The Pros and Cons of Grant

wausaubob

Colonel
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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
I must confess that I pay no more attention to Grant's "scandals" than I do to his "drunkenness" and "butchery". I thought I had answered the question about patronage and whether or not Grant had fumbled. The absolute rage that the Democrats and the pious Republicans expressed about what he did with the appointments has always suggested to me that he had done far too good a job of understanding what patronage was for.
Patronage was used to reward people who helped win elections. Grant saw little reason to give up an advantage that had been used for decades. There was a good deal more progress towards a civil service system when an assassin shot President Garfield.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
As for corruption, government in the US was corrupt at every level by 1860. Most the corruption was never detected. The most flagrant corruption took place in the first two years of the Civil War. The biggest scandal was the interlocking directorships used by Durant and others to loot the subsidies paid to the Union Pacific railroad. Grant had not control over the subsidies or the contractor selected to build the westward component. He did tolerate Durant because he had at least been a Union man during the Civil War.
 

LetUsHavePeace

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Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Grant had no expectation that the Federal debt could be "paid off". He thought it could be successfully carried in the same way the British carried their national debt. To do that, the United States Treasury would have to pay interest and redeem bonds on their maturity in international money. "Gold" was not priced in dollars any more than the pound sterling; the national currencies priced themselves against each other with reference to a common standard - the weight of fine gold. The "Gold Room" episode is very much like the Whiskey scandal; it still gains immense amounts of attention from biographers because it was "news" but its only importance is as a signal of how successful Grant was in following A. T. Stewart's advice and using the common sense of his own experience.

(1) The U.S. Mint can be the only source of "the money supply" because everything other than coin is what it has always been and always will be - a promise to pay.
(2) Failure in enterprise is unavoidable. What matters is how easily people can try again. The terrible weakness of the British system - with all of its tremendous advantages in industry - is that it leaves very little room in the domestic economy for trial and error. People - like Stewart himself - have to leave Britain to seek their fortunes precisely because they have so few means of securing any credit.
(3) Speculation is as natural as breathing; people enjoy gambling. Panics are inescapable because people will take on too much risk through leverage. The government cannot prevent severe losses from happening any more than it can guarantee the makings of fortunes; direct government intervention in crashes does more harm than good because the government's bailouts allow the people with political influence to avoid the consequences of their own bad gambles. People can work out crashes by finding ways to revive each other's credit. Wall Street proves that lesson every day when the brokers settle up with one another and decide how much further credit the winners will extend to the losers so that the game can keep being playing.
(4) The U.S. Treasury and its own funds have to be held separate from the banking system. The gold collected by the Customers and Revenue has to be held in sub-treasuries, not deposited in private banks.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
This is the structure of the federal debt in the summer of 1865, near its maximum:
1624401664503.png

See page 3. http://web-docs.stern.nyu.edu/old_w...tory/Spring 2013/Noll Civil War Debt 2013.pdf
 

LetUsHavePeace

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Joined
Dec 1, 2018
You can follow the success of the Grant financial system in the annual statistical abstracts that began being published in 1878 - yet another of the drunken loser President's legacies that continues to this day: a report that actually tells the citizenry what the people and the government have done with their money over the past 12 months.

https://www.census.gov/library/publications/time-series/statistical_abstracts.html
 

wausaubob

Colonel
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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
There was corruption before Grant. There was corruption during Grant's administration. And then corruption in subsequent administrations. If corruption stories are interesting to a blogger, he should blog about them.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Grant and Lincoln were exceptionally tough men physically. Small town life with lots of chores made for a strong constitution. Grant was also the oldest sibling in his family, and ran his own firewood and carriage rental gigs. He probably was even a little tougher than Lincoln, who gravitated towards the law. Washington was also a significant frontiersman and led an active life up until the American Revolution.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Grant was very devoted to his family. The Mack brothers of Cincinnati tried to get into cotton trading during the war through his father, and almost succeeded.
But Gould, Fisk and Corbin got into Grant's confidences through Grant's sister. Ferdidand Ward went after Grant's son Buck, and Grant did not pick up on the con until too late.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Grant's marriage was exceptionally strong and a source of strength for him once the US Civil War started. All his children lived to adulthood. Thus Julia was a good mother, and had some exceptional help in raising the children.
The death of Grant's brother Orville, and the early death of John Rawlins probably deprived Grant of two sources of counsel and assistance.
 

