Talk:Ulysses S. Grant/Archive 28

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The article doesn't mention the death of Grant's father, Jesse, who died in 1873 while Grant was in Office, nor the death of Julia's father who died months later that same year.<White, p.545> -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:26, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

I'm happy with that arrangement. We don't mention their mothers, either. --Coemgenus (talk) 12:18, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
Unless their deaths affected Grant in some way other then natural grieving, for his own father Jesse, or attending funerals, I don't believe that information is signifigant enough for the article. Grant and his father did not get along all the time. Julia's father was controversial. probably was a racist and instilled racism in Grant's children at the White House. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:57, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
Source: America's First Families: An Inside View of 200 Years of Private Life in the White House Carl Sferrazza Anthony (2000) page 127 Cmguy777 (talk) 19:18, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
As this is Grant's biography, we mention births and deaths of immediate family, as is done in Washington's biography simply for the biographical record, which is sort of standard o.p. for writing anyone's biography, and would reflect the scholarship. Since Grant's father comes into the picture several times in this bio, was a frequent visitor at the Whitehouse, his death left an immediate vacancy in Grant's life and was not exactly some minor event for him. White, p.545, Smith, p.607 and McFeely, p.388, cover his father's death. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:50, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
All that is true Gwillhickers, but I don't think Jesse ever stayed overnight at the White House and neither did his mom Hannah. His mom Hannah refused to see him at his Inauguration in 1869. Jesse either injured himself at Grant's 1869 or 1872 Inauguration. He had to use a crutch to walk and he had to stay at Washington D.C. hotels, rather then at the White House. Julia's father stayed at the House but really did not support Grant's Reconstruction and he was a racist. He represented the lost cause at the White House. Do we really want to bring all this family soap opera to the article ? Grant was a 19th Century anomaly. At times he was an active reformer but at times he protected his crook so called "friends". He prosecuted the Ku Klux Klan but none of his children spoke out on Civil Rights and his son Frederick Dent was involved in a hazing incident at West Point against the first African American cadet Smith. Again more soap opera. I think bringing in all his family would be a distraction from Grant himself. However, Grant's family or his White House years could be seperate articles. I would recommend putting family information in seperate articles. Cmguy777 (talk) 00:44, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
No one here wants to drag in all this "soap opera" stuff, that was just introduced. There is plenty of content already in the article about Grant and his family. Because this is a biography, basic family matters belong here more than anywhere, and we are only proposing one statement. We simply mention the death of Grant's father as a general and biographical statement, as is. Julia's father having passed a few months later that same year seems interesting enough on its own, and would be part of a single statement for both fathers who are not mentioned by name. The statement for this dual event of 1873 would work well in the narrative somewhere in the Presidency section imo, and only addresses Grant. If any one is interested, in 1873 Grant met with a number of other losses. White, p.545: "For Ulysses and Julia, 1873 became a year of personal losses", and also mentions the deaths of other family members, and of Grant who also lost some close friends that year, like Horace Porter, George Meade, and others. We ought to have something to say for Grant at this time in his life as the sources have. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:00, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
I would not mention Julia's father's death since Frederick was Julia's father, not Grant's father. If anything, that belongs in Julia's article, not Grants. We don't want to get side tracked. Did Jesse's death in anyway affect Grant ? I don't think so. Grant and Jesse were never close. As mentioned before Jesse had to walk over, disabled by injury, using a crutch, to the White House from a hotel to visit Grant. To me that is kind of a cold distant relationship. Grant did not shed many tears when Rawlin's died, a close friend, but non family member. The only time Grant cried was when Lincoln died. No I don't think there needs to be a list of personal losses. The only loss Grant cared about was loosing the House in 1875. That made him angry. We need to focus on Grant the politician, not his family life. The only event that historians find interesting is Nellie's wedding at the White House. But all of this leads to soap operas just by mentioning Grant's family. Cmguy777 (talk) 06:30, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
None of this soap opera stuff matters in terms of both Grant and wife Julia losing their fathers practically at the same point in their lives. Mention of this simple dual event adds both biographical and historical context to Grant's biography and marks a turning point in Grant's life. Loss of both fathers is something that directly involves Grant, whether he was crying or not, and prominent Grant biographers mention the event. I was hoping it would be that simple. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 07:25, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
I can't see mentioning this, unless we can source substantial effect: in childhood (not relevant here), or through inheritance and personal/family finance, or profound emotional toll, but I don't see the benefit for just putting in 'x died' Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:19, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. I can't see the point of throwing in a random sentence that had no effect of the other things we discuss in the article. --Coemgenus (talk) 17:20, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
I believe information on Grant's years at the White House, concerning his personal life, is best in a seperate article maybe titled Ulysses Grant's presidential personal life. I don't know if there are enough sources on the matter. Cmguy777 (talk) 18:14, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
There are (perhaps too) many dedicated articles where it can be argued that any item in this article should go. We have Early life and career of Ulysses S. Grant and Ulysses S. Grant and the American Civil War. Along with this article, there are three different places to cover Grant's Civil War involvements. So why do we have so many large sections covering the Civil War in this article? The Early life and career of Ulysses S. Grant is for Early life. Where do we cover Grant's family involvements later on in his life?
  • You're trying to make the event sound completely meaningless for Grant, when in reality it was an event that effected him much more than many things we mention. Grant and his father had their differences, like many sons and fathers do, but there's nothing to indicate that Grant had no more regard for his father than for some business associate. Grant senior, who always boasted of "my Ulysses", arranged Ulysses' appointment at West Point and comes into the narrative here several times. Grant named one of his son's after his father, who was a frequent visitor of Grant's at the Whitehouse all the way to his final weeks. The statement would simply mark a point in both Grant and wife's life, proposed as a simple idea unto itself that doesn't need other qualifiers. It's a natural event in anyone's biography. We can assume that Grant suffered a great loss without have to explain that there was "profound emotional toll". Anyone who's interested in Grant's life would welcome this context in the narrative. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:17, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Since all of the subsections under the Presidency (1869-1877) section are dedicated to specific topics, placing such a statement, even chronologically, isn't easy unless we mention it in the main Presidency section, but putting it there as a stand alone statement admittedly seems a little odd. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:17, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't see any signifigance mentioning Julia's father's death, since Frederick was Julia's father, not Grant's father. Frederick was a racist and he probably instilled racism on his grand children at the White House, in opposition to Grant's Reconstruction policies. Jesse and his son Grant did not get along well. Jesse never staid at the White House overnight, apparently a second rate hotel, and he had to walk or hobble over to his "my Ulysses" White House. It is possible Jesse was a bit dillusional about his relationship to his son Grant. That does not sound like a close relationship. Grant never sent a carriage to pick up his own disabled father. Maybe Grant was relieved his father had died, we don't know. The father who had interferred with his Vicksburg Campaign and prompted General Orders # 11, the order that almost got Grant fired. Mentioning Julia's and Grant's parents deaths only brings up other topics. I think it is best to leave Grant's and Julia's parents deaths out of the Grant article. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:26, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
For someone who feels Julia's father isn't significant you often have a lot to say about him. We've been through this. Both deaths occurred close together in the same year and are worth mentioning in a single statement, with natural emphasis on Grant's father. You keep dragging in all sorts of background stuff about Julia's father that have noting to do with the plausibility of adding the simple biographic statement about loss of fathers. There is no rocket-science here, so there's no call for a lengthy account about Julia's Confederate father to occur on the talk page again. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:19, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
I think the background information is necessary. An article on Grant and the White House would be good in my opinion. I don't think additional articles on Grant are too much. They add to this article. We are going around in circles. I don't believe that these persons had a signifigant effect on Grant at the White House. Cmguy777 (talk) 07:00, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Context illuminates the main points for the reader with average intelligence. Many of them look to Wikipedia to get the broader and more contextual picture. At least I like to think so. Grant was President when his father's death occurred and as I think you know this impacted his life no less than if Grant had retired after the war. This is not about the Whitehouse. I believe this is an important mention in the biography. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 07:56, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • There are other issues to consider first. Simply adding a stand alone statement in the current main section as I mentioned would be sort of a patchwork approach to the narrative. Not the best example of writing for a FA. However a summary statement in the main section about what was ahead for Grant's life as President would help set the tone of the subsections and remainder of the biography that follows. As a compromise, with no specific mention of Julia's father, we can say this:


