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    Ulysses S. Grant Autograph Document Signed with Photograph. 7.5" x 9.5" (sight), framed and matted along with portrait of Grant to measure an overall size of 18.25" x 14.5". Long Branch, N.J., July 23, 1867: "Maj. Gen G.H. Thomas... Go to Memphis in person and remain there until after election. Let it be felt that where the military is law must prevail and the guilty be punished. Do not wait for a riot to take place but use the military vigorously to prevent one commencing!". Signed "U.S. Grant", denoting his rank as General. At bottom, docketed as having been copied, in another hand; The document is a handwritten copy of a cipher telegram sent by Grant. Together with an engraving of Grant, sitting with arm resting on table.

    After the Civil War, the states that had seceded were struggling under the harsh conditions of the Reconstruction Acts, with the exception of Tennessee, which had been readmitted to the United States in 1866. Regardless, Tennessee had seen its own strife, with a race riot that broke out soon after the First Reconstruction Act was passed by Congress in March 1867. The three-day event would be called "The Memphis Massacre"; Black citizens were targeted by whites, and aided by the local police, and nearly 50 people were killed. The election that Grant makes reference to was to take place on August 1st, in order to elect Tennessee's governor, and was significant because it was one of the first times that blacks were able to vote. Grant and others had been made aware of anticipated violence that would seek to suppress the black vote. In an attempt to prevent a repeat of the 1866 Massacre and to protect black voters, Grant made sure that a military guard was posted in Memphis to keep the peace. Thankfully, no incidents occurred and William G. Brownlow was re-elected.

    Condition: Letter and photograph slightly toned. Letter has tape mark at top edge. Overall good.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2017
    19th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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