Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Transmitted to Congress, With the Annual Message of the President, December 2, 1878
Mr. Maynard to Mr. Evarts.
Constantinople, March 7, 1878. (Received April 3.)
Sir: I have the honor to announce the arrival of General Grant, ex-President of the United States, on the morning of Friday, the 1st instant, and his departure last evening, after a visit of six days.
Intelligence of his coming had been received a few days previous, and communicated informally to the Sublime Porte. Every disposition was shown to honor the distinguished American, and to make his stay agreeable. A programme of civilities was arranged, of which a copy with a translation is inclosed. It was supposed he would take a hotel while here, and the plan was made accordingly. He decided, however, to remain on the Vandalia, a decision which modified some of the details. Otherwise the scheme was carried out. Much regret was expressed by the Turks that the present unhappy state of their affairs prevented many courtesies they would gladly have extended. I inclose some paragraphs from the daily press, giving General Grant’s movements from day to day. The attentions shown by all, from the Sultan to the private subject, including the diplomatic corps and other foreign residents, especially the Americans, were very gratifying, and he left expressing himself well pleased with his visit.
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I am, & c.,
Copy of the programme prepared for the ceremonial to be followed on the arrival of the ex-President of the United States of America, General Grant.
On the arrival of His Excellency, General Grant, in the harbor, the assistant of the grand master of ceremonies, together with an aide-de-camp of the minister of war, will obtain a large boat from the admiralty and go on board the steamer to congratulate His Excellency. Then they will take him in their boat to the Artillery Park, from whence they will accompany him in court carriages to his residence. A colonel of the army who speaks English will be attached to His Excellency. One or two carriages from the palace and a steam-launch will be placed at the disposal of His Excellency during his stay.
In pursuance of a decree of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, for the admission to a private audience, His Excellency will go to the palace accompanied by the United States minister.
A dinner in his honor will be given at the war department, to which some of the ministry, His Excellency’s staff, the minister of the United States, and some of the, officials of the United States legation will be invited.
All persons upon whom His Excellency shall call will be obliged to return the call.
Note. In the programme no mention is made of Feridoun Bey, who was sent by the government to meet General Grant at the Dardanelles.
Extracts from the press on General Grant’s visit to Constantinople.
arrival of general grant.
General Grant, the ex-President of the United States of-America, arrived in Constantinople early this morning from Smyrna onboard the American corvette Vandalia. The general is accompanied by Mrs. Grant and his son, Mr. Jesse Grant. The American man-of-war Despatch, stationed in the Bosphorus at the service of the legation, being momentarily disabled by an accident to her machinery, some members of the staff of the American legation and consulate in Constantinople went out in a special steamer and met the Vandalia, shortly after daybreak, in the Sea of Marmora, beyond San Stefano. This morning being unusually fine, General Grant and his party enj oyed an excellent opportunity of witnessing the splendid panorama of Constantinople on entering from the Marmora, at which they expressed their warm admiration. On the arrival of the corvette in the harbor, the Hon. Horace Maynard, the American minister to the Porte; Mr. Eugene Schuyler, the consul-general and first secretary of legation; General Chambers, the American military attach; Colonel Greene, Mr. Dimitriadis, first dragoman of the United States consulate, and other officials of the American legation and consulate, together with Feridoun Bey, on the part of the Ottoman Government, went off to welcome the ex-President of the United States on his arrival in the Turkish capital. General Grant received his excellency the American minister, and ex-Representative for the State of Tennessee, and all the members of his staff, as also the representative of the Porte on the occasion, in a very cordial and affable manner.
The general and his party will probably continue to make the Vandalia their place of abode during their stay, which will not exceed a week’s duration. On leaving Constantinople,’ they will proceed to Greece, and afterward to Italy.
[From “Men of the Time.”]
