GRANT, Ulysses S. Autograph letter signed (''U. S. Grant''), as former President, to Thomas Speed, New York City, 31 March 1883. 2½ pages, 8vo, slight remnants of tipping along left edge.
GRANT, Ulysses S. Autograph letter signed ("U. S. Grant"), as former President, to Thomas Speed, New York City, 31 March 1883. 2½ pages, 8vo, slight remnants of tipping along left edge.
"BADEAU'S HISTORY OF THE REBELLION" IS "AS ACCURATE AS...COULD BE MADE"
A fine letter showing Grant praising his authorized biographer--with whom he would soon bitterly fall out. Here Grant answers Thomas Speed's request for Grant's opinion of Adam Badeau's Military History of Ulysses S. Grant from April 1861 to April 1865. "The author, as you probably know," Grant writes, "was on my staff the last two years of the war, and until I left the Army to accept another office. He spent many years in writing the book, and read everything he could find on the subject of the war no matter which side written. He also had access to the Archives of the War department, including the rebel records captured at the close of the war, and purchased at a later date. His comments about individual soldiers are his own views. But his statements of occurrences are, I believe, as accurate as they can be made..."
Grant intended for Badeau's authorized history/biography to be his only published statement about his war experience. All that changed within a year of this letter, when the former President's life-savings disappeared with the failure of his crooked stock broker. At the prompting of Samuel Clemens, Grant then set about to write his magnificent Personal Memoir. Badeau rightly feared that Grant's forthcoming book would destroy the salability of any further copies of his own 3-volume work, and as partial compensation, Grant hired him as a research assistant for the Personal Memoirs, promising him a $10,000 payment. The two men had an irreparable falling out when Badeau started asking for more money, and newspaper reports alleged Badeau was ghostwriting the Memoirs for the dying old general. He was not.