Grant: On Slavery

samgrant

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Retired Moderator
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Location
Galena, Illinois 61036 U.S.A.
From Bruce Catton in U. S. Grant and the American Military Tradition:

"... making a modest income by hauling the wood to St. Louis in a wagon and selling it to anyone who would buy. Now and again, on the streets, he would meet army officers he knew. They agreed that Sam Grant looked seedy - a little more stooped, a stubble of beard on his face, wearing a battered hat and a faded army overcoat - and a few perceptive ones, like Longstreet, could see that he was sensitive about poverty.

... Years later, when he was living in the White House, Grant met an old acquaintance from St. Louis, to whose house he used to deliver cord wood .... he he began to talk about the old days, and unexpectedly he remarked: "Those days were happy days. I was doing the best I could to support my family."

People who saw Grant during the last days in St. Louis remembered that he appeared sad and discouraged - and yet this, apparently, was less because of his own troubles than because he saw what other thoughtful men were seeing then: the approaching disruption of the Federal Union. ... and he wrote that when he heard Southern friends discussing a breakup of the Union as casually as if they were discussing a tariff bill, "it made my blood run cold."

Slowly his ideas were changing. He had lived in a slave state, he despised abolitionists, his wife owned slaves given by her father, he himself had acquired ownership of a field hand from Colonel Dent. Yet in 1859, when he was giving up farming and was desperately pressed for money, and the one slave he owned could have been sold for a thousand dollars, he executed papers of manumission and gave the man his freedom."
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
samgrant said:
From Bruce Catton in U. S. Grant and the American Military Tradition:

Slowly his ideas were changing. He had lived in a slave state, he despised abolitionists, his wife owned slaves given by her father, he himself had acquired ownership of a field hand from Colonel Dent. Yet in 1859, when he was giving up farming and was desperately pressed for money, and the one slave he owned could have been sold for a thousand dollars, he executed papers of manumission and gave the man his freedom."

The latest scholarship coming from the US Grant Homestead near St. Louis is that Julia Grant never had title to those four slaves. Grant had previously said that if he ever got control of the slaves he would free them, so Col. Dent most likely kept ownership of them and just gave Julia the use of the slaves.

Regards,
Cash
 

samgrant

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Retired Moderator
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Location
Galena, Illinois 61036 U.S.A.
"The latest scholarship coming from the US Grant Homestead near St. Louis is that Julia Grant never had title to those four slaves. Grant had previously said that if he ever got control of the slaves he would free them, so Col. Dent most likely kept ownership of them and just gave Julia the use of the slaves."


?

That's the Julia's 4, and not counting William Jones?

?
 

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
Grant"s dad!!

A enlightening fact:

We all know John Brown the great "Abolitionist". He was capture by Col. Lee and Lt. Stuart and sent to trail in Va.
He was wrongfully hung with Jackson watching on with his cadets from VMI.

John Brown's dad taught U.S. Grant's dad how to be a tanner. I do not know if U.S. Grant was around when his dad learned to be a tanner. I do not know if U.S. Grant as a child ever met John Brown future abolitionist.

I believe U.S. Grant most likely grew up in a more pro-abolitionist family. I believe he was smythic to the abolitionist cause and supported it even if he didn't preach about it or wear it as a badge of honor.

A weird series of events that all intertwined with each other.
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Feb 20, 2005
Location
Near Kankakee
When you read Grant, it becomes quite apparent that he was not a good joiner or follower. And he didn't much get into leading either, until that obligation was given him. When he picked up that baton is when history was made.

ole
 

cash

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Right here.
5fish said:
A enlightening fact:

We all know John Brown the great "ABOLISHIST". He was capture by Col. Lee and Lt. Stuart and sent to trail in Va.
He was wrongfully hung with Jackson watching on with his cadets from VMI.

John Brown's dad taught U.S. Grant's dad how to be a tanner. I do not know if U.S. Grant was around when his dad learned to be a tanner. I do not know if U.S. Grant as a child ever met John Brown future abolishist.

I believe U.S. Grant most likely grew up in a more pro-abolishist family. I believe he was smythic to the abolishist cause and supported it even if he didn't preach about it or wear it as a badge of honor.

A weird series of events that all interwined with each other.


Well, while I agree that Brown's abolitionist goal was the right goal, I also believe that the hanging wasn't wrongful. His actions led to wrongful deaths at Harpers Ferry, and that's a capital crime in my book. We can argue with the idea of trying him for treason against Virginia, but there's no escaping the murder charge in my view.

Grant did grow up in a rabidly pro-abolitionist family, but he wasn't an abolitionist himself. He said several times he wasn't an abolitionist and he had no "hobby" himself in freeing slaves generally. He did free the only slave he ever owned, when he needed the money he could have gotten by selling that slave instead, and he did say that if he ever got control of the Dent slaves he would free them as well. But Grant was a live-and-let-live sort of guy, and if his neighbor wanted to own slaves, Grant minded his own business.

Regards,
Cash
 
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