Boston (Mass.). City Council.

A memorial of Ulysses S. Grant from the city of Boston online

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The humblest soldier who carrieil a musket is entitled to as much credit for the results
of the war as those who were in command. — Speech of Grant in Hamburg, Germany, 1811.

Although a soldier by profession, I have ne%'er felt any fondness for war, and I have
never advocated it except as a means of peace. — Speech of Grant in London, ISll.


M I) C C C L X X X V .



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I>j Board of Aldermen, October 2C>, 18S3.

Ordered, That the Clerk of Committees be authorized to prepare for publication
the proceedings of the City Council upon the death of Gen. Ultsses S. Grant,
together with an account of the Memorial Services on the 22d of October, at
Tremont Temple, including the Eulogy pronounced on the occasion by Rev.
Henry Ward Beechek; that six thousand copies be printed, and fifty copies
furnished to each member of the City Council, and the remaining copies dis-
tributed under the direction of the Committee on Printing; the expense thereby
incurred to be charged to the appropriation for Incidentals.

Passed. Sent down for concurrence.

Nov. 5, came up concurreil.

Approved by the Mayor Nov. 7, 1885.

A true copy.

Attest: AUG. N. SAMPSON,

City Clerk.



Action of the City Government

De:itli of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
Proceedings of the Board of Aldermen

Remarks of Ills Honor Mayor O'Brien

Resolutions offereel by Alderman Hart

Remarks of Ahlerman Hart .

Remarks of Alderman Donovan

Action relative to attcndinf; Funeral and holding Memorial
Proceedings of the Common Council

Remarks of William M. Osborne

Remarks of Isaac Rosnosky .

Remarks of William Taylor, Jr.

Remarks of Harvey N. Collison

Remarks of Charles W. Whitcomb

Remarks of Benjamin B. Jenks

Remarks of Francis L. White .

Remarks of William H. H. Emmons
Meeting in Faneuil Hall .

Opening Address of His Excellency Governor Robinson

Resolutions offered by Ex-Mayor Prince

Remarks of Ex-Mayor Prince .

Address of Hon. Charles Devens
Memorial Services ....

Prayer by Rev. B. F. Hamilton

Ode by Mrs. Julia Ward Howe

Poem by Miss Louise Imogen Guiney
EuLOGT BT Henrv Ward Beecheu
Final Proceedings ....
Chronological Taisle of the Life of General Ulysses S. Grant






Ulysses Simpson Gkant, the eighteenth President of the
United States, and the ilhistrioiis Union General, died at eight
minutes past eight ocloek, on the morning of Thursday, July 23,
1885J' at Mount McGregor, in the State of New York.

For several months prior to his death General Grant had
been sufl'ering from a cancerous atfection of the throat, Mhich
had assumed a malignant character and seriously undermined his
health, and occasioned to his friends the deepest anxiety regard-
ing his condition. Upon the advent of warm Aveather his
physicians advised his speedy removal from his city home in
New York to the more favoralile retirement of the country, and,
on the sixteenth day of June, he was accordingly conveyed to
the summer residence of Mr. Joseph AV. Drexel, at Mount
McGregor, in the Adirondacks. lie arrived at his destination in
an extremely weakened condition, but afterwards I'allied, and at
times during the interval of liis .sojourn at ]\Iount McGregor
seemed fo imi>rove in health and strength. A\'ith characteristic
fortitude he bore the torments of a cruel and fatal disease without
a nuu-nuu', and almost in the face of death calmly devoted his
closing days to the i)reparatioii of his memoirs. This task appar-
ently engrossed the mind of the dying hero, and his life was
spared long enough to enable him to complete the literary labor
he had undertaken. He lingered l)ut a few short weeks in his
new home, — weeks of pain and suti'cring on his part, and of
tender solicitude on the part of his friends and the nation for


■whom 1r' had done so much. His death took place as al)Ove
stated, and General Grant passed awaj', surrounded by the
meniljcrs of his household and loving friends, and mourned l)}- the
■whole civilized world.

