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Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, Volume 19

Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, Volume 19

July 1, 1868 - October 31, 1869

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Edited by John Y. Simon


634 pages, 6.5 x 9.75

U S Grant Papers


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About the Book

This volume carries Ulysses S. Grant through a brief period of welcome calm to the storms of the White House. Seemingly resigned to becoming president, Grant detached himself from military routine in Washington, D.C., during the summer of 1868 to tour the Great Plains. He then settled in Galena to escape the clamor of the presidential campaign. Grant reveled in his respite from official duties, writing to his father, "I have enjoyed my summers vacation very much and look forward with dread to my return to Washington." Grant’s residence in Galena shielded him from public scrutiny. "Whilst I remain here I shall avoid all engagements to go any place at any stated time. The turn out of people is immense when they hear of my coming." Grant remained in or near his prewar hometown until the election forced him back to Washington.

Grant publicly said that he accepted presidential responsibilities "without fear" but privately lacked eagerness for the office. Even before his electoral victory, he wrote disapprovingly of "the Army of office seekers" and "begging letters" from potential appointees. Never enamored with the "pulling and hauling" so much a part of politics, Grant tried to minimize importunities by withholding names of his cabinet selections until after his inauguration and keeping his policy pronouncements spare and noncontroversial. His earnest desire as president was simply to inspire every citizen to work for "a happy Union."


John Y.Simon is a professor of history at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He has written or edited, in addition to the published volumes of the Grant Papers, four books, among which is The Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant.

William M. Ferraro is assistant editor of the Grant Papers. He is assistant editor of volumes 1and 2 of The Salmon P. Chase Papers.

J. Thomas Murphy is assistant editor of the Grant Papers.

Sue E. Dotson is textual editor of the Grant Papers.


"The value of these volumes reaches beyond their author, his mail, and message or calendar listings. General Grant is handsomely served by John Y. Simon’s flawless editing and presentation, which includes lengthy explanatory commentaries that simplify the reader’s understanding. Through every line shines the victor in battle and also the herald who described it. Like Lincoln, Grant knew what the Union had cost."—David L. Smiley, Illinois Historical Journal