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country that modest kind of greatness which is content with the limitations of a plain and humble life until urgent occasion calls it to the front. But we may assert that such familiarity with the Declaration of Independence, with the Revolution, and with the early history of the States as every fairly well schooled boy acquires, together with that perfect liberty which every American citizen enjoys, and that ardent love of liberty which every American citizen feels, constitutes an "environment" of educating and inspiring forces potent enough to account for all we need account for in the genesis of such a type of American greatness and American manhood as Gen. Grant. When the Republic can at need, in the moment of supreme peril, call from the ranks of its plainest citizens a defender of Grant's heroic and masterly genius, it may face any crisis with confident calmness, and in time of peace take no thought of wars and standing armies.
The credit of his greatness is not due to West Point Thus he spoke to Alfred H. Love, President of the Universal Peace Union:
"I never liked service in the army-not as a young officer. I did not wish to go to West Point. My appointment was an accident, and my father - had to use his authority to make me go. If I could have escaped West Point without bringing myself into disgrace at home, I would have done so. I remember about the time I entered the academy, there were debates in Congress over a proposal to abolish West Point. I used to look over the papers and read the Congressional reports with eagerness. I never went into a battle willingly or with enthusiasm. I was always glad when a battle was over. I never want to command another army. I take no interest in armies.”
He did not even enjoy the sight of warlike movements. When he was in England the Luke of Cambridge offered to hold a review of a large body of British soldiers for his enjoyment, but he declined the courtesy, and declared to his intimate friends that he "had seen soldiers enough to last him a lifetime," and that he never wished "to see again a military parade."
How patient was he when the English government, at first, talked of resisting our claims for damages by cruisers fitted out in British ports; when even our own people-especially those who had never been in battle-blustered about punishing England; when many politicians and merchants and others predicted that a foreign war would unite the North and South again, and bring back our departed commercial prosperity.* He pushed negotiations for
*Foreign war is an old device of the governing class to divert the attention of the people. Alison, the historian, thus refers to the diversion of the British people by aristocratic rulers from domestic reform:
"The passions were excited, democratic ambition was awakened, the desire of power, under the name of Reform, was rapidly gaining ground among the middle classes. . . In those circumstances the only mode of checking the evil was by engaging in a foreign contest, by drawing off the ardent spirits into active service, and in lieu of the modern desire for innovation, rousing the antient gallantry of the British nation."
This aristocratic diversion caused "the most bloody hostilities that ever mangled the face of Europe," (Russell) and which, with a short interval, lasted twenty-two years, expended immediately $1,000,000,000.00, and left a debt of $2,960,000 000.00, the interest of which England is now paying in the form of a National Debt. Victor Hugo stated that this war cost France 4,000,000 men, not to refer to the loss of all the other nations drawn into the vortex.
a friendly meeting of the governments; brought about the grand Geneva Arbitration Tribunal, and secured compensation for our injured people without causing them or others further injuries.
Mr. Plumb said in the National Senate, June 8, 1886:
"At the close of the war there was a sentiment in the South against Great Britain, growing out of her heartless treachery, which looked as though it would never be appeased except with blood. The North also had a quarrel with Great Britain, growing out of the war, and there was a feeling well nigh universal that war was necessary to appease the wrath of both sections, now again united. The veterans of the South were desirous of joining their late antagonists of the North in a bloody punishment of the foe of both.
"This sentiment was kept in abeyance by the trouble of reconstruction under Andrew Johnson; but the feeling was only dormant, and when Grant became President the old feeling broke out. The Alabama-depredation claim was unsettled, and a war could have been easily brought about. I say now what I have said over and over again elsewhere, that I think it was
GENERAL GRANT'S GREATEST TITLE TO FAME
That he, a soldier, opposed the war feeling, said in substance, 'No; we will have no war until we have exhausted every effort for peace. There has been war enough in this generation.' The Alabama Commission followed, and war was averted. The sentiment of the country, North and South, would, however, have justified it."
President Grant said,
THE WORLD IS BECOMING CIVILIZED,
and is learning a better way to settle difficulties than by fighting.' He wrote, November 27, 1884, the National Arbitration League, (Bishop Simpson then acting president), "My views on peaceful arbitration in the settlement of international differences instead of the sword have not changed. . . Only by keeping the subject alive, however, it can be accomplished." Again, "I have never wavered in the opinion that there should be some way of preventing the drawing of innocent men into bloody struggles in which they have no feeling. I look with confidence for
AN ESTABLISHED COURT,
recognized by all nations, having authority to settle differences without resort to arms, thus rendering unnecessary the maintenance of standing armies. The mission of the Peace Society will sooner or later succeed."
