Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant

“Let us have peace”

Eighteen presidents of the United States and a former soldier took the office at the age 46. He was president for two terms.
He graduated from the U.S Military Academy at West Point, one of the toughest schools in the country.
His name was in fact Hiram Ulysses Grant, but once when he had an appointment to West Point in 1839. Congressman Thomas Hamer, mistakenly wrote Grant’s name as Ulysses S. Grant on the document that Grant submitted to the military academy. Hamer was an old family friend; he perhaps assumed that Grant’s middle name was Simpson as his mother’s maiden name and the middle name of his younger brother. Grant happened to really like the change and decided on keeping the name. Especially, after his initial as U. S got him lots of attention at the academy.
Grant fought in the Mexican war while he was even against it. He had done it for the sense of duty to his country. The country was economically unstable and although The Civil War had ended four years earlier than his administration but the country was still not at peace. He believed that it is the time for all Americans to put the conflict behind and grow together in peace.
Grant was a great general and he became a president military leader. He was very successful in battles with his clever strategies which would often end in victories. Grant had recommendations from President Abraham Lincoln, who believed about Grant that “He fights”!
Grant was a very popular president, he was receiving dozens gifts and have been gifted very expensive properties, valuable books, horses and cigars…not mentioning the $100,000 in cash from New York City!
He strongly supported the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which states that no citizen can be denied the right to vote based upon race, color or previous condition of servitude.
However, Grant didn’t have it all. He was a great general but he acted weakly in financial sector.
During The Civil War, government had printed money called “greenbacks” to help farmers and workers pay for their needs. But unlike dollars and coins, greenbacks value was very unstable. Grant tried to address the greenbacks problem and overcome the issue, but at the meantime two Wall Street investors Jay Gould and Jim Fisk were buying huge amount of gold and pushing up its value. This action resulted in a financial crisis called Black Friday on September 24, 1869 and it forced the stock market to close.
Grant acted on this crisis by authorizing governments to sell some of its own gold reserves to help bring the price back down. Eventually it solved the problem but historians believe that if Grant acted more quickly on greenbacks it all could have been avoided. During his second term Grant successfully achieved reducing the number of greenbacks to help the economic recovery.
There were some more positive developments in Grant’s presidency, for instance; congress passed a bill calling for equal pay for women and men holding similar jobs in government agencies. He also protected his country from going to a war with Spain.
Grant appeared very popular internationally as he was domestically. Grant and his wife Julia, went on a world tour where they have been greed and welcomed by many foreign nations. They met with Queen Victoria of England, Pope in Room and emperor of Japan. They also met with royalty in Austria and Russia, also were provided with a tour on Nile River in Africa by the ruler of Egypt. They also visited China, India and toured the Holy Land of Middle East.
However, Grant was not only very successful with American economy but he also was not lucky with personal finances. He went bankrupt after he invested heavily in a New York investment banking firm that failed.
It suggested to Grant by famous author Mark Twin about writing his memory. Twin helped Grant to get a profitable deal with a publishing company that Twin was partly owned. Grant finished writing his memories just a few weeks before he died from a throat cancer in 1885. His book, The Personal Memories of U. S Grant was published the following year and become the best –seller.
Profit from the book paid off the family debts and left Julia with financial security before she died in New York in 1902.
Grant’s Tomb along Hudson River in New York City is one of the “must-see” attractions. I personally missed seeing it and haven’t got a chance of visiting the Hudson River site in New York, but surely it remains in my list until I get a chance to bite on the beautiful Big Apple once again. I love that city. It is big, it never sleeps and it has a lot to offer. I felt like I am in the center of the world when I was in Manhattan for the first time. It is enough about New York now. Follow me on my next post for a bio on the nineteenth president of the United State, Rutherford B. Hayes.
S.

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Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson

I have been away from my posts for a little while. Now I am back with a story of Andrew Johnson, seventeenth president of the United States from 1865 to 1869. He was born in North Carolina and he was 56 when became president of his country. He had no formal affiliation on religion neither a formal education. He was a tailor at his father’s store and he became the best tailor in the town.
He married Eliza McCardle, who helped her husband improving his basic reading, writing and math skills. Johnson had become interested about education and joined local debating society. He was a leading speaker in neighbor’s discussions over domestic issues. He was very famous for defending farmers and working people.
Once on defending working people, Johnson said: “Whose hands built your capitol? Whose toil, whose labor built your railroad and your ships, I say let the mechanic and the laborer make our laws, rather than the idle and vicious aristocrat.”
Although Johnson was ranked among the least effective of the American presidents by historians but, he established a few but important achievement in the nation’s history. He was said that being always well prepared as a speaker, but short-tempered and stubborn.
Johnson introduced taxes to support education, equal pay for men and women teachers also set standards for teaching profession. The purchase of the Alaska territory from Russia for just over $7 million was made during his presidency. Additionally, the purchase of the Midway Islands in the Pacific added to the U.S territories during this time.
However, Johnson administration would become one of the most ineffective and his presidency was marked by losing battles with Congress. He was nearly removed from office. He was saved from removing from the office by a single vote from Edmund G. Ross.
Andrew Johnson had died on July 31,1875 in Tennessee, his burial site is also located at Andrew Johnson National Cemetery at Greeneville, Tennessee.
S.