Upon assuming the presidency Grant was pitted with the great task of reuniting the country in the unstable aftermath of the Civil War, while also having to endure the personal loss of his father and several other family members. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 08:26, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
The first part is accurate. The second part about enduring the personal loss of his father and "several other family members" in my opinion is inaccurate. There is no evidence that Grant was close to his father or his father-in-law. When his close friend Rawlins died I don't believe there were any tears. Grant wanted to be his own man and not be protected by his father or Rawlins. I don't know of any source that says Grant had a close relationship to his father Jesse. The only time Grant was recorded crying was at Lincoln's funeral. I don't think Robert E. Lee ever cried. Whatever feelings Grant had he was good at hiding them. The first part of your sentence about Grant and reuniting the country is good and can be sourced. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:12, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
Well, the first part we already discuss, I think you, CmGuy have the better of the argument on the second part, and I strongly disagree that "we can assume Grant [endured] great loss" - no we can't. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:25, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. I would be in favor of mentioning Grant's daughter's Wedding at the White House. That was signifigant. It seemed to thaw out the hard times of the Civil War and Reconstruction years. There had not been a Wedding at the White House in awhile since 1842. Nellie was very popular I believe in the press. This is only a suggestion. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:29, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Unless there is something definitive and established that says Grant, regardless of commonplace differences between father and son, didn't care much for his own father, we can safely assume that like most people he "endured personal loss" (we don't say "great loss" in the article). We cover the event in the same neutral language the sources do. Many people express their grief in private, among family, and in public they keep a straight composure. I wouldn't try to read anything more into that, esp to as go as far as to suggest Grant cared not for his father, whom he named one of his sons after. Is there a source that says Grant did not shed a tear? We can say Grant endured personal loss, as does White. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:15, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • The wedding of Grant's daughter's is due a statement. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:15, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
As suggested above, we don't want readers to "endure" soap opera. We actually, already, discuss Grant publicly mourning - weeping - just a few years earlier -- Grant, after all, saw many, many deaths -- and assuming is not what we do. Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:45, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes. I agree. The article has shown Grant has feelings, him crying at Lincoln's funeral. He had empathy for African Americans and Indians. The deaths of Grant's father and his father-in-law are incomparible to the death of Willie, Lincoln's eleven year old son, at the White House. We seem to be going around in circles. I would support a sentence on Nellie's marriage at the White House. A president had not given away a daughter in marriage at the White House since 1820, when President Monroe gave away his daughter in marriage at the White House. Tyler was the last President to give away his daughter in marriage at the White House in 1842. Cmguy777 (talk) 20:27, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
I remain opposed to including anything about the father or father-in-law, especially as we just got this article down to 99kb of readable text for the first time in ages. I'm still thinking about the wedding. I'm not sure where it would go or whether it's necessary. --Coemgenus (talk) 20:42, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
The wedding would tie in Grant's visit to Nellie on his world tour. Just a brief sentence at the beginning of the presidency section. The article already mentions Grant's daughter being married, but does not mention where the wedding took place. Cmguy777 (talk) 20:59, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "On May 21, 1874 Nellie Grant, daughter of Grant and Julia, married Englishman Algernon Sartoris in the East Room of the White House." Cmguy777 (talk) 20:59, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I could support this: in the world tour section, and suggest some splicing of the info into the current mention of Nellie, there. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:16, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Coemgenus, there was no call from anyone to reduce page length. It wasn't a pressing issue when the article became FA, nor is it one now.
  • ASW, as I indicated to Cm', referring to the idea of the death of Grant's father as 'soap opera' is a little off. Mention of fathers deaths is simply contextual. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:38, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Cm', any view of Grant's feelings towards Lincoln compared to his father are wholly subjective and without definitive events that shed light on this idea, or any other notion, any further. We know Grant had differences of opinion with his father on several occasions. This is weird and unusual? As before none of this gives us any reason to not mentioning the deaths of fathers together in a simple contextual statement in the presidency section. We mention events, like weddings and deaths in the family, as simple statements of fact in a general biography, something that readers will naturally assimilate into the narrative. There is no need to mention deaths by name at this point in the narrative, only that there was personal loss with fathers and others. For purposes of the biography we should do more to present the things that impacted Grant the person when possible, esp while he was a General and a President. We have dedicated articles for the chronological elements of Grant history. The Grant biography is supposed to give us Grant the person foremost, where we cover relations to fathers, weddings, and deaths in the family. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:38, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Gwillhickers, in my opinion the best alternative is to add information on Nellie's wedding at the White House. A President giving away his daughter in marriage had not occured since 1842. I don't think there is enough interest by biographers of Grant on Grant's or Julia's fathers. Right now it is 3 to 1 against adding information on Grant's or Julia's fathers. There has been some agreement on Nellie's wedding. Maybe some editor concesus can be gotten on Nellie's wedding. Editor input on the subject of Nellie's wedding is valued. Cmguy777 (talk) 05:55, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Cmguy here, and the consensus seems to be against adding information on his father's and father-in-law's deaths. As to page length: it was, raised at the FAC, as you can see. In fact, you yourself argued with people who mentioned it. And that was when the readable prose size was "only" 84kb. It has since ballooned to more than 100kb, which I've recently managed to reduce to 99kb. --Coemgenus (talk) 16:07, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Cm, there is plenty of interest for Jesse by Grant's biographers for the simple reason that Jesse happened to be the father of Ulysses S. Grant. He is mentioned in our biography several times already and as I hope you know at this late date, Smith, McFeely, Brands and White all refer to him (very) many times in their Indexes. Each biographer devotes enough coverage/pages about Jesse Root Grant to make their own separate biographies. I don't mind having to deal with one objection after another but they've been highly argumentative, and like now, simply wrong at times. Grant biographers cover Grant's father as a topic unto himself. Our biography doesn't reflect the scholarship on Jesse on many accounts. We don't even mention his death. I came up with a summary statement about Grant's presidency that didn't even mention anyone by name, yet there still seems to be this rigid and unyielding opposition to add one sentence. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:36, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Coemgenus, as I've mentioned before, page length was brought up at the review, but was never held over our head as a condition for FA approval. It wasn't a pressing issue then and no other editor or reader has come along and ever said, 'Hey, there's just too much coverage and good writing in this article.' While I've gone along with some of the trimming, and have done a bit of it myself recently, removing content for the sake of page length goes against guidelines. While we're supposed to be mindful of article size they still don't want us to take an axe to the narrative or truncating sentences for the simple reason of reducing word count. As pointed out other FA articles far exceed page length guidelines, yet they don't have this reoccurring issue. I've been making any proposal in sentence form, so I respect the concern for keeping tabs on length. All I ask is that short and reasonable proposals are not ignored on this account alone. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:36, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
My objection has to do with both Jesse and Frederick interfering in Grant's life. Jesse's interference during Grant's Vicksburg campaign, and Frederick's racism at the White House when Grant was trying to protect African American citizenship. Jesse having to hobble over to the White House to see Grant and then be badgered by Frederick. Do any sources mention that Grant mourned or grieved either Jesse's or Frederick's deaths ? Mentioning them during his presidency would require additional detail to the article. The White House wedding of Nellie was not controversial, although Grant initially was reluctant, he gave approval. Also Algernon offered Nellie financial stability. Cmguy777 (talk) 23:32, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Once again you're trying to complicate matters. Mention of at least Jesse's death is due mention for the biographical record and because Jesse was Grant's father whose basic life and interaction with Grant is covered well by the scholarship. You avoid that argument once again. Please don't filibuster and drag in details of both fathers onto the talk page unless you are interested in further covering the lives of these two individuals, which we won't be here. This is a major detail that simply needs to be mentioned in the biography as proposed. The debate shouldn't be whether we mention this major detail at all, any debate should be about how much we cover it in proportion to the sources. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:04, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
You're right about the filibustering, at least. We've all considered the issue and said our piece. Only one editor still advocates adding this, so there's no consensus to change anything. I think there's nothing left to say about it. --Coemgenus (talk) 20:38, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
Filibustering involves carrying on about things off topic and aside from the main point/proposal, like racism, relations with in-laws, etc. I've no problems conceding to solid reasons why a basic detail like this should be kept out, but aside from a comment on page length for this one sentence, there's been nothing more than the reoccurring soap opera stuff hitting the fan. Nothing that would negate the reasoning behind the proposal has been offered. i.e.The death of Grant's father is a major point of biographical context; Jesse's death, and much of his life in relation to Grant, for better or worse, is well covered by many of the biographers. I've offered to introduce the proposal contextually, involving half a sentence, instead of just sticking a stand alone statement just anywhere, have offered not to mention Julia's father, and have gone as far as to propose not mentioning Grant's father by name, yet there's been no compromise, as if someone was introducing a contextual 'plague' to the narrative. I'm still hoping for a reconsideration from editors who feel that reflecting the scholarship, esp Grant biographers, is the most important consideration. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:57, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
Are there any mentions by Grant biographers concerning Jesse's or Frederick's deaths ? Cmguy777 (talk) 17:59, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
Agree with Coemgenus. Also, the claim that other reasons have not been offered are factually wrong. Saying the same thing again and again is filibustering. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:28, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Aside from page length concerns and 'soap opera' items nothing has been offered to support leaving out a basic point of biographical context. Filibustering involves avoiding the issue with off topic matters -- it doesn't involve trying to get someone to address the points that have been ignored in support of the simple proposal. i.e.Major biographical context. Scholarship. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:13, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Cm', White, has an entire section in his index devoted to Jesse with a specific entry there (p.804) for Jesse's death. (p.545). McFeely also has a large section in his index for Jesse with a specific entry there (p.582) for Jesse's death (p.388). Smith, p. 607, mentions Jesse death and also mentions that he left Grant his estate in his will, worth $150,000. We're not covering any of this! All the sources I mentioned cover Jesse at length and have large sections of their indexes devoted to Jesse. Again, I hope some editors will reconsider brief coverage here. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:13, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

