subjected to much inconvenience. Then matters culminated in the seizure by Spain, without justification, of an American vessel named the " Virginius." The excitement created in the United States by this outrage was intense, and many statesmen were clamorous for war. But the president believed that pacific measures would accomplish a more satisfactory result, and, by acting with promptness and firmness, he soon wrung from Spain ample apology and full reparation. 

Political troubles were still rife in certain states of the south. The result of the election in Louisiana in 1872 was in dispute, and armed violence was threatened in that state. Early in 1873 the president called the attention of congress to the inadequacy of the laws applying to such eases, saying that he had recognized the officers installed by the decision of the returning board as representing the de facto government, and added: "I am extremely anxious to avoid any appearance of undue interference in state affairs, and if congress differs from me as to what ought to be done, I respectfully urge its immediate decision to that effect." Congress, however, took no action, and left with the executive the sole responsibility of dealing with this delicate question. The next year the trouble was renewed, and the fierce contest that was waged between the Republicans under Kellogg, and the Democrats under McEnery, their respective candidates for the governorship, resulted in armed hostilities. Kellogg, the de facto governor, called upon the Federal authority for protection, and General Emory was sent to New Orleans with U. S. troops, and the outbreak was for a time suppressed. But difficulties arose again, and the president sent General Sheridan to Louisiana to report upon the situation of affairs, and, if necessary, to take command of the troops and adopt vigorous measures to preserve the peace. 

General Sheridan became convinced that his duty was to sustain the government organized by Kellogg, and, on the demand of the governor, he ejected some of McEnery's adherents from the state capitol. The president submitted the whole history of the case to congress, asking for legislation defining his duties in the emergency. Getting no legislation on the subject, he continued his recognition of the government, of which Kellogg was the head, until the election of a new governor; but there was afterward no serious trouble in Louisiana. Difficulties of the same nature arose in Arkansas and Texas, which were almost as perplexing to the executive; but theses attracted less attention before the public. Difficulties of a somewhat similar kind were encountered also in Mississippi, but the president in this case avoided interference on the part of the general government. 

In April 1874, congress passed what was known as the "Inflation bill," which increased the paper currency of the country, and was contrary to the financial principles that the president had always entertained and advocated in his state papers. Many of his warmest political supporters had approved the measure, and unusual efforts were made to convince him that it was wise financially and expedient politically. The president gave much thought and study to the question, and at one time wrote out the draft of a message in which he set forth all the arguments that could be made in its favor, in order that he might fully weigh them; but, on reading it over, he became convinced that the reasons advanced were not satisfactory, and that the measure would in the end be injurious to the true business interests of the country, and delay the resumption of specie payment. He therefore returned the bill to congress, with his veto, 22 April. The arguments contained in his message were unanswerable, the bill was not passed over his veto, and his course was sustained by the whole country. Perhaps no act of his administration was more highly approved by the people at large, and the result amply proved the wisdom of the firmness he exhibited at this crisis. 

About two months after this, in a conversation at the executive mansion with Senator Roscoe Conkling, of New York, and Senator John P. Jones, of Nevada, the president entered at length upon his views concerning the duty of the government to take steps looking to the return to specie payment. His earnestness on this subject, and the advantages of the methods proposed, so impressed the senators that they asked him to commit his views to writing. He complied with this request by writing a letter addressed to Senator Jones, dated 4 June 1874, in which he began by saying:" I believe it a high and plain duty to return to a specie basis at the earliest practical day, not only in compliance with legislative and party pledges, but as a step indispensable to national lasting prosperity." Then followed his views at length. This letter was made public, and attracted much attention, and in January 1875, the "Resumption act" was passed, which, to a large extent, embodied the views that had been suggested by the president. There were doubts in the minds of many as to the ability of the government to carry it into effect; but it proved entirely successful, and the country was finally relieved from the stigma of circulating an irredeemable paper currency. 

During 1875 the president had reason to suspect that frauds were being practiced by government officials in certain states in collecting the revenue derived from the manufacture of whiskey. He at once took active measures for their detection, and the vigorous pursuit and punishment of the offenders. He issued a stringent order for their prosecution, closing with the famous words, " Let no guilty man escape." Many indictments soon followed, the ringleaders were sent to the penitentiary, and an honest collection of the revenue was secured. Some of the revenue officials were men of much political influence, and had powerful friends. 