The intelligence of the death of General Grant was flashed by
telegraph over the country, and, immediately upon the reception
of the sad news in Boston, the iire-alarm 1)ells, with their solemn
tolling, announced to our pcoi)ie that the d3ing General, whose
suflerings had so long held their hearts, had closed his eartlily

The following call was issued by His Honor Mayor O'Brien to
the members of the two branches of the City Council to assemble
in their respective chambers and take appropriate action regarding
the calamity that had befallen the nation : —


Executive Dep^aetjient,

July 23, 1885.

To the Honorable City Council of Boston: —

Having been informed of the deatli, vvhicli occurred
this morning, of Ulysses S. Grant, ex-President of the
United States, you are hereby requested to assemble in
your respective chambers, on this Thursday afternoon, at
two o'clock, for the purpose of taking such action touch-
ing the sorrowful event as will ajDpropriately express the
sympathy of our citizens over this national bereavement
and their resj^ect for the memory of the illustrious de-





His Honor JIayor O'Brien presided and read the call, whicli
was sent down.

The Mayor then made the following: address: —

Gextlemex of the Boaed of Aldermex, — It is
a solemn event Avhich calls us together to-day. The
news of the death of Genei-al Ulysses S. Grant is
in the jjossession of the world. Throughout civilized
countries the announcement of that sad fitct is visibly felt.
The nation, which the dead hero did so much to presei've,
has the tmqnalified sympathy of all other lands at this
moment. This fact alone is one of the strongest e\idences
of the greatness of the departed.

T\lien we glance at the past, and reflect on the achieve-
ments of General Grant, it is not strange that America
keenly mourns his loss. ^STo citizen of the present gen-
eration has stood so prominently before tlie public as
General Grant, or has rendered more distinguished ser-
vices to his country. Comparatively ttnknown at the
commencement of the late war, his patriotism and love of
country led him to take an active part early in the strug-
gle, and his bravery, his courage, and his indomitable Avill
soon placed him at the head of om- army.

Dm-ing the long struggle that followed, in victory or
defeat, he never faltered. Determined and resolute, he
felt the importance of his position. He knew that on his
success depended the preservation of the Union. He was
always true to his country, and his name will be honored


and respected for all time for the distinguished services
he rendered that country in her hour of need. An in-
domitable "will and courage characterized his whole life,
even through the dark days which preceded his journey
into the valley of death. If he had any faults they are
forgotten in remembrance of his many virtues.

When peace was proclaimed he was elevated by his
fellow-counti-ymen to the highest position in their gift.
As the successor of Washington, and Adams, and Jef-
ferson, and Jackson, and Lincoln, he became, by common
consent, the first man in the republic, and it may well be
said of him that he was " first in war, first in peace, and
first in the hearts of his countrymen."

j!^ow that he has gone, it is our duty, as liberty-loving
peoj^le, to jjlace upon record our tributes of love and re-
spect for his memory as a man, a citizen, and a soldier.
While all other sections of the Union are remembering
him, Boston desii'es to add its grateful acknowledgments
for the services he rendered it as a part of this rej^nblic
in the dark days of war. Honesty of purpose, coiirage,
patriotism, and honor were among the qualities which he
possessed in an eminent degree. These were all placed
at the disposal of his country at a time when their worth
was of inestimable value. The Avhole Union profited by
them, and the city of Boston will ever cherish the share
of glory and honor which came to it through the efforts
of this renowned soldier.

In the prime of life he has been taken from among us.
With a robust constitution, there was a prospect that he
would li^'e for many years, and enjoy a peaceful old age.
Providence has willed it otherwise.


It is sad to reflect that, in the late financial crisis, the
last year of his life was one of trouhle and embarrass-
ment, through BO act of his, and over which he had no
control. He lost his worldly possessions, hut he pre-
served his manhood, his integrity, and his honor, by
voluntarily giving up all that he possessed, even the
presents that a grateful nation and admiring friends had
forced upon him. He met the disaster with the same
courage and fortitude that marked every act of his public

His countrymen, liowever, were determined that he
should never sufter financially. From all sections of the
land Congress was petitioned to place him on the retired
list of the ai-my, so as to enable him to pass the remainder
of his days in peaceful repose. He was not permitted,
however, long to enjoy this manifestation of the gratitude
of the nation. It came at a time when the hand of death
had marked him as its victim; but it must have been a
consolation to liiiii, in his dying hours, to know that his
country held him in sucli grateful remembrance.