Outside opinion

Two involved editors want to include mention of President Grant signing an act establishing national holidays and two involved editors oppose.

Coemgenus and Alanscottwalker oppose coverage of Grant's act. Cmguy777 and Gwillhickers approve of coverage. All other editors can weigh in below.

Opinions from the above editors are numerous and can be found in the immediate sections above. Outside opinions are needed and welcomed below.

This is the proposal and citations in question:

On June 28, 1870, President Grant made Christmas, New Year's Day, the Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving legal holidays for all federal workers in the District of Columbia.<Time Magazine> or <New York Times>

Please indicate Support or Oppose with a brief comment.

  • Support While it might be better to put in a subsidiary article, I see no reason to isolate this particular straw as the one that breaks the camel's back. YBG (talk) 22:42, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
    I support the revised wording by Cmguy777, except that I think the colon is superfluous. YBG (talk) 00:43, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
    (Above was re-inserted here after it got separated due to talk page refactoring. Cmguy777's revised wording is "On June 28, 1870 Grant signed into law Congressional legislation that established holidays in the District of Columbia: including Christmas, New Year's Day, The Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving." 09:01, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
    Note: I choose to not get involved in the back-and-forth argument that has cluttered up my watchlist. I humbly request that other non-involved editorss chime in so the community can reach a consensus on (1) whether to add this information (2) the best wording and (3) the best references to use. YBG (talk) 09:01, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
    (Above was re-inserted here after it got separated due to talk page refactoring. YBG (talk) 20:06, 30 December 2016 (UTC))
  • Support including the information that Grant established the commemoration of holidays that could be observed across the entire nation immediately following the civil war in the year Virginia gains readmission to Congress. The Senate site online for the Congressional Research Service “Federal Holidays: evolution and application”, February 8, 1999, section “First Holidays” refers to “federal holiday law”. That is the source and the terminology I would prefer to use: "On June 28, 1870, President Grant made Christmas, New Year's Day, the Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving federal employee holidays for the District of Columbia." TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 10:07, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
@TheVirginiaHistorian: Thanks TVH. I thought it best to wait a bit more before saying anything, but we have given this proposal plenty of time and have a clear consensus to add this. I'll add your version and use the source you've provided. I'll make the announcement below. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:54, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

Cause of death

Should it be mentioned about Grant's doctors giving him injections of "morphine and brandy". McFeely believes Grant died of a narcotics overdose, including cocaine administered to Grant by the doctors? McFeely discusses this on page 517. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:51, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

Any objections to adding Grant's doctors gave him injections of "morphine and brandy" ? Cmguy777 (talk) 03:51, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
If more than one biographer mentions it then I've no objection, with the stipulation that we qualify the item in that some historians speculate that morphine brought about Grant's inevitable death perhaps a bit earlier. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:21, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
I think the best way to write these things is to put the historical consensus in the main text, with any dissents by significant historians in a note. So if McFeely thinks the doctors were "practicing euthanasia" but other authors don't, rather than confuse the main text we should add that note. that way the reader gets the mainstream view but also can understand that that view is not universal. --Coemgenus (talk) 12:50, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
I think a brief note would be appropriate that says morphine injected by his doctors contributed to his death according to McFeely. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:27, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
Proposed note: According to biographer McFeely, morphine injected into Grant by his doctors contributed to his death. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:30, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

World tour article

Cmguy and Gwillhickers: if you guys are still interested in making a separate article about Grant's world tour, you might take a look at King Kalākaua's world tour for inspiration. The editors there seem to have done a nice job. --Coemgenus (talk) 13:58, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

I think the article on Grant's world tour or circumnavigation around the world would be great. I would offer some background historical information on circumnavigation around the world having started in the 16th Century in 1522. Maybe mention Magellan and Francis Drake. Then a brief Grant biography section of Grant. Then jump into his world tour. I suggest writing a frame work article having the enough information for the reader to understand the signifigance of Grant's world tour, then editors can have the option to expand areas that need more attention or discussion. Cmguy777 (talk) 19:09, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
How about I start Ulysses S. Grant's world tour by pasting the information here, then you guys can expand it as you wish? --Coemgenus (talk) 13:00, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
I would accept that. Thanks Coemgenus. That sounds good to me. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:31, 19 January 2017 (UTC)


I added a link for Secretary of the Navy in the text but am wondering if we should also do so with Secretary of War and Secretary of State in the text, even though these links occur in the Cabinet info-box. A second link is allowed when a similar link occurs in the main info-box, but since these links also occur in the Cabinet box, I'm wondering. It seems such links would do well in the body of the text for the reader who comes into the narrative from the TOC and who might overlook the Cabinet box. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:04, 20 January 2017 (UTC)-- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:04, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

Fine by me. --Coemgenus (talk) 03:14, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

Federal holidays

It went slowly and we've given it plenty of time, but we now have a clear consensus to add mention of federal holidays as proposed before. A supporting editor has offered a version with no grammar issues and another good source. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:55, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

