In the spring of 1880, Ulysses S. Grant, former general-in-chief and two-term president of the United States, stepped ashore at Galveston and began what turned out to be a seven-day whirlwind visit to Texas. Because of his past accomplishments and the chance that he might be nominated to serve an unprecedented third presidential term, Grant was the most famous and eagerly awaited celebrity ever to visit the Lone Star State. The general visited Galveston, San Antonio, and Houston, where he was greeted by thousands of cheering Texans.
Grant’s visit to Texas was the subject of extensive coverage in newspapers across the nation, providing a unique time capsule for modern readers. The detailed reports of parades, banquets, receptions, and social activities not only document what Grant did at these functions, but also provide a record of what the thousands who came to see him said and did. The elaborate banquet menus and the word-by-word transcriptions of after-dinner toasts and speeches provide a fascinating window into social activities that are no longer an active part of modern life.
This book tells the story of Grant’s busy week in Texas, allowing the reader to see Texas the way Grant experienced it. The book also includes a tour guide that will allow readers to literally retrace the general’s footsteps to the sites of many historic buildings that still exist today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
EDWARD T. COTHAM is the prize-winning author of many books and articles on Civil War history, which emphasize the battles and skirmishes in Texas. He has served as project historian for a number of important shipwreck excavations and is a Marine Steward for the Texas Historical Commission. A frequent lecturer on Civil War subjects, he also leads tours of Texas battlefields and state historic sites. When not researching and writing, Cotham serves as Chief Investment Officer and Director for the Terry Foundation, the largest private provider of scholarships at Texas public universities.