All honor to liis memory! Eternal peace to the great
soldier, the true patriot! Since he stood in the breach,
some twenty 3'ears ago, the nation has wonderfully in-
creased and prospered. We are more united than ever.
There is now no doubt about the preservation of the
Union. Fifty-five millions of people now mourn his loss
and bless his memory. Every State and city and town in
the republic now mourns for the illustrious dead. His
name for all time will be handed down as the benefactor
of his country and of his race.

In this hour of mourning we should remember that


death spares no one. "We must all pass, sooner or later,
to that "undiscovered country from whose bourn no
traveller returns."

"The hoast of heraltln-, the pomp of power.

And all that beautj-, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike the inevitable hour, —
The paths of gloiy lead but to the grave."

I would suggest that arrangements be made by the
City Council to have a formal eulogy pronounced at
an early day upon the life and character of General

The Chair awaits the pleasure of the Board.

Alderman Hart ofl'ered the following : —

Resolved, That the City Council of Boston has learned
with the profoundest sorroAV of the death of General
Ulysses S. Geaxt, ex-President of the United States.

Resolved, That the city of Boston, in common with our
fellow-citizens in all sections of the country, desires to
express its sincere sorrow over this national bereavement,
and to offer its tribute of affection and respect to the
memory of the gallant hero whose acts in life have done
so much to preserve our Union.

Resolved, That liy the death of General Grant the
country has lost an illustrious soldier, whose fame is
world-Avide, and whose name will ever be reverenced by
the whole American people. As a patriot he will be re-
membered always with love and gratitude by all future
generations. In history the name of Grant must be


coupled with those of Washington and Lineuhi. Like
them he Avas a man of great deeds, the fame of which
Avill never die.

Besolvnl, That Gent-ral Grant's life is eminently wor-
thy of emulation by all intelligent and patriotic young
men, noted, as it Avas, for a strict regard for all the
virtues in priwite life, and for doing, in his official career,
onlv those things AA^hich have i-edounded to the benefit
of all his countrymen. The type of citizen Avhich was
portrayed by these qualities is the only kind thi-ough
Avliich this country can be preserved.

Resolved, That the members of the City Council, indi-
vidually and collectiA-ely, extend to the afflicted family of
the deceased ex-President their Avarmcst and sincere
spnpathies in this sorrowful hour.

Alderman Hart said : —

Mr. Mayor, — The noblest ti-ibute which we pay to the
most illustrious men is to understand them rather than
to praise them, and to act in our sphere of life, be it wide
or narroAv, as the}' acted in theirs. General Grant has
been intrusted Avith the very highest powers and honors
in the gift of the American people. A special military
rank was created that he might adorn it. Yet he re-
signed it in order to fill the presidency, to AA'hich he was
called by the suftrages of his countrymen. So marked
and profuse Avere the favors Avhich the greatest nation on
earth — our nation — showered upon the eminent captain
who crushed the rebellion, that some of our best-informed
and ti-uly patriotic felloAV-citizens charged him AA'ith


Cpesarism. But what followed? Suspected at houie by
the few, who misjudged him, General Grant encircled the
globe, and received the heartfelt homage of mighty
rulers and great foreign nations. Then he returned to
the unostentatious simplicities of private life, and finally,
broken in health and fortune, tried to retrieve his shat-
tered estate by the humble labors and toils of his pen.

Thus has he illustrated the virtues which, in centuries
long piist, made Rome the mistress of the world. He has
wielded the power of a Csesar Avithout making a Caesar's
mistake. He never sought power or place: they were
conferred upon him by a free people. He nevei- asked for
popular favors: they were offered to him. As very few
men he has been honored, trusted, admired, loved. And,
lest his cup should run over, he has been called upon to
taste the bitterness of life to its very dregs. He has been
betrayed by those whom he trusted; he has suffered
shame and reproach from those whom he shielded and
honored. He has tasted the triumphs of victory, Avhen
the cause of our Union was trembling in the scale; twice
has he occupied the presidency of the United States, than
which there is no higher place on earth; and yet this
captain of an incomparable army of freemen, this supreme
magistrate of the great republic, has been selected, in the
course of nature, which is the providence of Almighty
God, to sufler in body, mind, and estate, like the hum-
blest and the sorrow-laden of men whose name and fame
will not be recorded by the Muse of History.

