Ulysses S. Grant touted as 'one of the great civil rights presidents'


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#42
At the time of the possible acquisition of Santo Domingo, Brazil and Cuba still had slavery. Santo Domingo was a place that things like coffee, and sugar could be raised with free labor and the demand for slaves in Brazil and Cuba would go down.
But, noooooooo, don't acquire any places where a black guy might be the Senator who would speak on black issues from a black man's perspective.
 

Bee

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#43
Charles Sumner? You mean the guy that did everything he could to provoke a civil war and then went to the Senate to the same tactics on President Grant? That guy? And his protege Henry Adams? Sumner, the guy that thought Britain should cede Canada to the US and pay $2.5B because they screwed up and a couple of commerce raiders escape Liverpool?
Frankly a guy that makes bombastic inflammatory speeches and the criticizes the people who have clean up the mess he made is not worth your adoration.
I have some funny contemporary comments about Sumner and his "sanity". I need to start digging into that file someday soon......The Santo Domingo implosion has as many roads from it as those leading into Rome.
 

Bee

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#46
This thread makes me despair of CWT, it is that bad.
Now tell us how you really feel.

All of my threads are meant as a learning experience for me, and hopefully others. The rancor is kept to a low roar, sources are plentiful, and questions are answered to the best of my ability.

Mi dispiace if this is not meeting with your expectations.
 
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#47
First, Grant freed one slave. Did he the slave, or was he doing a favor for abolitionists who just wanted to free the person and needed a Missouri resident to sign the manumission document?
There is no way on knowing.
I think the case is that he gave up on slavery and moved to Illinois, but that he did try to find jobs for the slaves that had been loaned to his wife, Julia.
Julia definitely had a nurse who was an enslaved person. But by 1863 that person was self emancipated and got married.
 

Bruce Vail

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#48
Charles Sumner? You mean the guy that did everything he could to provoke a civil war and then went to the Senate to the same tactics on President Grant? That guy? And his protege Henry Adams? Sumner, the guy that thought Britain should cede Canada to the US and pay $2.5B because they screwed up and a couple of commerce raiders escape Liverpool?
Frankly a guy that makes bombastic inflammatory speeches and the criticizes the people who have clean up the mess he made is not worth your adoration.
Guess we will have to agree to disagree about Sumner.

He was a passionate believer in abolition and and equal rights for freedman. He didn't want war, but he didn't shy away from it when it came.

He thought the Domincan Republic acquisition an ill-considered imperialist adventure that had been inspired by Grant's corrupt cronies. He seems to have been correct about the latter.
 
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#50
Now tell us how you really feel.

All of my threads are meant as a learning experience for me, and hopefully others. The rancor is kept to a low roar, sources are plentiful, and questions are answered to the best of my ability.

Mi dispiace if this is not meeting with your expectations.
First, Grant was a slave owner. Really, or did work with his father-in-law's slaves? Did he actually prefer working with paid labor, and was accused of paying too much?
Then Grant had a bad record on Indian affairs? I am not sure that Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw and Cherokee agreed with that?
Who told Sherman and Miles not to send Custer back to the frontier?
Then Charles Sumner is presented as a modicum of virtue.
It is not your fault, but perhaps the nature of the internet.
 

Bruce Vail

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#51
First, Grant freed one slave. Did he the slave, or was he doing a favor for abolitionists who just wanted to free the person and needed a Missouri resident to sign the manumission document?
There is no way on knowing.
I think the case is that he gave up on slavery and moved to Illinois, but that he did try to find jobs for the slaves that had been loaned to his wife, Julia.
Julia definitely had a nurse who was an enslaved person. But by 1863 that person was self emancipated and got married.
I think you are missing the point. The question is whether Grant's Civil Rights record as president is good or bad, compard to other president. It looks very good to me, as detailed by the other posters above.
 
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#52
A Grant Quote:

Caste has no foothold in Santo Domingo. It is capable of supporting the entire colored population of the United States, should it choose to emigrate. The present difficulty, in bringing all parts of the United States to a happy unity and love of country grows out of the prejudice to color. The prejudice is a senseless one, but it exists. The colored man cannot be spared until his place is supplied, but with a refuge like San Domingo his worth here would soon be discovered, and he would soon receive such recognition to induce him to stay; or if Providence designed that the two races should not live to-gether he would find his home in the Antilles.


 

WJC

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#53
One thing we ought to bear in mind when comparing Grant to more recent presidents is that the role has markedly changed. The Chief Executive in Grant's time was not expected to take the active leadership role in the same ways we expect our presidents today.
We ought to compare him to others who held office in that same environment. Was he a better 'civil rights president' than his predecessor, Andrew Johnson? His successors Hayes? Garfield? Arthur? Cleveland?
 
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#54
Another point of interest is Grant did not return runaway slaves he gave them aide and work... even picking cotton... This has little to do with civil rights...