Gwillhickers. The CRS does not mention Grant specifically. A reliable source that specically mentions Grant and the first five holidays is needed. Cmguy777 (talk) 02:52, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Cmguy, there's no consensus to add this. --Coemgenus (talk) 03:41, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
Cm' above you supported use of Time as a source:
"I agree that Christmas and holidays deserves mention in the article because it was trend sending just like Grant and Yellowstone National Park. The best source for the Holidays law is the primary source found in Statues at Large. The Times article is correct that Grant signed the Holidays bill into law on June 28, 1870. I respectfully disagree that legal holidays are trivial and just belong in other articles. "
Anyway aside from reservations about the Time source, we have four editors who wish to mention this event in the biography. If this is being rejected by the usual editors because it's not cited by the regular scholarship then we should remove all items in the biography not cited by the same scholarship that's expected of us here. We also have a proposal above which is cited by much of the scholarship, yet it has been rejected regardless of that scholarship. There is a double standard that's been at work here which has brought continued instability and not the best feelings between some editors, and this is not the first time double standards have been resorted to. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:46, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't think there is a double standard. If anything it is neglect from his biographers. But that is just my opinion. I don't want to rehash this controversy. Grant's presidency is understudied. What I mean by that there has yet to be a lengthy book just devoted to his presidency. Bunting (2004) discusses his presidency from pages 86 to 160 or 74 pages. White (2016) discusses his presidency 461 to 584 or 123 pages. I would say a book on his Presidency alone could be 350 to 450 pages long, if not more. That is just my opinion. Again, I don't think it is good to have continued arguments among editors. Yes. The Holidays are a milestone legislation, but there also needs to be better sourcing other then the Times in order for editor concensus to be possible. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:07, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, but my mention of double standard was clearly in reference to some editors, not the sources. I agree that consensus must be based on agreement of the sources used, so now that you've changed your position regarding the Time article we have the usual split consensus. Consensus must be followed if we are to maintain a stable article, but when double standards are employed other issues arise. You can't demand one standard and then ignore it later. Are we prepared to remove all items not cited by the regular scholarship? I've no intention of removing the items in question, as article stability is more important than any of our opinions, but one standard needs to be followed in the present, which doesn't seem to be happening. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:23, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
If you're going to insult someone, do it by name. And "double standard"? I don't think so. I'm against adding all sorts of extraneous details. I'm against violating the length guidelines. And I'm against poorly sourced material going into a featured article (or any halfway decent article). Those are three different standards that overlap against sub-standard writing. If it clears things up for you: yes, I would love "to remove all items not cited by the regular scholarship?" I only acquiesced in them because the consensus was against me and I didn't want to keep arguing tendentiously on the talk page about it. --Coemgenus (talk) 22:21, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
Insert : Exceptions to guidelines are allowed, as pointed out on numerous occasions. Coemgenus, no one has made that a reoccurring issue but you, and only when you don't approve of something, as you've gone along with other improvements to the article at times. There is no "violation". "Arguing tendentiously" only occurs when someone doesn't address legitimate points in a straight forward manner. e.g.Death of Grant's father is a major detail, more notable than dozens of other items covered in the biography, and well covered by modern scholarship. Also, many non biographical sources, used throughout wikipedia in other GA and FA articles, had FA approval in this article. The only thing "tendentious" is the effort to deny these things. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:26, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Agree, and it it is no double standard from me either, multiple discussion in secondary scholarly Grant biography sources warrant consideration (and we do not have that for these holidays), and looking at multiple RS tertiary sources on Grant encyclopedic biography inform due weight (and we do not have that for these holidays), per policy, but I too feel the need to bend sometimes against my judgement (not on this, holiday thing, though: Grant biographical sources don't discuss it and even the proposed CRS source does not mention Grant and CRS contradicts some editor arguments, because it's clear from CRS that there was no national holiday in this bill). Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:59, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
Had the CRS said Grant's name directly, but it does not, that would be reliable. I think we are turning a hill into El Capitan. Until there is a better source let's stop any name calling or making accusations. In my opinion, Grant signing into law the first federal holidays, not national, is important, but unless there is a reliabe source that editors can agree on, let's respectfully drop the issue for now. Cmguy777 (talk) 00:27, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Insert : Agree, we need RS's we can all agree on, but I maintain, the sources presented are fine, as similar non biographical sources are frequently used elsewhere in WP. However, there has been no name calling, and the "accusations" concerning double standards and the repeated filibustering were legitimate criticisms. Something notable was proposed, i.e. the death of Grant's father, cited by sources we all agree on, yet the item remains blocked for no definitive reason by the usual marginal consensus. Double standard. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:49, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Thank you - yes, to dropping, and as for the rest, we can agree to disagree (and I do disagree for several reasons with the rest) and move on. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:50, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

@Cmguy777 and Gwillhickers: The CRS source does say Grant’s name directly: “President Ulysses S. Grant selected the third Thursday in November for the observance [of Thanksgiving as a federal holiday within the District of Columbia].” Stephen W. Stathis, Federal Holidays: evolution and application, (1999) Congressional Research Service p. 6, note 29. If this is not persuasive as to meeting consistent article standards, then I agree to dropping it. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 15:36, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

And it is telling that they mention Grant there in an unrelated footnote not talking about this bill, but find his name entirely irrelevant when discussing the bill (nor the other holidays). Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:52, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
The CRS says, "When Congress enacted the first federal holiday law in 1870..." and excludes any mention that Grant approved of the law. The law was "enacted" because Grant signed it into law. The CRS only mentions grant in regards to choosing the day of Thanksgiving. I don't think that this is enough for a solid reference source. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:14, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Cmguy. --Coemgenus (talk) 18:51, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Cm', you just suggested that Grant signed something he didn't approve of. Grant approved the law when he signed the bill. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:09, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
The sources are fine, and the signing of the bill was a presidential first and notable. Non biographical sources, most, if not all, of which were present when the article passed FA, are used throughout Wikipedia, but there is a double standard that overshadows this biography it seems, so despite readers who welcome such information, we are prevented from offering it to them. Reasons for dismissing or ignoring this item have been reaching at best, but I agree, since there is no clear consensus for the sources we can only add this to the list of major and notable details missing in the biography. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:09, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. Grant signed the bill into law. That is the same as approving the bill. In my opinion the CRS could give some credit to Grant. Who did the research? Cmguy777 (talk) 02:16, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
Cm', Grant signed the bill into law. That is the same as approving the bill, as I said before. We can safely assume Grant had discussed the matter with various members of the Cabinet and/or House as Presidents always do when they sign bills. I hardly think Grant was locked away in a closet when the measure was proposed and someone slipped the bill under the door for him to sign without a clue. The sources are fine. We don't need a source to spell out the idea that Grant was awake and knew well about what he was signing. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:31, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
No. We can't assume. Almost all bills passed got signed. There is no source that supports the idea that he discussed this prosaic bill with anyone. According to the CRS, the bill was just following the "similar" laws of the states, and the desires of local merchants and bankers. We also can't credit the idea that this is important or notable to Grant's life, when the sources don't say that. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:34, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
Exactly. If it were important to Grant, there would likely be evidence of that in his papers, which the scholarly biographers all use in writing their books. None of them—none— noticed enough discussion on that score to merit including it. I think we have to abide by that historical consensus. --Coemgenus (talk) 14:19, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
We know Grant read the Inflation Bill and that he vetoed it. We can't say he did not read the Holiday bill before signing into law. I think all of this is due to lack of research by historians towards Grant's Presidency. What bills did Grant veto, pocket veto, and what bills did he sign into law ? The Statues at Large helps. Is there even such a list found in the archives of Congress ? Until there are better sourcing it is best to let this matter drop. We seem to be going around in circles. Cmguy777 (talk) 17:35, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
A bill doesn't get passed, or become law, until it's signed. You can't assume that Grant had no idea what he was signing, or that there might be times when a President has no idea what he's signing. This is wholly argumentative and really reaching. Neither can we speculate what bills were important, or 'if' they were important. All we do is relate what the sources say. No one has proposed to say that the bill was very important, somewhat important, or not important at all to Grant. Anyways, we're passed the usual, argumentative, opinionated, slippery slope, perpetual talk stage. Four editors want to mention this, but if we can't find a source agreeable to these four editors, 'then' we can't mention it, not because any editor happens to 'feel' the bill was not important to Grant. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:03, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
Bills get passed by the Congress. But, sorry, I did not mean to suggest anything about him reading it or not reading it. I was merely noting what Cmguy said in a different way, we don't know basically anything about it, but what we do know is Grant biography does not discuss it at all (especially given the fact that it discusses other legislation he signed and vetoed), so we can't assume, or argue, or suggest, that it matters at all to his life by discussing it in his biography article (just as the harbor or road bills or other local DC matter bills, etc. that he signed are not discussed). That is called, following the sources. When they do not discuss it, we do not. -- 03:58, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
@Gwillhickers and Alanscottwalker: I like the idea of following the secondary sources as a limiting criteria for a well researched personality like Grant, although I can also see the federal holiday in DC as a part of Grant reconciling the nation, there may be a Reconstruction chapter in some biographical source that addresses the theme of reconciliation that would mention some direct evolvement with the initiation of the federal holidays.
I think that Grant's intervention for national reconciliation was especially important into the Constitutional process in Virginia 1868-70. This article probably does need something on that personal, named involvement by Grant with Virginia's Committee of Nine. The Radical "obnoxious clauses" coming out of the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1868 excluding former Confederates from the franchise were allowed to be voted on separately in the state-wide referendum -- on directions from Grant--, and so they were removed from the Constitution of 1870 that enabled Virginia to reseat a Congressional delegation. --- What do his principle biographers say on that subject? TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 09:25, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
The lede in the Christmas in the American Civil War and the Time Magazine article which Cmguy found says Grant made Christmas an official Federal holiday to help reunite the North and South, but however plausible, this is a speculation, so we can't assert this. There is yet to be found a Grant biographer that covers the signing of the 1870 bill, which when you think about it is sort of an indictment on biographers, if you will, primarily because they are often preoccupied by Civil War battles, reconstruction efforts, prosecution of the KKK and other attention grabbers. As you've noticed other non biographical sources, including Time and the US Gov, mention the signing in simple terms, which is all that's proposed here. However, there is a double standard resorted to here that doesn't occur in other GA and FA articles where nonbiographical sources are used. This occurred when we introduced this simple and unprecedented event, as there are still a number of nonbiographical sources that were present in the article when it was approved for FA, while there's no policy that says biographies must always be cited by biographers. We have recognizable sources, like Time and the US Gov source that you, another editor and myself approve of, and one which Cm' once approved of, but it seems he's changed his mind just recently. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:28, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. As noted a reliability issue has been cited concerning the Times article apparently concerning paid of unpaid holiday. I believe the Times article is reliable enough because it was used to associate Grant signing the Holiday's bill into law. Biographers have yet to come up with a complete Grant book on his presidency alone. That is the issue concerning all Grant biographies. Not one of his biographers has followed up on his presidency alone book, I believe could be between 350 to 450 pages. Grant was in office for eight years or a total of 2922 days. One would think someone would write a book on his presidency. Until there is a supporting source other then the Times article I think adding any Holidays information would be controversial. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:20, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
Because Grant was central in the effort to win the Civil War biographers tend to concentrate on this era of his life, naturally. Had Grant simply been a president no doubt his biographers would have mentioned items like this. There's nothing unreliable about the Time or US Gov sources. These are not fringe or otherwise obscure sources. But at this point this is sort of moot, as simple mention of notable events like the death of Grant's father, covered well by modern scholarship, are opposed as if it was some menial event in Grant's life. Double standard, par time adherence to principles, apparently, and sort of a discourtesy to editors whose first consideration are the readers. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:33, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. I don't speak for other editors but I don't think it helps to accuse other editors of "double standards". Grant's presidency is understudied, in my opinion. That is the real issue here. Grant's daughters wedding has been added to the article. That was a family and state matter since it was international and it took place at the White House. I don't think mention Jesse warrants enough historical weight to be put in the Presidency section. Let's go onto other things and try to build editor concensus. Cmguy777 (talk) 07:07, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
Given Jesse's involvement with Grant throughout his life (military and political career included) and considering the coverage/weight given to Jesse by the scholarship along these lines, all I can tell you is that the idea of Jesse not being important to the biography is without rational basis. With all due respect, all you've done is reassert the idea of 'I just don't like it'. Once again, double standards occur when someone makes an issue about using the scholarship (Federal holidays) while allowing non biographical sources in other instances, and then ignores that scholarship when it's used to demonstrate the weight of a given event (death of father). Easy math. We've been through this. As I said, I don't edit against consensus, even if it's without any solid basis. Numerous attempts were made to introduce this important event in Grant's life, and in a contextual manner that didn't give it a lot of coverage. Appreciate your attempt at diplomacy but reasonable compromise fair to all has always worked better. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:25, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Jesse Grant