General Grant leaves to us an example of vast power
never perverted to the detriment of his country. On the
field he fought for the perpetuity of the Union; In the


hig-hest civil office he defeiuknl ihe honor of his country;
and everywhere he retained that sinipUcity of conduct
■\vhicli is tlie honor of the true republican. And this
example, chastened by grief and sorrow, thank God, is
imperishal)le. Surely, his fame is secure, and though he
himself Avill no longer be seen in the public or private
society of his country, the very grief which now fills our
hearts with most tender emotions and our eyes with the
tril)ute of our tears indicates that in a very high sense a
noble man cannot die. The Union, one and inseparable, is
not so much his monument as the liandiwork and crown
of his immortal dai-ing. He lives in the United States, in
the hearts of its people, in all true hearts. And as long
as republican freedom lives, so long will General Grant,
the great commander, the defender of our honor, and the
simplest of men, live as truly as if there were no death,
and as if the natural course of a human life were but its
own sunrise and sunset.

AkIcriiKiii DoxovAX said : —

Mr. Mayor, — In rising to second tlie resolutions that
have been offered by Alderman Hart, I desire to do so in
recognition of the valuable services which have been
rendered by General Grant to the nation. The histoiy of
our land is full of the deeds of her children who have
added lustre to her gloiy; j'et among them all there is
not one whose services have been fraught with such
lasting results for the people's and the nation's good as
those of the dead soldier for wliom Ave mourn to-day.
When the war cloud of rebellion lowered upon us, and in


the darkest days of those stirring times, a strong man
was given to us, who, by his ability and generalship,
turned the tide of victory in favor of the Union. It is
not claiming too much to say that to General Grant, as
much as to any one man, we owe the perpetuity of our
free institutions and the continuation of our government
as an undivided Union. This was accomplished when
the rebellion was overthrown and the war was at an end.
Called from the camp and field — Avhich he had rendered
illustrious in the annals of the world's history — to the
council of the nation, he brought the same sterling quali-
ties and indomitable will and energy. The ruler of armies
became the ruler of a peaceful nation. His administration
as President, as regards the individual, was above re-
proach. The faults and errors, if there were any, were
born of the times, and were the i-esult of the transition
through which the people were passing. When from war
and armies we changed to the pursuits of peace and
happiness no man can say that the chief magistrate of a
free people could have been worthier or more patriotic
than he who had led the Union armies to victory.
In other lands he who serves the state and fights her
battles is crowned with titles, gifts of money and worldly
honors; but in oui- country they crown the hero with the
love of the people. Years have passed since General
Grant contributed those great services which will ever
render his memoi-y green and give him a place in the
people's love with Washington and liincoln. To-day,
after having missed a soldier's death, he lies dead, while
a whole nation mourns. His last days, though clouded
with worldly troubles, were brightened by the esteem and


love shown for him by his fellow-countrymen. I am
forcibly reminded here of that time when rude dissension
divided the people of the Union, and of those words of the
great General, "Let us have peace." It found an an-
swering echo in the hearts of millions. To-day fifty mil-
lions of freemen give forth that sentiment, and pray that
he to whom they owe so much may rest in peace.

On motion of Alderman Donovan a rising vote was taken.
The resolutions were passed unanimously. Sent down.

Alderman Welch offered the following : —

Ordered, That His Honor the Mayor cause the City
Hall and Faneuil Hall to be appropriately draped, the
flags to be displayed at half-mast upon the public build-
ings and grounds, and to have the City Hall and other
public buildings closed on the day and the bells tolled
during the hour set apart for the funeral of the late Gen-
eral Grant.

Passed. Sent down.