Snippet.
Historian John Hope Franklin wrote: “As the Union armies pushed into the South and occupied vast stretches of land, Negroes poured into the Union lines by the thousands. Yet federal policy for their relief and employment was hardly more clear-cut than it had been when the legality of receiving them at all was doubtful. Again each commanding officer seemed to use his own discretion. In West Tennessee, General Grant found it necessary to appoint John Eaton to take charge of all fugitives in his area in November, 1862.”8 Grant had already begun putting contrabands to work for his army as teamsters, cooks and hospital workers. In his memoirs, Grant recalled:


It was at this point, probably, where the first idea of a “Freedman’s Bureau” took its origin. Orders of the government prohibited the expulsion of the negroes from the protection of the army, when they cam in voluntarily. Humanity forbade allowing them to starve. With such an array of them, of all ages and both sexes, as had congregated about Grand Junction, amounting to many thousands, it was impossible to advance. There as no special authority for feeding them unless they were employed as teamsters, cooks and pioneers with the army; but only able-bodied young men were suitable for such work. This labor would support but a very limited percentage of them. The plantations were all deserted; the cotton and corn were ripe: men, women and children above ten years of age could be employed in saving these crops. To do this work with contrabands, or have it done, organization under a competent chief was necessary. On inquiring for such a man Chaplain Eaton, now and for many years the very able United States Commissioner of Education, was suggested. He proved as efficient in that field as he has since done in his present one. I gave him all the assistants and guards he called for. We together fixed the prices to be paid for the negro labor, whether rendered to the government or to individuals. The cotton was to be picked from abandoned plantations, the laborers to receive the stipulated price (my recollection is twelve and a half cents per pound for picking and ginning) from the quartermaster, he shipping the cotton north to be sold for the benefit of the government. Citizens remaining on their plantations were allowed the privilege of having their crops saved by freedmen on the same terms.

http://www.mrlincolnandfreedom.org/civil-war/military-initiatives/contrabands-freedmen/
 
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#55
I found this he was no humanitarian just a practical military man... It is a good read about runaway slaves and the Union army... http://www.lindenwood.edu/files/resources/contrabandcampsinstlouis.pdf

Snippet.
The practice of allowing citizens permission to search Union camps for fugitive slaves was so great a concern that General Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order No. 14 in February of 1862, reiterating Halleck’s prohibition of fugitive slaves in the line. Grant was primarily concerned about the possibility of Confederate sympathizers entering camps to search for fugitive slaves, and he saw permits to search for slaves as a method for the enemy to gain military information in the process. Grant’s Order No. 14 addressed this by clearly stating that no permits would be granted for retrieval of slaves.


Grant, like Butler, also saw the value in allowing fugitive slaves to remain within Union lines and proposed that African American refugees already in the Union lines or in areas captured by the Union army “will not be released or permitted to return to their Masters, but will be employed in the Quarter Masters Department, for the benefit of the Government.”2 Grant did not wish to see the army used as a tool to return slaves to Rebel slave owners, but at the same time he did not seek to punish pro-Union slave owners and deny them access to their property. Since the majority of slaves fleeing to Grant’s lines in the South were obviously property of Rebel slave owners, Grant’s policy toward African American refugees solidified around the combined advantages of using African American labor to bolster and aide Union forces and to remove such labor from the hands of the enemy. In mid-August of 1862, Grant wrote to his sister:

The war is evidently growing oppressive to the Southern people. Their institution [sic] are beginning to have ideas of their own and every time an expedition goes out more or less of them follow in the wake of the army and come into camp. I am using them as teamsters, Hospital attendants, company cooks &c, thus saving soldiers to carry the musket. I dont [sic] know what is to become of these poor people in the end but it weakning [sic] the enemy to take them from them.3
 

matthew mckeon

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#56
Guess we will have to agree to disagree about Sumner.

He was a passionate believer in abolition and and equal rights for freedman. He didn't want war, but he didn't shy away from it when it came.

He thought the Domincan Republic acquisition an ill-considered imperialist adventure that had been inspired by Grant's corrupt cronies. He seems to have been correct about the latter.
Charles Sumner: too right, too soon. Prematurely correct.
 

matthew mckeon

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#57
One thing we ought to bear in mind when comparing Grant to more recent presidents is that the role has markedly changed. The Chief Executive in Grant's time was not expected to take the active leadership role in the same ways we expect our presidents today.
We ought to compare him to others who held office in that same environment. Was he a better 'civil rights president' than his predecessor, Andrew Johnson? His successors Hayes? Garfield? Arthur? Cleveland?
In the recent American Experience about Garfield, it was suggested that Garfield would have championed black civil rights. But that of course is unknowable.
 

Bruce Vail

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#59
A Grant Quote:

Caste has no foothold in Santo Domingo. It is capable of supporting the entire colored population of the United States, should it choose to emigrate. The present difficulty, in bringing all parts of the United States to a happy unity and love of country grows out of the prejudice to color. The prejudice is a senseless one, but it exists. The colored man cannot be spared until his place is supplied, but with a refuge like San Domingo his worth here would soon be discovered, and he would soon receive such recognition to induce him to stay; or if Providence designed that the two races should not live to-gether he would find his home in the Antilles.

This lacks credibility. Grant never visited the country and relied on statements by the promoters of acquisition for his understanding of the situation. Furthermore, his theory that the existence of a San Domingo refuge for freedman would prompt Southerners to treat freedman better seems like a politician's dodge, instead of a sincerely felt humanitarian impulse.
 

matthew mckeon

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#60
Its doesn't seem very feasible.

OTOH, at least he's doing something, while the Supreme Court is gifting us with Cruishank, prevent effective enforcement of black civil rights, and Congress is unwilling to fund effective intervention.
 

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