When a war with Spain was imminent on account of
THE VIRGINIUS AFFAIR
there was much excitement at the cabinet meeting. Grant knew what war meant. His coolness and sound judgment prevented a conflict.
When Ex-President Grant visited China there was a serious difficulty between China and Japan, relative to the sovereignty of
Shakespeare makes Henry IV. speak on his death-bed to his son and successor in this strain. First he makes confession, "by what bye-paths and indirect crooked ways he won the crown," and, therefore, he said he had made up his mind to lead his people to a great war in the Holy Land,
Lest rest and lying still might make them look
With foreign quarrels.'
the islands of Loo-Choo. The Chinese minister (Prince Kung) sought Grant's office as a mediator, who expressed his pleasure by any effort of his to preserve peace and prevent war. He immediately returned to Tokio, the capital of Japan, and had an interview with the emperor, argued for pacific settlement, and wrote to Prince. Kung: "An arbitration between two nations may not satisfy either party at the time, but it satisfies
THE CONSCIENCE OF MANKIND,
and it must commend itself more and more as a means of adjusting disputes." The two nations adopted substantially the terms pro posed by Gen. Grant, and a disastrous conflict was averted.*
In Gen. Grant's letter of acceptance of the nomination of the Republican party for the presidency, he wrote, May 29, 1868:
"Peace and national prosperity-its sequence, with economy of administration, will lighten the burden of taxation, while it constantly reduces the national debt. Let us have peace.".
President Grant's name is associated with
THE TREATY OF WASHINGTON,
the grandest triumph of Christian civilization which has been achieved during the century, having features unexampled in diplomacy. Here was diplomatic acknowledgment of wrong-doing, for the treaty of Washington begins with a confession of sin. The great gospel principle of frank and manly acknowledgment of wrong receives the indorsement of international law. If this treaty had been made in 1794, when legislation on the subject. began in our Congress, there could not have been the war of 1812. This treaty has been followed by sixty important and successful peaceful arbitraments throughout the world. The pacific efforts of 1871 and 1872 will always illuminate the present century.†
* Viceroy Li of China and the Chinese minister at Washington sent each $500 to the Grant (N. Y.) Monument Fund. Ex-President Grant was received in China with great honor as the friend of peace. China is opposed to war, and sends her contribution for a Peace Monument for a peace ex-ruler.
†Mr. Robeson, who was one of the trusted friends of Grant, and a member of his cabinet for nearly eight years, writes:
"The broad and strong views of national and international statesmanship of which General Grant was capable are well illustrated by his clear conception of the conditions and principles involved in the negotiations which enlarged the immediate question of the Alabama claims into a national compact of wide significance and great results, and culminated in the Treaty of Wa-hington. I remember hearing him explain it to some members of his family one evening in his library. He said, 'You know, my dear, that people in civilized communities agree to certain principles and forms of government by which they will be controlled, certain laws which are made to carry these out, and courts and officers to execute these laws. This is what we call civilization. But the world, after all its boasting, has been able to carry this no further than to individuals; nations are still in the savage state; they have agreed upon no fixed principles which shall govern them in their relations with each other; they have assented to no laws which are to carry out these principles; they have no
TRIBUNALS WHICH CAN DETERMINE QUESTIONS
which arise; and they have no officers who are empowered to execute any judgments. Their only means of settlement are compromise, submission or
Gen. Grant wrote from London, June 6, 1879, to Geo. W. Child:
"It has always been my desire to see all jealousy between England and the United States abated and every sore healed. Together they are more powerful for the spread of commerce and civilization than all others combined, and can do more to remove causes of war by creating mutual interests that would be much disturbed by war.'
On his return from his world's tour, he wrote, November 26, 1879, from Chicago to Alfred H. Love, president of the Universal Peace Union, that it "would afford me (him) much pleasure" to see the friends of peace in Philadelphia. The reception was much enjoyed by the ex-president. Mr. Love said:
Our welcome home again may seem very plain after the pomp and ceremony you have received, but it is none the less sincere, and it may be well that after all comes peace. We feel drawn to you because of your eminent civil services for peace; the coincidence of our organization but a short time previous to your nomination for President of the United States, when your brief acceptance repeated the word "peace" three times, and you pronounced the magnetic sentiment, "Let us have peace; the pacific language of your inaugural address, and your message to Congress; your early acts of moderation and conciliation, your encouragement of the treaty of Washington, and the immortal Geneva arbitration, which has been followed by at least fifty important and successful arbitraments throughout the world; your Indian peace policy; your response to our petitions for the Chiefs Santanta and Big Tree, by which their lives were saved, and Indian tribes brought into peaceful relations; your courtesy in receiving our committees and communications in behalf of the Modoc and other tribes; your excellent remarks for peace at Birmingham, England, and in China and Japan, as well as your frequent recommendations for arbitration and your
DISCOURAGEMENT OF LARGE STANDING ARMIES.