White, Brands, McFeely and Smith all give us excellent coverage of Jesse Grant. There is significant interaction between Grant and his father throughout his life and should be part of any well written biography. Brooks D. Simpson begins his book with a chapter entitled "My Ulysses", Jesse's term of endearment for his son. Brooks begins the chapter with, "Jesse Grant exemplified what America was all about". The entire chapter is devoted to Jesse and his relationship to Ulysses. To complete the biography, which is an account of Grant's life, much more should be said about Jesse, perhaps in the Early life section. Currently the biography only mentions Jesse in passing. Currently not only does the biography not mention Jesse's death, but among other things, it doesn't mention Jesse standing next to Grant when he was sworn in. These are not minor details all covered by the scholarship. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:53, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

Isn't this the same thing we just finished talking about above? --Coemgenus (talk) 22:01, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
I recall an objection based on page length -- don't recall anything being finished. Jesse left his estate, worth $150K, to Grant when he died. We should cover this too, esp since it reflects the scholarship. You had always expressed that reflecting the scholarship was one of your main concerns Coemgenus. Don't like being difficult, but we should not ignore this stuff. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:30, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
Having read the above talk in another section, the only thing I could see signifigant is Jesse's $150,000 will. Was that $150,000 between any surviving brothers or sisters ? I don't think more needs to be added in general on Grant and Jesse. Also where could this be mentioned to fit the narration ? Cmguy777 (talk) 00:34, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
I just read Smith p 607 about Jesse's $150,000 will. Grant renounced it and did not take a dime. That does not bode well for a positive close relationship between Grant and Jesse. Grant did not even take the money and donate it to charity. This all brings up more negative issues between Grant and Jesse that in my opinion opens up a tangled web of information. I am trying to help on this issue. Cmguy777 (talk) 00:43, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Smith also mentions that Grant didn't take any money he made from post war testimonials, and doesn't even suggest that Grant turned down the money from his father's estate for any ill feelings towards his father. But even if Grant had, this is still history, for better or worse. Smith says "Fish was astonished by Grant's generosity." Yes, we don't want to get too involved here, as we are only presenting a summary of events in the article. Also, where to mention the $150K estate left to Grant is a due consideration. Again, I don't want to stick stand alone statements just anywhere in the narrative, but we should look for ways to introduce the item. I had hoped a contextual statement would have been well received earlier, just to mention Jesse's death. Smith mentions Jesse's estate in relation to Grant paying for the world tour out of his own pocket, so perhaps we can mention Jesse's death and his will to Grant in the context of the World tour section. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:00, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Maybe we are getting somewhere. Was there ill will between Grant and Jesse ? Why did he not take his share of Jesse's estate ? Yes. Smith does not answer that. We don't know why Grant turned down Jesse's estate. These are the questions that the reader would want to ask and apparently there are no answers. This is the "tangled web of information" I was talking about. Cmguy777 (talk) 06:56, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
I still think this is tangent not worth pursuing, especially as we're now engaging in speculation about Grant's motives and feelings. --Coemgenus (talk) 12:58, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
In my opinion Grant's refusal to take Jesse's inheritance was a reputation of Jesse. However, since no reasons are offered by biographers why Grant refused to take Jesse's inheritance then I don't believe that information should be in the article. There is no need to figure out where this information belongs in the article. Coemgenus is correct that this information leads to speculations of Grant's motives and feelings. The other issue is that it was a personal matter between Grant and Jesse and did not affect his presidency or world tour. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:44, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

Smith mentions Grant's declining of inheritance, (which would automatically go to other family members without saying), in conjunction with turning down any payment from post war testimonials and mentions Fish saying Grant was being generous. There's much more about Grant to accept the premise of generosity than not. No one wants to get involved with our own speculations about motives, but history is replete with events, including Grant's G.O.11, which we cover well, that make the reader speculate about other motives and possibilities. It would be unrealistic to expect our encyclopedia to do what all the sources can not do. Along with the death of a father, receiving and declining an inheritance directly involves Grant and is nothing tangential, however, as the inheritance is not a major point of context, I strongly feel that mentioning Jesse's death in context is the more important item. It's not something tangential, covered by most modern sources of late and gives the biography a point of overall context. It would be unfair to other editors to disregard their concerns for page length entirely, so the proposal is offered in context and in sentence form. This is more than fair to all. The biography overall only needs a few major details added to it and it would be complete on that note. Death of father. Wedding. Receiving birth name from family. We still might want to mention however that Grant paid for the world tour out of his own pocket btw. (Smith, p.607) -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:12, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