The year for nominating a president was at hand, and the excitement ran high. Friends of the convicted, political enemies and rivals for the succession in his own party, resorted to the most desperate means to break the president's power and diminish his popularity. The grossest misrepresentations were practiced, first in trying to bring into question the honesty of his purpose in the prosecution of offenders, and afterward in endeavoring to rob him of the credit of his labors after they had purified the revenue service. But these efforts signally failed. In September 1875, General Grant, while attending an army reunion in Iowa, offered three resolutions on the subject of education, and made a speech in which he used this language: " Let us labor for the security of free thought, free speech, free press, pure morals, unfettered religious sentiments, and equal rights and privileges for all men, irrespective of nationality, color, or religion ; encourage free schools ; resolve that not one dollar appropriated to them shall go to the support of any sectarian school; resolve that neither state nor nation shall support any institution save those where every child may get a common school education, unmixed with any atheistic, pagan, or sectarian teaching; leave the matter of religious teaching to the family altar, and keep Church and state forever separate." 

This was published broadcast, and was received with marked favor by the press and people. In 1876 Samuel J. Tilden, of New York, was nominated for the presidency by the Democrats, and General Rutherford B. Hayes, of Ohio, by the Republicans. When the election was held in November the result was in dispute, and a bitter contest was likely to follow in determining which was the legally elected candidate. After an exciting debate in congress, a bill was passed providing for an electoral commission, to whose decision the question was to be referred. It decided in favor of General Hayes, and he was inaugurated on 4 March 1877. During all this time the political passions of the people were raised to fever heat, serious threats of violence were made, and the business interests of the country were greatly disturbed. President Grant took no active part in the determination of the question, but devoted himself to measures to preserve the peace. 

There were many changes in the cabinet during Grant's two administrations. The following is a list of its members, giving the order in which they served: Secretaries of state, Elihu B. Washburne, of Illinois ; Hamilton Fish, of New York. Secretaries of the treasury, Alexander T. Stewart, of New York (appointed, but not confirmed, on account of the discovery of an old law rendering him ineligible because of his being engaged in the business of an importing merchant); George S. Boutwell, of Massachusetts; William M. Richardson, of Massachusetts ; Benjamin H. Bristow, of Kentucky ; Lot M. Morrill, of Maine. Secretaries of war, General John M. Schofield, U. S. army; John A. Rawlins, of Illinois; William W. Belknap, of Iowa; Alonzo Taft, of Ohio; J. Donald Cameron, of Pennsylvania. Secretaries of the navy, Adolph E. Borie, of Pennsylvania; George M. Robeson, of New Jersey. PostmastersGeneral, John A. J. Creswell, of Maryland; Marshall Jewell, of Connecticut; James A. Tyner, of Indiana. AttorneysGeneral, Ebenezer R. Hoar, of Massachusetts ; Amos T. Akerman, of Georgia; George H. Williams, of Oregon; Edwards Pierrepont, of New York; Alonzo Taft, of Ohio. Secretaries of the interior, General Jacob D. Cox, of Ohio: Columbus Delano, of Ohio; Zachariah Chandler, of Michigan..(See articles on each of these cabinet officers.) 

During President Grant's administrations the taxes had been reduced over $300,000,000, the national debt over $450,000,000. the interest on the debt from $160,000,000 to $100,000,000; the balance of trade had changed from $130,000,000 against this country to $130,000,000 in its favor; the reconstruction of the southern states had been completed; the first transcontinental railroad had been finished ; all threatening foreign complications had been satisfactorily settled and all exciting national questions seemed to have been determined and removed from the arena of political contests. 

