"Grant's First Tomb": Opinion piece in the New York Times on Reconstruction

Jul 24, 2017

This piece mostly treads familiar ground on the failures and limitations of Reconstruction, moving swiftly from the 15th Amendment to the Compromise of 1877 with arguments I've seen elsewhere.

I always find that errors in fact, even small ones, diminish the credibility of the opinions of the writer. I say this even though I make these errors myself, usually in posts in these forums when I haven't checked my facts.

A small thing leapt out of this article: the statement that "a contemptuous Grant" refused to ride with Andrew Johnson on the way to his inauguration. As it happened I had just reread a well-written biography of William H. Seward (Walter Stahr). One of the many memorable moments was the scene in the room when Johnson calmly signed things until well after Grant's inauguration started and the divided feelings among his cabinet members, including Seward. Somehow I have more faith in the research of Seward's biographer than in the columnist in the New York Times.

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