tony_gunter

Corporal
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Location
Mississippi
"a heavy coffee drinker" Caffeine addicts have immense difficulty sleeping; the testimony of Porter, Dana and Rawlins was that Grant had the remarkable ability to curl up like a cat - on a bunk, a cot, a groundsheet on bare ground - and go to sleep. Grant drank coffee - as did everyone else in both armies (the Confederates having to use substitutes) because that was the only way to guarantee that they were drinking water that would not harm or kill them.
"Grant admitted he learned to be careful about drinking". Do you have a reference for this?
I drink like 3 pots per day and can drop to sleep on any surface in any conditions at will. 😂
 

LetUsHavePeace

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Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Ulysses Grant's siblings:
Samuel Simpson Grant (Sep. 23, 1825-Sep. 13, 1861)
Clara Rachel Grant (Dec. 11, 1828-Mar. 6, 1865) (unmarried)
Virginia Paine Grant Corbin ("Jennie")(Feb. 20, 1832-Mar. 28, 1881) married Abel Rathbone Corbin
Orvil Lynch Grant (May 15, 1835-Aug. 1, 1881)
Mary Frances Grant Cramer (July 28,1839- Apr. 5, 1905) married Michael John Cramer.

His parents:
Hannah Simpson (Nov. 23, 1798-May 11, 1883)
Jesse Root Grant (Jan. 23, 1794-June 29, 1873)

Grant:
Hiram Ulysses Grant, April 27, 1822, Point Pleasant, Ohio, U.S.
Died: July 23, 1885, Wilton, New York, U.S.

Ulysses Grant never relied on him or his advice. With his two brothers, the relationships was the reverse of what he said about voting for Buchanan instead of Fremont, "I did not know Buchanan; I knew Fremont". Grant knew Samuel Simpson ("Simpson") very well and loved and trusted and admired him. He moved to Galena to "clerk" in the leather fabricating business that Simpson had built up because Simpson's consumption had made him too weak to travel. Grant took over the job of being what today would be the sales engineer; he visited the mines and mills in the upper Mississippi Valley - Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and did the contract selling for the leather belts being used for traction power with steam engines. Grant's other job was to keep Orvil in his place; he had seen Simpson's illness as an opportunity for family politics about who would take over Dad's business. Orvil Grant was Jesse's favorite and had his father's taste for intrigue. The business was, in fact, Simpson's; Jesse Grant provided the capital but never organized or ran the business. (I can find no reference to his even visiting Galena.)
Losing Simpson was, for Grant, the first casualty of the war. They were the best of friends, and Grant mourned his loss for the rest of his life.
Grant respected Rawlins and appreciated his superb work as a chief of staff; but it is an exaggeration to say that he relied on Rawlins' judgment. Rawlins had far too brittle a personality; the qualities that made him a superb organizer of data also made him obsessive about issues. Grant's reputation for "drinking" comes from two sources: (1) his political enemies and (2) Rawlins' fanatic teetotalism. He was, on that subject, as dedicatedly irrational as Carry Nation. Grant did his best to help Rawlins have a better end of life than Simpson had; he appointed him Secretary of War and allowed him to stay in that position until he died - 5 months in Grant's first year in office. It is somewhat an exaggeration to say that Grant listened to Rawlins' advice. On the question of Cuba, he took Hamilton Fish's counsel, not Rawlins. He did agree with Rawlins about the Mormons; their "independence" was not going to be tolerated, either on the question of polygamy or on the question of how non-believers would be treated in the territory. Rawlins is given credit for the argument that Grant had with Sherman over the restoration of civilian control of the Army, but that was Grant's judgment entirely. If the price of losing Sherman's affection was preventing him from starving the Plains Indians, Grant was willing to pay it.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Ulysses Grant's siblings:
Samuel Simpson Grant (Sep. 23, 1825-Sep. 13, 1861)
Clara Rachel Grant (Dec. 11, 1828-Mar. 6, 1865) (unmarried)
Virginia Paine Grant Corbin ("Jennie")(Feb. 20, 1832-Mar. 28, 1881) married Abel Rathbone Corbin
Orvil Lynch Grant (May 15, 1835-Aug. 1, 1881)
Mary Frances Grant Cramer (July 28,1839- Apr. 5, 1905) married Michael John Cramer.