General Grant, while president, exhibited the same executive ability as in the army, insisting upon a proper division of labor among the different branches of the government, leaving the head of each department great freedom of action, and holding him to a strict accountability for the conduct of the affairs of his office. He decided with great promptness all questions referred to him, and suggested many measures for improving the government service, but left the carrying out of details to the proper chiefs. While positive in his views, and tenacious of his opinions when they had once been formed after due reflection, he listened patiently to suggestions and arguments, and had no pride of opinion as to changing his mind, if convincing reasons were presented to him. He was generally a patient listener while others presented their views, and seldom gave his opinions until they were thoroughly matured; then he talked freely and with great force and effect. He was one of the most accessible of all the presidents. He reserved no hours that he could call his own, but was ready to see all classes of people at all times, whether they were high in position or from the ranks of the plain people. His patience was one of the most characteristic traits of his character, and his treatment of those who came in contact with him was frank and cordial to the highest degree. His devotion to his friends was proverbial, and his loyalty to others commanded loyalty from them, and accounted, in great measure, for the warmth and devotion of his followers. Wherever he placed trust he reposed rare confidence, until it was shaken by actual proofs of betrayal. This characteristic of his nature led him at times to be imposed upon by those who were not worthy of the faith he placed in them; but persons that once lost his confidence never regained it. 

After retiring from the presidency, 4 March 1877, General Grant decided to visit the countries of the Old World, and on 17 May he sailed from Philadelphia for Liverpool on the steamer "Indiana," accompanied by his wife and one son. His departure was the occasion for a memorable demonstration on the Delaware. Distinguished men from all parts of the country had assembled to bid him goodbye, and accompanied him down the river. A fleet of naval and commercial vessels and River boats, decorated with brilliant banners, convoyed his steamer, crowds lined the shores greeting him with cheers, bells rang, whistles sounded from mills and factories, and innumerable flags saluted as he passed. On his arrival in Liverpool, 28 May he received the first of a series of ovations in foreign lands scarcely less cordial and demonstrative than those which had been accorded him in his own country. 

The River Mersey was covered with vessels displaying the flags of all nations, and all vied with each other in their demonstrations of welcome. He visited the places of greatest interest in Great Britain, and was accorded the freedom of her chief cities, which means the granting of citizenship. He received a greater number of such honors than had ever been bestowed even upon the most illustrious Englishman. In London he was received by the queen and the Prince of Wales, and afterward visited her majesty at Windsor Castle. While he was entertained in a princely manner by royalty, the most enthusiastic greetings came from the masses of the people, who everywhere turned out to welcome him. His replies to the numerous addresses of welcome were marked by exceeding good taste and were read with much favor by his own countrymen. 

Upon leaving England he visited the continent, and the greetings there from crowned heads and common people were repetitions of the receptions he had met ever since he landed in Europe. The United States man-of-war "Vandalia" had been put at his disposal, and on board that vessel he made a cruise in the Mediterranean, visiting Italy, Egypt, and the Holy Land. He sailed from Marseilles for India, 23 January 1879, arrived at Bombay, 12 February and from there visited Calcutta and many other places of interest. His journey through the country called forth a series of demonstrations which resembled the greetings to an emperor passing through his own realms. 

He sailed in the latter part of March for Burmah, and afterward visited the Malacca peninsula, Siam, Cochin China, and Hong Kong, arriving at the latter place on 30 April. He made a tour into the interior of China, and was everywhere received with honors greater than had ever been bestowed upon a foreigner. At Pekin, Prince Kung requested him to act as sole arbitrator in the settlement of the dispute between that country and Japan concerning the Loo Choo islands. His plans prevented him from entering upon the duties of arbitrator, but he studied the questions involved and gave his advice on the subject, and the matters in dispute were afterward settled without war. 

On 21 June he reached Nagasaki, where he was received by the imperial officials and became the guest of the mikado. The attention shown him while in Japan exceeded in some of its features that which he had received in any of the other countries included in his tour The entertainments prepared in his honor were memorable in  the history of that empire. He sailed from Yokohama, 3 September and reached San Francisco on the 20th. He had not visited the Pacific coast since he had served there as a lieutenant of infantry. 

Preparations had been made for a reception that should surpass any ever accorded to a public man in that part of the country, and the demonstration in the harbor of San Francisco on his arrival formed a pageant equal to anything of the kind seen in modern times. On his journey east he was tendered banquets and public receptions, and greeted with every manifestation of welcome in the different cities at which he stopped. Early in 1880, he traveled through some of the southern states and visited Cuba and Mexico. In the latter country he was hailed as its staunchest and most pronounced friend in the days of its struggle against foreign usurpation, and the people testified their gratitude by extending to him every possible act of personal and official courtesy. 

