GRANT, Ulysses S. Autograph letter signed ("U. S. Grant"), as President, to George S. Boutwell (1818-1905), his future Secretary of Treasury, Long Branch, N. J., 22 September 1870. 3 pages, 8vo.
GRANT TAKES DECISIVE ACTION AGAINST REPUBLICAN "BOLTERS" AND APPOINTS "ONE OF THE FIRST OFFICERS...WILLING TO TAKE COMMAND OF A COLORED REGIMENT"
Grant is incensed at the actions of Republican Party dissidents: "The bolters movement in Missouri" Grant tells his Treasury Secretary, "differs but little from the successful tactics used in Va. and Tenn. to give those states to the democracy. When I was in St. Louis I knew as well what was to be done in Convention, by the 'bolters,' as I know now since the Convention has met. I do not want to favor their movement by fostering in office men who go actively into that movement. Such is our Collector of the Port of St. Louis, Felix Costa. I wish you would have him removed at once and appoint in his stead Gen. Frank F. Shepard...His residence is St. Louis. I know him well. He is a writer of some note, a staunch republican, and one of the first officers with me willing to take command of a Colored regiment when orders were rec'd to organize such troops." The "Bolters" emerged out of St. Louis, led primarily by German immigrant and Civil War veteran Carl Schurz, who was a friend of Horace Greeley, editor of a popular German-language paper in St. Louis, and, after 1868, a U. S. Senator from Missouri. Schurz and his followers opposed Grant on issues of corruption but especially on reconstruction policies towards the South. The Bolters got one of their own elected Governor in Missouri in 1870, B. Gratz Brown, and the Liberal Republicans nominated Greeley as their candidate for President against Grant in 1872. Schurz, after winning election to the Senate in 1868, would join Rutherford Hayes's Cabinet as Secretary of the Interior, but would "bolt" once more when he led the "Mugwump" rebellion within the GOP in 1884.