Grant, Man of Peace

This Christmas, I treated myself to a few wonderful items from the PBS online store‘s bumper sale. (Caveat emptor: They will spam you endlessly if you buy anything. Spam is the pledge break of the digital age.) Ken Burns box set, his excellent Lewis & Clark series, American Experience’s Abraham & Mary Lincoln series (also fabulous), and the AE’s Lee & Grant box set, which I threw in on a whim because it was deep-discounted. The Grant set was terrific; broken into two discs for Grant the Soldier and Grant the President, they really gave you a feel for the quiet, retiring and kindly (if wholly inept as a politician) man.

My favourite quote was from a pre-war play-wrestling ritual with his young sons:

“Mister, do you want to fight?” Fred would ask, when his
father came home from the store.

“I am a person of peace; but I will not be hectored by a person
of your size,” Grant would reply.

I found the citation, oddly, in a “free book” which probably shouldn’t be free, as it was published in 1959. Still, it looks to be an excellent read, so take advantage: The General’s Wife: The Life of Mrs Ulysses S Grant

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