Page images

when they see their faithful and tired servant taking his ease at last, and receiving in foreign lands the honors and the respect to which his remarkable career so eminently entitle him.

To the statesmen and soldiers whom he will meet, even, more than to the general mass, he will be an object of great curiosity. Except Field Marshal Von Moltke, no general of our days has commanded and wielded such masses of men; no general whom he will meet can boast of a more brilliantly conceived or a more daringly executed campaign than that of Vicksburg; no one of them has had the control of so vast a field of war as he, and surely none has seen hotter fire than Grant withstood in the desperate days of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania and Cold Harbor. In every country in Europe which he may visit, he will find distinguished military chiefs who have studied his campaigns, who know how to appreciate the dogged courage of Shiloh, the brilliant audacity of Vicksburg, the genius which recovered an imperilled position before Chattanooga, the indomitable perseverance of the Virginia campaigns, and the broad and comprehensive view which enabled him to plan the operations of armies stretched across half a continent.

Nor will distinguished civilians be less eager to hear his voice and to scrutinize his features, for they will remem. ber that he acted a foremost part in many of the most notable events of the century; they will see in him the supporter and right hand of Lincoln in the emancipation of the slaves, the restorer of peace, the general who returned a million of soldiers to peaceful industries, the ruler of the American republic during eight years of extraordi. nary political turbulence.

All the journals of the city next day appeared with highly complimentary editorials, assuring General Grant of a generous hospitality. The Daily News said that

"General Grant was unquestionably the greatest soldier living." The General and Mrs. Grant had a perfect round of festivities at Liverpool. Hurried visits were made to all points of interest, visiting and examining the docks of the city, enlisting great interest from General Grant in the magnificent dock system, and, contrasted with the system of piers in the United States, he admitted the superiority of these supurb and substantial structures over those of the East and North rivers.

The party returned to the city, and were driven to the town hall to lunch with the Mayor and other civic digni. taries. This building is one of the most interesting in the city, and the figure of Britannia, looking abroad from the summit of the great dome, reminds the visitor of the now celebrated Hermann monument in Germany. The exPresident was escorted to the reception saloon, and subsequently examined the portraits of former mayors and wealthy merchants, who have long since passed away; the famous Chantry statues of Canning and Roscoe, and the elegant tapestry with which the various saloons are fitted up.

Lunch was prepared. Covers were laid for fifty, the table being beautifully decorated with choice flowers and ornaments in confection, suggestive of very elaborate preparation. Among those present, were the Mayor, the Mayoress, members of the city council, one member of parliament, the City Solicitor and several prominent mer. chants. Mrs. Grant sat on the left of the Mayor, and our ex-President on his right. The repast was served immediately the guests assembled, and was a most enjoyable affair.

At the conclusion of lunch, the Mayor arose and proposed the health of the Queen, in accordance with the tradition which places English majesty first on all state and festive occasions. This was drank standing. The host next proposed the health of “General and ex-Presje

dent Grant, the distinguished soldier and statesman pres. ent,” remarking that it would be unnecessary for him to repeat the earnestness of their welcome, their desire to draw closer the bonds of friendship between the two greatest commercial nations in the world, and especially to honor the hero of a hundred battles, whose courage and skill challenged their admiration.

Grant responded with unusual gayety of manner, acknowledging the pleasure with which he received their constant manifestations of good will, believing that ultimately the bonds of union must be strengthened between the two countries. He excused himself from an extended reply. During the luncheon, the streets leading to the town: hall were packed with spectators.

General Grant afterward visited the exchange and news. rooms, where he was received with great enthusiasm. Leaving Liverpool for Manchester, May 30, immense crowds gathered along the route, and the stations were beautifully decorated, the American flag being everywhere prominent. Arriving at Manchester at eleven o'clock, he was received by the Mayor and Aldermen and a tremendous crowd of citizens, who manifested their enthusiasm by continued cheering. The Mayor's speech was quite lengthy, and referred feelingly to a similar occasion, when, in 1863, the ship Griswold brought a cargo of provisions to the suffering operatives of the city, who had been thrown out of employment, owing to the failure of the cotton crop from the South. This address was followed by a laudatory and congratulatory address by Sir John Heron, recalling the kind expressions which the Queen's birthday had evoked in America. He hoped for a constant increase of the existing good feeling, and trusted that the visit of the ex-Presi. dent would ultimately lead to free commercial intercourse between England and the United States.

The General, who had listened to the addresses with

that quiet composure of manner peculiar to him - RS unmoved, though the target of thousands of eyes, as though alone-rising, acknowledged the presentation. “ It is scarcely possible for me,” he said, “ to give utterance to the feelings evoked by my reception upon your soil from the moment of my arrival in Liverpool, where I have passed a couple of days, until the present moment. After the scene which I have witnessed in your streets, the elements of greatness, as manifested in your public and industrial buildings, I may be allowed to say, that no person could be the recipient of the honor and attention you have bestowed upon me, without the profoundest feelings. Such have been incited in me, and I find myself inadequate to their proper expression. It was my original purpose on my arrival in Liverpool to hasten to London, and from thence proceed to visit the various points of interest in the coun. try. Among these I have regarded Manchester as the most important. As I have been aware for years of the great amount of your manufactures, many of which find their ultimate destination in my own country, so I am aware that the sentiments of the great mass of the people of Man. chester went out in sympathy to that country, during the mighty struggle, in which it fell to my lot to take some humble part. The expressions of the people of Manchester at the time of the great trial, incited within the breasts of my countrymen a feeling of friendship toward them, distinct from that felt toward all England; and in that spirit I accept, on the part of my country, the compliments paid me as its representative, and thank you.”

After General Grant had concluded his address of thanks, luncheon was served in the large banquet hall. Toasts to the Queen and the Prince of Wales were proposed and drank with all the honors. The Mayor of Man. chester responded to each in loyal speeches. The health of President Hayes was then proposed, and was received with

enthusiasm. Mr. Newton Crane, United States consul to Manchester, responded amid applause. After these formalities, the Mayor of Manchester proposed the health of General Grant, amid the plaudits of the assemblage.

General Grant replied, with a humorous twinkle in his eye, that Englishmen had got more speeches and of greater length out of him than his own countrymen; but they were poorer, because they were longer than he was accustomed to make. He warmly returned thanks for the reception he had received at the hands of the people of Manchester, and concluded his remarks by proposing the health of the Mayoress and the ladies. The Mayor replied in suitable terms.

Mr. Jacob Bright, M. P., being called upon for a speech, said: “No guest so distinguished has ever before visited Manchester. General Grant is a brave soldier, and he has pursued a generous, pacific policy toward the enemies he had conquered. He should be honored and beloved, and deserves the hearty reception he will receive throughout the realm.” After the banquet, the General was introduced to the assemblage, and a general hand-shaking fol. lowed. In the evening he visted the Theatre Royal, and spent a short time at the Prince's Theatre. His reception at both places was very enthusiastic.

The journey from Manchester to London was marked by hearty greetings and welcomes at the several stations, and imposing demonstrations were made at Leicester and Bedford, as the handsomely decorated cars reached those places. To some of the addresses that were made to him, General Grant replied with an ease and sincerity which, no doubt, made our British cousins wonder how he came by his title of the “silent president.” The secret lies, probably, in the fact that the General detests forms and shams and political intrigue, and he had good reasons for his taci. turnity when he found himself surrounded by politicians

« PreviousContinue »