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Vindication

August 1, 2019

Ulysses Grant was elected to a second term in 1872.  He received 56% of the popular vote.  This was a greater percentage than Lincoln had received when he was re-elected.  Grant also received more than 80% of the Electoral College votes.

In his 2nd Inaugural Address, given on Tuesday March 4, 1873, Grant once again promised to be a friend to the former slaves.  “The effects of the late civil strife have been to free the slave and make him a citizen.  Yet he is not possessed of the civil rights which citizenship should carry with it.  This is wrong, and should be corrected.  To this correction I stand committed, so far as Executive influence can avail.”

Grant also promised to use his power to aid the Native Americans.  “Our superiority of strength and advantages of civilization should make us lenient toward the Indian.  The wrong inflicted upon him should be taken into account and the balance placed to his credit.”

Grant even had a few words which he hoped would satisfy the civil service reformers.  “It has been, and is, my earnest desire to correct abuses that have grown up in the civil service of the country…  The spirit of the rules adopted will be maintained.”

In the closing sentence of his 2nd Inaugural Address, Grant revealed how deeply he had felt the criticism of his opponents.  “…throughout the war, and from my candidacy for my present office in 1868 to the close of the last Presidential campaign, I have been the subject of abuse and slander scarcely ever equaled in political history, which today I feel that I can afford to disregard in view of your verdict, which I gratefully accept as my vindication.”

 

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