On his return he took his family to his old home in Galeana, Ill. A popular movement had begun looking to his re-nomination that year for the presidency, and overtures were made to him to draw him into an active canvass for the purpose of accomplishing this result : but he declined to take any part in the movement, and preferred that the  nomination should either come to him unsolicited or not at all. When the Republican convention met in Chicago in June 1880, his name was presented,  and for thirty-six ballots he received a vote that only varied between 302 and 313. Many of his warmest admirers were influenced against his nomination by a traditional sentiment against a third presidential term, and after a long and exciting session the delegates to the convention compromised by nominating General James A. Garfield

General Grant devoted himself loyally during this political canvass to the success of the party that had so often honored him, and contributed largely by his efforts to the election of the candidate. In August 1881, General Grant bought a house in New York, where he afterward spent his winters, while his summers were passed at his cottage at Long Branch. On Christmas eve, 1883, he slipped and fell upon the icy sidewalk in front of his house, and received an injury to his hip, which proved so severe that he never afterward walked without the aid of a crutch. Finding himself unable with his income to support his family properly, he had become a partner in a banking house in which one of his sons and others were interested, bearing the name of Grant and Ward, and invested all his available capital in the business. He took no part in the management, and the affairs of the firm were left almost entirely in the hands of the junior partner. 

In May 1884, the firm without warning suspended. It was found that two of the partners had been practicing a series of unblushing frauds, and had robbed the general and his family of all they possessed, and left them hopelessly bankrupt. Until this time he had refused all solicitations to write the history of his military career for publication, intending to leave it to the official records and the historians of the war. Almost his only contribution to literature was an article entitled "An Undeserved Stigma," in the " North American Review" for December 1882, which he wrote as an act of justice to General Fitz John Porter, whose case he had personally investigated. But now he was approached by the conductors of the "Century" magazine with an invitation to write a series of articles on his principal campaigns, which he accepted, for the purpose of earning money, of which he was then greatly in need, and he accordingly produced four articles for that periodical. Finding this a congenial occupation, and receiving handsome offers from several publishers, he set himself to the task of preparing two volumes of personal memoirs, in which he told the story of his life down to the close of the war, and proved himself a natural and charming, writer, and a valuable contributor to history. 

The contract for the publication of the book was made on 27 February 1885, and the work about appeared a year afterward. The sales were enormous, having reached up to this time 312,000 sets. The amount that Mrs. Grant has already (June 1887) received as her share of the profits is $394,459.53, paid in two checks, of $200,000 and $150,000, and several smaller amounts, the largest sum ever received by an author or his representatives from the sale of any single work. It is expected by the publishers that the amount of half a million of dollars will be ultimately paid to the general's family. 

In the summer of 1884 General Grant complained of a soreness in the throat and roof of the mouth. In August he consulted a physician, and a short time afterward the disease was pronounced to be cancer at the root of the tongue. The sympathies of the entire nation were now aroused, messages of hope and compassion poured in from every quarter, and on 4 March 1885, congress passed a bill creating him a general on the retired list, thus restoring him to his former rank in the army. He knew that his disease would soon prove fatal. He now bent all his energies to the completing of his "Memoirs," in order that the money realized from the sale might provide for his family. He summoned all his will power to this task and nothing in his career was more heroic than the literary labor he now performed. Hovering between life and death, suffering almost constant agony, and speechless from disease, he struggled through his daily task, and laid down his pen only four days before his death. At this time the last portrait was made of the great soldier, which appears above. 

On 16 June 1885, he was removed to the Joseph W. Drexel cottage on Mount McGregor, near Saratoga, New York, where he passed the remaining five weeks of his life. (See illustration above.) The cottage was offered by its owner as a gift to the U. S. government. As it was not accepted, Mr. Drexel keeps the cottage and its contents in the condition they were in at the time of the general's death, and will continue to do so. On Thursday, 23 July at eight o'clock in the morning, Grant passed away, surrounded by his family. The remains were taken to New York, escorted by a detachment of U. S. troops and a body of the Grand army of the republic composed of veterans of the war. A public funeral was held in that City on Saturday, 8 August which was the most magnificent spectacle of the kind ever witnessed in this country. The body was deposited in a temporary tomb in Riverside park, overlooking the Hudson River, where it is proposed to erect an imposing monument, for which about $125,000 by June 1887 had been subscribed. 

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