I'm still with the others not to put in (we discuss Jesse properly already), and I don't plan on repeating. (If we have scholarly sources that discusses this will turn down in terms of avoiding "conflict of interest", I would recommend that go to our US government conflict of interest articles). Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:31, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
We have scholarly sources that cover Jesse's relationship to Grant and his death. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:56, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
We are not writing a book - we have been over that many times. Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:08, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Actually the only thing that has been offered "many times" is the off topic stuff. We're talking about adding one major detail, not writing a book. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:29, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. If our only criterion for inclusion was having scholarly sources that cover it, this article would be longer than any of the book-length biographies. Having scholarly sources is the bare minimum. We must also exercise judgement about how best to summarize what the scholars cover in a concise and informative way. The editors on this page (other than you) do not agree that this is crucial to that summary. We've discussed at length, I don't know what else there is to say. You're outnumbered. There is no consensus to add this. --Coemgenus (talk) 20:39, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Well, no one said having scholarly sources is the only criterion, but it's a major one, so expressed by editors just recently when mention of federal holidays was proposed. That was the central objection then. The FA requirement that we don't leave out major details is also a consideration, and the death of Grant's father is a major detail, more significant to his biography than many of the lesser items covered here. No way around that. There's only one thing that would explain this inconsistency and the rigid opposition to the simple mentioning of a date, and it's rather clear that there is only arm-wrestling going on here, which explains the double standard and zero compromise all the way down the line. All criterion for the proposal have been met: A major detail. Covered well by the scholarship. After all that's been said and done, no solid reason has been offered as to why we should keep this item out. None! Did I miss it? What was it? Page length woes over one sentence? "We're not writing a book"? I respect consensus when it's based on solid reasoning but none was ever forthcoming. I've always gone along with consensus, but is consensus based on 'I just don't like it' allowed? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:29, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. White on page 549 does discuss Grant's personal, military, and political losses. The only one I could think of mentioning without much controversy would be Wilson. He was the Vice President and he supported Grant. His stroke caused him severe disability and he could not speak. That did affect Grant because he did not have a Vice President anymore. Wilson died on office. That is signifigant. I would support inclusion of Wilson in the biography but not the others listed. Why not settle for a compromise? I think a sentence on Wilson an abolitionst would be good for the article, if other editors agree, then we can move on to other issues. Cmguy777 (talk) 02:39, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
Mentioning the death of Wilson but not that of Grant's father is your idea of compromise? Jesse is covered far more by the modern sources (compare the number of pages of coverage devoted to each) than Wilson, yet you're willing to mention Wilson's death, and it also looks like your ready to add details about him, but not that of Grant's own father? The biography is not limited to Grant's presidency. If you're truly interested in a compromise we should mention the deaths of both father and VP. As the death of a vice president is also significant we should say this:
Upon assuming the presidency Grant was faced with the great task of reuniting the country in the unstable aftermath of the Civil War, while also having to deal with the death of a Vice President and the personal loss of his father and other family members.<White, pp.545, 549><Smith, p.607><McFeely, pp.385, 388>
The proposal mentions no one by name and is not devoted to any one person or idea. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:28, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
I would only focus on Wilson. He was a radical abolitionist Senator. May have helped Grant get a solid win in 1872 being on the ticket, even though he was named in the Crédit Mobilier scandal. "Grant's Vice President Henry Wilson and political advocate died in office November 22, 1875, having suffered from two previous debilitating strokes." Cmguy777 (talk) 21:17, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
The article already mentions, "Wilson, viewed as a practical reformer and civil rights advocate...", and there's already a link for him in the text. Your proposal is to mention Wilson by name, again, mention the date of death, along with other details, while ignoring the death of Grant's father entirely? The above proposal was meant to describe in summary what lied ahead for Grant. It doesn't lend itself to one idea or person. At this late date there's been no solid reason for keeping this major detail, backed by several recognized sources, out of the article. Just the usual 'I don't like it' in one form or another. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:45, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
Wilson was constitutionally second in line to the Presidency and had the power to cast tie breaking vote in the Senate. Obviously he probably would have been too incapacitated to serve as President. He did cast a vote to break a tie in the Senate once on March 2, 1874. How much loss Jesse's and Frederick's deaths caused Grant is unknown. There is contradiction on Jesse by biographers. According to McFeely Jesse may have caused Grant's General Orders # 11. Wilson's sentence belongs in the Election of 1872 section. Occasions When Vice Presidents Have Voted To Break Tie Votes In The Senate] PDF Cmguy777 (talk) 00:49, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Carrying on about Wilson's health doesn't tell anyone why we should not mention the death of Grant's father. Your opinion about contradicting sources regarding Jesse also avoids the issue, esp since no one proposes to add a detailed account of the relationship between Grant and his father. None of the sources are in disagreement of the simple event, that Grant lost his father while President. Not that I expect you'll ever do so at this point, but reasons for not mentioning this major detail have yet to be presented, just for the record. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:17, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
All I am saying is Wilson has priority since he was Vice President. Let's say Jesse's is mentioned in the article. We don't know Grant's reaction, except that he did not take Jesse's money or inheritance. No explanation. Wilson had several strokes and died in office. He had the power to break ties in the Senate. That is signifigant. Cmguy777 (talk) 02:20, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
Once again, you argue about something not even contested. I've no issues with covering Wilson, and no one said he was not significant. As before you're propping up Wilson as if this somehow diminishes the significance of Grant's father. The scholarship feels he is significant to Grant's biography, for reasons that should be obvious. Jesse was Grant's father, active in Grant's life in a number of capacities. This shouldn't be a debate about which individual should be covered more, it's about why we shouldn't mention the death of Grant's father at all. This idea has been repeatedly avoided. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:41, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Jesse Grant continued

It's mainly that Grant and Jesse were not that close. White (2016) page 127 describes how Grant asked Jesse for $500 when he was at Hardscrabble needing money. There is no evidence Jesse sent any money to Grant. "His [Jesse's] relationship [to Grant] who had married into a slaveholding family continued to be cool and distant." Cmguy777 (talk) 23:17, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
You're assuming that Grant was not close to his father based on the idea that there is "no evidence" that Jesee gave Grant $500?? That's ridiculous. Did your Dad give you money every time you asked? Come on. Is there a source that 'explains' in no uncertain terms that Grant was not close to his father? You're reaching at things like a $500 loan to determine the nature of the relationship but seem to be forgetting that Grant named one of his son's after Jesse, that he was by his son's side when sworn in and was a frequent visitor at the Whitehouse. If he was not welcomed most of the time, (Grant was busy as President) his visits would not have been frequent. Whether Grant loved or hated his father, he is still a significant part of the biography and the sources more than support this idea. All that was proposed is mention of the passing of Grant's father in context. The scholarship gives much coverage to Jesse. Imo, more could be said about Grant's father, in summary, in a well rounded bio. The least we can do here is mention that Grant's father died while he was president and was faced with the arduous task of stabilizing and reuniting the country. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 03:34, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
Gwillhickers you are linking two events that biographers don't link together; Reconstruction and the death of Jesse. The two events are not linked together and are seperate issues. There is no evidence that Jesse's death caused Grant hardship, such as the death of Lincoln. No one is saying Jesse's death is insignifigant. The article mention's Jesse was instrumental in getting Grant's West Point assignment. White (2016) page 127 says there relationship was "cool and distant". According to McFeely an observer of Grant, James Harrison Wilson, said Jesse had a "mean nasty streak" and that Jesse was "close and greedy." Wilson said that Jesse angered Grant when he tried to get a contract for Jewish merchants, Jesse getting a percentage, while Grant was starting his Vicksburg Campaign. McFeely does mention Wilson himself was anti-semitic, so his reliablity maybe in question. But McFeely said Wilson's observation "may not have been entirely off the mark." (page 124). Jesse also refused to board Grant's family after his return from the West Coast. Grant had to move to the South and try to make a living as a farmer. You can edit what you want on Jesse in the article if you feel this is so important to you. There is no use of me continuing this arguement because we are going around in circles. My final concern is that mentioning Jesse's death may imply to the reader that Grant and Jesse were close when clearly this is not the case. Cmguy777 (talk) 04:18, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
I did not attempt to link reconstruction and the death of Grant's father in that the two were in of themselves connected, only that they were part of the yoke that Grant bore while President. Again, you go on about one aspect of Jesse's personality as if this, by itself, amounted to something that made Grant not care about his own father, in spite of Grant naming his son after his father, etc, etc. A father that referred to his son as "my Ulysses". Do you know why Jesse "refused" to board Grant and his entire family? Grant was away at the west coast for two years. We don't know what made Jesse turn away Grant, if that's what really happened in the manner you suggest. Again, for better or worse, Grant's father is part of Grant's life and is due more than a passing mention in the biography, but as I said, we should at least mention his death in the context that was proposed. There is nothing 'clear' that says Grant was not close to his own father, only that they were at odds over lesser matters on occasion, like most fathers and sons who still share great love for the other. You're suggesting Grant was arrogant and sort of heartless. Mentioning the death of Grant's father by itself let's the reader simply know that Grant's father died and was among the things he had to deal with in his life while president. We're not saying anything else. Biographical context is all that's proposed and reflects the scholarship. I can't "edit what you want" along these lines without consensus. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 05:51, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. It's your call. I gave you my reasons against adding Jesse's death as if it was a burden to Grant. It's all speculation. Maybe it was or was not. I am not the general of this article. You have the freedom to make edits that you believe are necessary for the article. I have never suggested Grant was "arrogant and heartless". We have over discussed this matter too many times. It is your decision to make your own edits on Jesse and Grant in the article, not mine. Respectfully. Cmguy777 (talk) 06:04, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
No on has said Jesse was not a part of Grant's life - Jesse is already discussed in this article but in no way does any of that mean the article has to discuss his death - many people are discussed as part of Grant's life, but thier death is not covered. Perhaps the following will help one see where most of us are coming from: You have, say, a 500 page secondary source book, but in writing an article, here, you have to summarize that, which means many, many, many things will be cut - and we can check that against tertairy encycyclopedic biogarphy sources. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:46, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Cm' you've never really explained why the death should be left out. On several occasions you went on at length about soap-opera stuff about other people, and several times speculated about how Grant was not close to father, but never refuted the idea that 'Grant's father' was involved with Grant throughout much of his life and that his death should simply be mentioned for context. Your arguments would apply, somewhat, if we were purposing more lengthy coverage. Again, all that's proposed is a contextual mention just for the simple context in the biography at that point in Grant's life. Thanks for mentioning I can edit, but if this one item is going to cause headaches, and would no doubt be reverted by someone else, I'll have to pass.
  • ASW, you make a point, that many texts don't mention deaths of fathers, but are they biographies? While 'many people' are also part of Grant's life, some of whose deaths are mentioned, they are not Grant's father. Yes, we summarize, which is all that was proposed. One summary statement that lent itself to the overall context Grant was faced with while President. Why this has been greeted as some radical and tangential idea not covered well by modern scholarship remains sort of a mystery to me. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:14, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. Editing in Jesse Grant's death implies that Grant had a good relationship between himself and Jesse. That is my reason. Enough arguments. If you feel strongly on this go ahead and make the edit. I am done arguing the matter. Cmguy777 (talk) 20:56, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
The only thing I really feel strongly about is the prolonged run around and fuzzy objections over a simple point of context, covered well by both modern and older sources. The article is still a fine account on Grant, but there's always room for improvement with any literary work. Mentioning the death of Grant's father by itself doesn't say anything definitively in terms of a good or bad relationship. That Grant named one of his sons after his father, received him as a frequent guest at the Whitehouse says more about their relationship than some $500 loan. It seems you've tried to turn mention of a death into some sort of controversial content issue. While we can make edits without permission or a stated consensus, I don't want to add something that was offered as a proposal that has been objected to. 'Thanks' for inviting me to do otherwise. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:39, 25 January 2017 (UTC)