Alderman Whitten offered the following: —

Ordered, That a joint special committee, consisting of
His Honor the Mayor, the Chairman, and two other mem-
bers of the Board of Aldermen, the President and three
other members of the Common Council, be appointed to
attend the funeral of the late ex-President Grant, the ex-
pense attending the same, together with all other expenses
incurred, to be charged to the contingent fund foi- joint


Passed, and Alderman Hakt and Welch were appointed on
said conniiittee. Sent down.

Alderman Donovan ofiered the i'ollowing : —

Ordered, That a eulogy upon the life and public ser-
vices of Ulysses S. Grant be pronounced at an early day
before the City Council and the citizens of Boston, and
that a committee of three members of this Board, with
such as the Common Council may join, be appointed to
make suitable an-angements tlierefor.

Passed, and Aldermen Donovan, Curtis, and Fernald were
appointed on said committee. Sent down.

The JMayor read the followinii: : —

Executive Depaetment,

July 23, 1885.
To the. Honor ahle City Council: —

I transmit herewith for your consideration a communi-
cation from C. F. Hartson, Superintendent of Tremont




Boston, July 23, 1885.
Hon. Hugh O'Brien: —

Dear Sir, — As the city authorities will no doubt de-
sire to suitably honor the memory of the late great com-
mander of our armies, and ex-President of the United


States, who has justiiassed away, in behalf of the trustees
I respectfully tender to the City Council the free use of
Tremont Temple, at such time as they may please to des-
ignate for such a purpose, and

Remain, very respectfully,



Referred, on motion of Alderman Donovan, to the Committee
on Eulogy.

Adjourned, on motion of Alderman Hart.


The Common Council was called to order at 2.20. President
Jenkins in the chair, and a quorum present.

The call was read and placed on tile.

The resolutions adopted by the other Ijranch were read and
were put on their passage.

Mr. Osborne, of Ward 21, said: —

Mr. President, — I rise to utter a few words in sup-
port of the sentiments so appropriately expressed in the
resolutions befoi'e us. This is the third time in the his-
tory of this g-reat nation that the hearts of the Avhole
people have been bowed down Avith soitow at the un-
timely death of one of our most distinguished men.

Twenty years ago last April the assassin's bullet took
away from us our good and great President, Abraham


Lincoln. It was in tlie moment of liis greatest happiness,
when the cares, anxieties, and great responsibiUties of a
long and bloody war were almost at an end. The great
Captain whom we monrn to-day had borne to Washington
and laid at his feet the surrender of Lee and the army of

Four years ago the whole people Avere stricken Avith
grief at the death of the mni'dered Garfield. And noAV
to-day we are met to pay our tribute of respect to him
Avho has been foremost in the hearts of all the people, oar
General of the Army. He was never defeated in Avar, and
from Fort Donelson to Aj^pomattox all along the line are
Avritten the glories of his great A'ictories. His name is
the most illustrious borne by any man in his time. He
has stood upon the highest pinnacle of human distinction.
His renoAVU has filled every land under the sun, and Avith
modesty, meekness, and simplicity he has seen, not only
the poor and the humble, but the titled nobility of all
Europe and Asia bow and uncover before him.

He had that estimable quality of mind and heart that
neA^er alloAved him to forget his friends. " Their adoj^tion
tried he grappled to them Avith hooks of steel." If he had
a Aveakness, it Avas that of trusting his friends too im-
plicitly; but it is a weakness rather to be praised than

In his terrible suifering he shoAved that same silent
endurance and patient fortitude and courage that were
ever Avith him as our great commander, and having
passed safely and successfully through " the most disas-
trous chances of moving accidents by flood and field,"
he has been left to contend Avith that malignant monster


known as cancer of the thi'oat. niul the lieroism of tlic
closing hours of his Ufe, with his mind clear and tranciuil,
went beyond that of the battle-field. Suffering untold
a"-ony, as the disease daily gnawed at his throat, he
fought death as an equal.

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Council, we remem-
ber Avhat General Grant did when many of our present
voters were in their cradles. We remember the nation's
peril, its tribulations, its safety, and how he foresaw its
growth, and its destiny. In such a moment as this we i-ecog-

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Online LibraryBoston (Mass.). City CouncilA memorial of Ulysses S. Grant from the city of Boston → online text (page 1 of 6)