Grant, Ulysses Simpson, eighteenth President of the United States, born at Point Pleasant, Ohio, April 27, 1822. He entered the Military Academy at West Point in 1839, graduated in 1843, received his commission as second lieutenant in 1845, and served in the Mexican campaign under Generals Taylor and Scott. In 1852 he was ordered to Oregon, and in August, 1853, became full captain. He resigned his commission in July, 1854, and, after a residence of four or five years in Saint Louis, removed in 1859 to Galena, Ill., where he engaged in business with his father and brothers. From this privacy he was drawn out by the civil war, and having acted first as aide-de-camp to the governor of Illinois in 1861, and afterward as colonel of the Twenty-first Illinois Volunteers, was appointed a brigadier-general in July, 1861. While in command in Cairo he secured Paducah, and with it Kentucky. In November, 1861, he fought the battle of Belmont, and in January, 1862, conducted a reconnaissance to the rear of Columbus. Fort Henry fell February 6, and ten days after Fort Donelson surrendered to him unconditionally, and this was followed by the evacuation of Columbus and Bowling Green. He was made commander of the district of West Tennessee, and his forces advanced up that river to Pittsburg Landing, and fought April 6 and 7 the battle of Shiloh, at which the Confederate general A. S. Johnston lost his life. He was second in command to General Halleck during the siege of Corinth, and when the latter was ordered to Washington, Grant was appointed to take command of the Department of Tennessee. He captured Vicksburg, after a siege of two months, July 4, 1863, and after the partial defeat of the Union troops at Chicamauga, Tennessee, in September, he was assigned to the command of the largely re-enforced army, and in November defeated General Bragg at Mission Ridge. In March, 1864, President Lincoln appointed him Lieutenant-General, then the highest rank in the Army of the United States, and conferred upon him the powers of General-in-Chief of the vast armies in the field. Invested with this authority, and having reorganized the Army of the East, and arranged with General W. T. Sherman, the commander of the Army of the West, to move against General Johnston, at the same time that he moved against General Lee, he prepared for a vigorous and protracted campaign. The two armies moved early in May, and, after a series of hard-fought battles, alternating [Page 863] with repeated flanking movements, which the skill and tact of General Lee rendered abortive, General Grant crossed the James River, between the 12th and 15th of June, 1864, and proceeded to lay siege to Richmond and Petersburg from the south and southeast, while a very considerable army was cutting off their supplies, and destroying their railroads at the north and northwest. The final result was not doubtful from the time he had established himself in this position; but it was only attained after a protracted and vigorous resistance. At length, one railroad after another having been cut, and the two cities of Richmond and Petersburg reduced to great straits, while the army of General Lee was rapidly diminishing, and keeping up its courage by the most perilous sorties and ventures, the last line was broken on April 2, 1865, and Lee and the remnant of his army fled westward. They were pursued by Grant, and blow after blow was struck on their retreating columns. On the 9th of April, 1865, Lee surrendered his entire command to Grant at Appomattox Court-House, Va. The surrender of the other armies, in North Carolina, Alabama, and Texas, followed soon after, and the war ended. After its close, the gratitude of the people to General Grant found expression in numerous and valuable gifts. On July 25, 1866, Congress having created the grade of General of the Army, hitherto unknown in the Army of the United States, he was commissioned General the same day, and Major-General Sherman promoted to be Lieutenant-General. Differing in his views from President Johnson, whose policy had alienated very many of his former friends, a coolness sprang up between the President and the General; this was aggravated by the attempted removal of Secretary Stanton by the President, and still further by the nomination of Grant for the Presidency by the Republican party in May, 1868, and from that time till the close of Mr. Johnson’s term of office, in March, 1869, their only intercourse was official. General Grant was elected President in November, 1868, receiving 214 out of the 294 electoral votes of the 26 States then recognized as belonging to the Union. He was inaugurated March 4, 1869. His administration was, upon the whole, highly satisfactory; and in 1872 he was nominated for a second term of four years by the Republican National Convention. But in the meanwhile, dissatisfaction had grown up among some prominent members of the Republican party. These, taking the name of “Liberal Republicans”, nominated for President Mr. Horace Greeley, the able editor of the New York Tribune. The Democratic National Convention also nominated Mr. Greeley, although he had always been a strong opponent of the Democratic party. At the Presidential election held in November, 1872, Grant received 268 electoral votes, and Greeley 80. But reckoning by the actual votes cast for each candidate, the election was much more close. The whole number of votes cast was 6,431,149; of these there were for Grant 3,597,070, for Greeley 2,834,079; giving for Grant a majority of 762,991. Mr. Greeley died November 29, 1872, just after the result of the election was evident. During the second administration of President Grant, grave difficulties arose, growing mainly out of financial questions and the disturbed condition of the South. The elections held in November, 1874, resulted almost everywhere in favor of the Democratic party. There was a question at one time of putting forward General Grant for a third term; but this was not done; and last year, after a remarkably close and peculiar contest between Mr. Tilden (Democrat) and Mr. Hayes (Republican), the latter was elected General Grant’s successor as President of the United States of America.