Cmguy: those pictures were close enough to the text they illustrated. It was neater the old way and now, I think we either have to delete images (so it is not croweded) or go back to the way it was. Can we not, go back to the yoking of battles? Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:43, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

In my opinion, no. I prefer historical accuracy then a "neater" arrangement of the photos. Respectfully, this article is about Grant biography not Civil War photo dipictions. The last version implied by arrangement that Lee surrendered after the Wilderness campaign. That is simply not the case. I object to going back to the way it was. It is chronologically inaccurate. Lee's surrender at Appomattox was not a war battle. It was a surrender. It was linked to the "Peacemaker" where Lincoln tells Grant and Sherman let the Confederates off easy. I don't think it should go back to the old way. If another arrangement of deletion of photos is neccessary then that is fine. If I were to delete a photo, and I believe I had put the photo of Grant surrendering to Lee photo in, I would delete that one and keep the Peacmaker photo.Cmguy777 (talk) 19:20, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
In my recollection it was not the case that BOW image was before the surrender image, (if it was it was changed from what it was at the time the images were placed, which shows moving pictures around is a bad idea) - we had Appomatox in the surrender section. And the Lincoln image was to illustarte Grant and Lincoln-Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:36, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
I removed the BOW photo. I am the one who placed it there. So I take responsibility for that. I removed it from this article. In my opinion, from a reader point of view it looked like Lee surrendered after the BOW. By removing the BOW photo I cleared up the photo crowding. I hope things look satifactory now. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:15, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

Info box

Is a notable works = parameter in the info-box appropriate for military people or non authors? If so then we should add | notable works = Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, after the occupation = parameter. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:21, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

I don't know. It's notable, but it's not what he's known for. Seems more approrpiate to people best known as authors. --Coemgenus (talk) 03:15, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
Grant is known for being a Civil War General foremost, something that tends to overshadow even his presidency. People who know most of what's to be learned about Grant usually don't come to WP. We're here to inform those who have yet to learn about the finer things involving Grant, as well as the popular stuff. I'd recommend we mention Grant's monumental literary work, largely acclaimed in the academic world. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:17, 26 January 2017 (UTC)

Henry Wilson

I believe it is important to mention that Vice President Wilson died in office. Wilson supported Grant's prosecution of the Ku Klux Klan and believed Grant was an "underated" President. I believe Wilson is important enough for the article because he settled one tie vote in the Senate. Also Wilson severely disabled by first major stroke. He was believed to have been getting better until his fatal second stroke. Any objections ? Cmguy777 (talk) 19:09, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

Vice Presidents were incredibly unimportant in those days (and mostly still are). But I think we could mention it in a note where it would make sense to do so--in the 1872 election section, I suppose, since that's the only time we mention him. The latest addition today put the article back at 100k, so I'd like to keep this short. --Coemgenus (talk) 19:50, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
One sentence would be good. I would say casting breaking ties in the Senate if very important. Wilson is different in that he was disabled by the stroke and served until 1875. Also the reader could falsely conclude Wilson served Grant's full 4 year term in office. I appreciate Coemgenus for allowing the mention of Wilson. He was part of Grant's political family according to White. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:19, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
Suggested edit: "Wilson, part of Grant's political family, died in office on November 22, 1875, having suffered a fatal stroke." Cmguy777 (talk) 21:25, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
He cast a single tie-breaking vote, and I can't find a single author who even says what it was about. But I've trimmed us back to just under 100k, so maybe "Wilson died in office on November 22, 1875, after suffering a stroke."? That would work for me. --Coemgenus (talk) 22:55, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
Wilson was disabled by his first stroke on May 19, 1873 and never really fully recovered. I don't know what bill he broke the tie on. It is unknown if his disability prevented him from breaking tie votes in the Senate. His predecessor Schuyler Colfax broke 17 ties. How about this ? "Wilson was severely disabled by a stroke on May 19, 1873 and died in office on November 22, 1875 from another stroke." Cmguy777 (talk) 02:14, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
Agree with Coemgenus. Wilson was just a VP, not noted for much of anything, and was only with Grant a short while. They were not even close friends as was Sherman, Sheridan, Fish, so there's no need to get into any more details other than he died of a stroke. His death should also not be presented as some stand alone item stuck anywhere in the text, but mentioned in context. Have we given that any consideration? Wilson was part of Grant's administration, like many others who also supported Grant's prosecution of the KKK, among many other things. Do we cover how other cabinet members, including VP Schuyler Colfax, voted on bills, etc, also? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:30, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
Wilson was not just a VP. He was a Senator from Massachusetts. He was the Senator who wrote the bills that banned slavery in Washington D.C. (1862) and for African Americans to join the military (1862). He was an author of two volumes on southern Slave Power, but was unable to complete his third volume because of a stroke. For the sake of concensus I can accept Coemgenus' version. Colfax served out his full term in office. Cmguy777 (talk) 21:14, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
If Wilson wrote such bills we might want to mention that, perhaps in the Reconstruction section, in the context associated with Grant, sources permitting. What was Grant's involvement in this effort? Did he do more than just sign these bills, or did he also work with Wilson (and others?) in their drafting? I suggest this only because Reconstruction was one of Grant's major presidential involvements. Currently the Reconstruction section says "Grant pressured Congress to draw up legislation..." but doesn't mention Wilson and any involvement he and Grant had in advancing such ideas and legislation. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:33, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
Please read his biography: Henry Wilson. The bills were written in 1862 and signed into law by President Lincoln. That is why Grant chose him over Colfax. He was part of the Radical establishment during the Civil War. Cmguy777 (talk) 00:11, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't pretend to know who drafted all the various bills by lesser politicians in that era of American history, but I agree. If Grant didn't have anything to do with the bills Wilson advanced under Lincoln then we should just mention Wilson died of a stroke while in office, per Coemgenus' version. Apparently Wilson's efforts weren't enough as Grant still pressured Congress to come up with better legislation, which the section already mentions. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 03:31, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
Interestingly, Wilson's second stroke took him down quickly, as it occurred in the Capitol building, where he died.<ref> Grant served out the remainder of his second term without a VP. Even though this can be deducted from the info box, it seems worth mentioning in the text and would provide some context for mention of Wilson's death. Was Grant contemplating a third run for the presidency at the time of Wilson's death? So far I've found nothing along these lines in the few books on Grant I have at hand. The internet hasn't been any help either. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:56, 29 January 2017 (UTC)