His parents:
Hannah Simpson (Nov. 23, 1798-May 11, 1883)
Jesse Root Grant (Jan. 23, 1794-June 29, 1873)

Grant:
Hiram Ulysses Grant, April 27, 1822, Point Pleasant, Ohio, U.S.
Died: July 23, 1885, Wilton, New York, U.S.

Ulysses Grant never relied on him or his advice. With his two brothers, the relationships was the reverse of what he said about voting for Buchanan instead of Fremont, "I did not know Buchanan; I knew Fremont". Grant knew Samuel Simpson ("Simpson") very well and loved and trusted and admired him. He moved to Galena to "clerk" in the leather fabricating business that Simpson had built up because Simpson's consumption had made him too weak to travel. Grant took over the job of being what today would be the sales engineer; he visited the mines and mills in the upper Mississippi Valley - Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and did the contract selling for the leather belts being used for traction power with steam engines. Grant's other job was to keep Orvil in his place; he had seen Simpson's illness as an opportunity for family politics about who would take over Dad's business. Orvil Grant was Jesse's favorite and had his father's taste for intrigue. The business was, in fact, Simpson's; Jesse Grant provided the capital but never organized or ran the business. (I can find no reference to his even visiting Galena.)
Losing Simpson was, for Grant, the first casualty of the war. They were the best of friends, and Grant mourned his loss for the rest of his life.
Grant respected Rawlins and appreciated his superb work as a chief of staff; but it is an exaggeration to say that he relied on Rawlins' judgment. Rawlins had far too brittle a personality; the qualities that made him a superb organizer of data also made him obsessive about issues. Grant's reputation for "drinking" comes from two sources: (1) his political enemies and (2) Rawlins' fanatic teetotalism. He was, on that subject, as dedicatedly irrational as Carry Nation. Grant did his best to help Rawlins have a better end of life than Simpson had; he appointed him Secretary of War and allowed him to stay in that position until he died - 5 months in Grant's first year in office. It is somewhat an exaggeration to say that Grant listened to Rawlins' advice. On the question of Cuba, he took Hamilton Fish's counsel, not Rawlins. He did agree with Rawlins about the Mormons; their "independence" was not going to be tolerated, either on the question of polygamy or on the question of how non-believers would be treated in the territory. Rawlins is given credit for the argument that Grant had with Sherman over the restoration of civilian control of the Army, but that was Grant's judgment entirely. If the price of losing Sherman's affection was preventing him from starving the Plains Indians, Grant was willing to pay it.
To me the significance of Rawlins to Grant was that Rawlins was an avid reader and a student of army procedures. Grant was able to discuss with Rawlins many of the twists and turns of army rules, especially regarding emancipation. Rawlins did not have a military education, or any role in the army accept as Grant's associate, so his loyalty was complete to Grant.
Grant had seen his brother decline and then die while Grant was away at the war. Rawlins had lost a wife. I think there was a bond there.
Rawlins completed some very important tasks for Grant. And when the big crisis meeting involving Lincoln and Fox on one side, and Grant on the other, Grant took Rawlins along because he could trust Rawlins. That is strong evidence of their relationship.
 
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