We have been led to believe that you see in standing armies a constant menace of war, a heavy burden to the people, and a ruinous expense to governments, and that with all the instrumentalities for peace, the laws, the courts, the representative system, the commercial intercourse, the mail and war. Now, we have had difficulties in the past with England, an independent nation. We ask her to make settlements with us, and she asks us to make settlements with her; and we have mutually agreed that these questions between us, and certain others which may arise in the future, ought to be settled upon principles which are admitted by all to be right in themselves. So we establish between ourselves by this treaty, certain governing principles, also a tribunal, upon which we are both agreed, and the forms through which our differences shall be presented to it. Thus we supply, in this instance, the defect in international civilization, and avoid a contest of arms. We will prob ably include in the treaty certain engagements for the future, which we think will be for the interest of all progressive commercial peoples, such as the agreement about privateering." To the suggestion which was made to him that the provision against privateering deprived us of a weapon against England through her commerce, he remarked that that was a very narrow and temporary view; that we were largely the market for English manufacturers now, but if she, with her area of scarcely more than a good sized Western State, was able to manufacture for the world, how soon would it be before people of the same race, with equal industry and ingenuity, and the varied resources of a climate and production like ours, would manufacture for the world? Our commerce, he said, had been in the past largely an importing commerce. It will not be a great while before we are ready, if our Government is independently carried on, to build up an exporting commerce and supply the world ourselves. Our interests in the future of commerce, he said, are far larger than those of Great Britain."
telegraph service, the relationship of the people and the religious element, it is possible to disband armies and establish an International Court of Arbitration. Your extended visit abroad with Mrs. Grant we regard as a great peace mission, and may it prove a fortunate precursor of a Peace Commission. We hope that there may be developed a higher civilization and a grander republican idea of reliance upon reason and the Christian principles of peace rather than the barbarous custom of deadly force.
Ex-President Grant responded as follows:
"My views on the subject of universal peace and the resort to the conflict of arms have been well known, having been made public in an official way. Although educated and brought up a soldier, and having probably been in as many battles as most people could have been, yet there was never a time or a day when it was not my desire that some just and fair way should be established for settling difficulties, instead of bringing innocent persons into the conflict and thus withdrawing from productive labor, able-bodied men who, in a large majority of cases, have no particular interest in the subject for which they are contending.
"I look forward for a day when
THERE WILL BE A COURT ESTABLISHED,
that shall be recognized by all nations, which will take into consideration all questions of difference between nations, and settle by arbitration or decision of such court, those questions, instead of keeping up large standing armies as in Europe, although we are not troubled, ourselves, in that way.
President Grant urged the society not to abate their efforts for peace, believing that they would succeed in their great reform, and expressing his pleasure to meet and encourage the society. He said to Edward M. Davis: "Do not be discouraged. Work on. Agitate! Agitate!"
President Grant will live in future history next to William Penn for his Indian peace policy.
WILLIAM PENN AND ULYSSES S. GRANT.
President Grant ordered (1871) medals to be struck off for fifty Indians. Upon one side were Grant's historic words, "Let us have peace," and on the other, "Peace on earth, good will towards men." To General Ulysses S. Grant:
HONORED FRIEND-At the fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Associated Executive Committee of Friends on Indian Affairs, recently held, the undersigned were appointed to convey to thee the deep sentiment of respect and regard cherished toward thee by Friends generally, and to inform thee of some of the results of the method of dealing with the Indians devised by thyself, and carried into effect during thy Administration as President of the United States. The condition of the Indians has greatly improved.
These Indians (under care of Friends) are now all at peace with each other and with the United States.
The schools have greatly multiplied in number, and have equally increased in efficiency. The children are trained in industry, and to some extent a generation of farmers, stock-raisers and artisans is coming forward to take the place of wild hunters of buffalo.
The supplies are now of good quality, are promptly delivered, and are hauled from the railway termini to the Agencies by the Indians themselves. Some tribes have had rations wholly or partially withdrawn, and in the case of the Osages the latter was done at their own request.
The Indians of this Superintendency now own thousands of cattle, and their stock is increasing. Many of each tribe, where the supply of rain will allow it, have become tillers of the soil. A large portion of them now wear citizens' clothing.