If we're going to add the Cullum book, shouldn't we cite to the original, rather than the copy of it on a website? --Coemgenus (talk) 16:28, 29 January 2017 (UTC)

That depends. Does any editor have a copy of the book and give page numbers ? Grant's presidential library is a reliable websource. It's focused on Grant. A book would be preferable, but I don't think it is a matter of should or should not. Cmguy777 (talk) 19:17, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
(It's at the link I provided above.) --Coemgenus (talk) 19:23, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
The edition is 1891. The website was updated in 2013. The website is in more of a modern format easier to read through. Cullum does not believe Grant was a genius on page 175. He says little on Grant's presidency in his biographical sketch. He completely skips the Overland campaign from the Wilderness to Appomattox. The article would be going from an updated modern website to an 1891 book. Cullum is a great source on the dates of Grant's military promotions and on his rankings. I believe the website in that sense is giving accurate information on Grant. This is coming from the Mississippi State University. If there were any inaccuracies in the Cullum book the Mississippi State University Presidential Library would have the resources to correct that information. I am hesitant to just throw away a reliable modern website for an 1891 book. Why not add Cullum's book to Grant bibliography article ? Cmguy777 (talk) 20:09, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
Agree with Coemgenus. Information at the website is taken from the book, whose page numbers will remain constant for all of time, unlike url addresses. I had no difficulty reading the book. Also, the 2013 website originally linked to doesn't mention Buchanan, nor does the 1891 publication refer to any Grant/Buchanan involvement. As much as I respect the older sources, what prompted you to bring in Cullum in an attempt to corroborate White? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:20, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
Mississippi State University is a solid source. If Grant's presidential library can't be used as a source then what can be used as a source ? Cmguy777 (talk) 05:10, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
Already explained above. You used this as a cite that didn't mention Buchanan, etc. We can use the cite for other items, but some of your citations in this instance were faulty. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 06:33, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
The cites were not faulty. Only used for dating. Nothing else. Cmguy777 (talk) 16:14, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

Once again, the website you used as a citation for the Grant/Buchanan involvement didn't even mention Buchanan. We should always use a book as our first choice of reference. Websites should be used only when information can't be found elsewhere, and the info you attempted to cite was already cited by White, Brands, etc. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:41, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

Grant's Cabinet

Grant's Cabinet is appropriately covered nicely near the beginning of the Presidency section, but at the end of this major section, after all the topic specific subsections which follow, we had a Cabinet subsection, which only contained the Cabinet info box and two images, one of which was simply an image of Grant's presidential image. The Cabinet subsection should contain this coverage, so I made the change with the idea that the Cabinet should be covered in the Cabinet subsection. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 03:25, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

The Cabinet as the lead section is very confusing to the reader. One assumes that Grant is elected only to appoint cabinet members. The edit makes no sense. Cmguy777 (talk) 05:13, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
Among the first things Grant did as president was to appoint Cabinet members, which generally occurred before the things mentioned in the following subsections. The Cabinet appointments were already covered at the beginning. It makes perfect sense to put coverage of the Cabinet appointments and the Cabinet info-box all together under a Cabinet subsection, allowing the reader to go from the TOC and see this information all in one place. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 06:16, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
Please let other editors give their opinions. This is a major change in the whole article structure. Not worth an edit war. Cmguy777 (talk) 07:08, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
Grant did not appoint all Cabinet members at once, but through a succession of years. That is why the Cabinet infobox belongs at the end of Grant's presidency. Cmguy777 (talk) 07:13, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I opposed the cabinet box as belonging in the presidency article (so would support its removal altogether), but I see no good reason to move it up. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:15, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Cm', you initiated the reverts before discussion was allowed to occur. If there was a consensus to move the box back, I would have gone along with the consensus as usual. We already have a good paragraph dedicated to coverage of Grant's early and later appointments near the beginning. General coverage of Grant's Cabinet should fall under one section, regardless of where we decide to put this section. We should at least do that.
  • ASW, there are good reasons to move the box near the beginning of the Presidency section. Main and other such info-boxes serves as a summary timeline and always precede the narrative. Also, the Cabinet-box is the only place many of the appointments are even mentioned, including Morrill, Cameron, Taft, Marshall, Jewell, Tyner. Also, the Cabinet-box is the only place nearly all of the Cabinet members have their dates of appointments-resignations mentioned. It also serves as a general time line for Grant's administration, allowing the reader to get this perspective without having to mull through multiple sections to see (in few cases dates are even mentioned) who was in office at any particular time.
  • In any case, it's a good idea to put general Cabinet info under one heading, rather than having the readers searching for it in different sections. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:23, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
I think the current arrangement looks good and makes logical sense. I.e.: the discussion at the top of the section, the chart and pictures at the bottom. I'll also associate myself with Alan's comments: I never wanted it in the article to begin with. --Coemgenus (talk) 20:51, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. You initiated the edits without concensus nor adequate time for discussion. Three editors including my self do not want the Cabinet to be moved up. The only reason I would be for removing from the article would be to save space. I favor leaving in the article because the two photos show Grant's presidential portrait, and his Cabinet from 1876 to 1877. It is not a question of placement, but should the section be kept ? What alternatives are there for a potential section replacement ? Moving to the front creates many problems of context, chronology, and article structure. In my opinion it looks clumsy to put a box at the beginning of Grant's presidency. One option would be to remove the section but add something on every cabinet member in the article. Cmguy777 (talk) 22:53, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
Cm', on numerous occasions you asserted the idea that you didn't need permission or consensus to edit. As the edit in question was nothing radical, involving no content issues, errors and merely involved putting existing info all under one existing heading, this shouldn't have been something that was alarming for you. Coemgenus, as pointed out directly above, the Cabinet box is the only place a good number of Cabinet members are even mentioned, and the only place to find appointment dates & resignations for the various members, giving us a timeline of appointments all in one easy to navigate box. I should mention at this point that there seems to be this not so healthy tendency to remove information and context rather than to add it, or to elucidate existing information. FA requirements maintain that a FA must be:  1. well-written: its prose is 'engaging and of a professional standard'.  2. comprehensive: it neglects no 'major facts or details' and places the subject in context. This means we do not deplete the information so it reads like an inventory report filled with simple or obtuse statements with no context. Having said that I'm hoping that you realize that I've nothing but good intentions for the betterment of this article and despite past locking of horns have respect for editors who give their valuable time, with no pay or recognition, to the readers out there who often come to us first for information. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:05, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
Gwillhickers. Nothing radical ? I believed it was. A block of names really does not help the reader unless there is more context. In my opinion it messed up the article. Yes you have the freedom to edit but I have the freedom to edit too. But there may be a good compromise I am proposing. All the cabinet information is now in Grant's presidential article. By getting rid of the Cabinet infobox and cabinet photo we can free up the article to add information on all of Grant's cabinet members. Maybe even more information on Grant's father Jesse you have been pushing. What do you think ? Cmguy777 (talk) 04:16, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
Nothing was "messed up" by placing existing cabinet info under one heading. By your reasoning we should also get rid of the main info-box, and the other box directly below, as they also doesn't have context and take up space. I've no objections however of mentioning all cabinet members in appropriate places in the narrative. As for dedicated articles, there are many, perhaps too many. There are also dedicated articles for the major battles and numerous other topics. If we follow your suggestion here consistently it seems there would be no need for this main article. As a FA article, it should cover all major details and present Grant's biography comprehensively, regardless of dedicated articles that don't show up in search results and which most readers don't bother to read. You were the one who added the Cabinet box and, reverted ASW's attempt to remove it and defended its inclusion. Anyway, 'readable prose and word count', per page length, doesn't pertain to captions, info-boxes, charts, etc. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 05:15, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
I have a right to edit as I see fit and believe best for the article just as you have Gwillhickers. What I argued in the past does not apply. I am for removal of infobox, if all Grant cabinet members are mentioned in the article. Cmguy777 (talk) 06:24, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
Fine. That would be more than fair. If saving 'visual' space is a consideration we can put the Cabinet info in a collapsible box and place it in the text, perhaps at the end of the main section. Info boxes help the reader with the overall narrative, and in the same way, the Cabinet box also outlines Grant's presidency in terms of his Cabinet, which of course he was very involved with politically and often personally. It's a good tool for the readers. E.g. when they come across a given Cabinet member's name and want to see who came before, after and when, all they have to do is glance at the Cabinet box rather than search through the text to get this perspective. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:05, 31 January 2017 (UTC)