General Grant in Constantinople.
On Friday morning, as we announced in our impression of that day, General Grant, ex-President of the United States, arrived in the Bosphorus from Smyrna on board the United States corvette Vandalia, the Hon. Horace Maynard, the American minister to the Porte, Mr. Eugene Schuyler, the consul-general and first secretary of legation, and all the staff of the American legation and consulate in Constantinople, going on board to welcome him. The general was accompanied by Mrs. Grant and his son, Mr. Jesse Grant. The Sultan placed state carriages at General Grant’s disposal, and Colonel Yahia Bey, an aide-decamp of the minister of war, was specially commissioned to attend upon him as a mark of honor during his stay. On Friday afternoon, General Grant and his party called upon the American minister and Mrs. Maynard at the American legation, and afterwards drove through Pera and Stamboul, and visited St. Sophia. They again drove over to Stamboul on Saturday and saw the Bazar and other objects of interest, after which General Grant paid visits to his Highness Ahmet Veffyk Pasha, the prime minister, and to the minister of foreign affairs, the minister of war and marine, as also later in the afternoon to foreign ambassadors. In the evening he dined en famille at the legation with Mr. and Mrs. Maynard. On Sunday, the general received calls from the ambassadors, and walked and drove about the town. A projected trip up the Bosphorus was postponed on account of the unfavorable state of the weather. General [Page 864] Grant and his party dined on Sunday at the house of Mr. Schuyler, the consul general and secretary of legation, where he met in the evening several of the ambassadors and ministers. Yesterday (Monday) an afternoon reception was held at the American legation for the diplomatic body and residents, and in the evening General and Mrs. Grant were entertained at dinner, by Mr. and Mrs. Layard, at the British embassy in Pera. At 12 o’clock to-day (Tuesday) General Grant had an audience of the Sultan, at the imperial villa of Yeldizkiosk, and was very cordially received by His Majesty, to whom he was presented by Mr. Maynard, the American minister; Mr. Schuyler, and General Chambers, the American military attaché, being also present. This evening a state dinner will be given by his Excellency Raouf Pasha, the minister of war, at the Seraskierate, in honor of the ex-President of the United States and former commander-in-chief of the Federal Armies. The invitations include not only the minister and consul-general of the United States, General Chambers, Lieutenant Greene, and the principal members of the staff, but also Captain Robeson, of the United States corvette Vandalia, Captain Higginson, of the United States embassy corvette Despatch, and Mr. Russell Young, of the New York Herald, who is traveling with General Grant. The general and his party will leave Constantinople to-morrow (Wednesday morning), in the Vandalia, for Greece.
After his audience with the Sultan on Tuesday, General Grant visited the imperial stables and was much delighted with them. His Majesty offered him a handsome horse as a present, which, however, the general, with many thanks for this mark of the Sultan’s kindness and courtesy, felt compelled to decline. Yesterday he had intended taking a trip up the Bosphorus to the Black Sea. But the indifferent weather marred this intention, and he remained all day on board the Vandalia. At 5 p.m. the American corvette weighed anchor, conveying the ex-President of the United States and his party to Greece.