The Beginnings of International Diplomacy


CHATHAM – In the 21st century, with social media ever present, we tend to take international diplomacy for granted. It wasn’t always the case.

The first inklings of the benefits of good will came in 1879 with the world tour embarked upon by Ulysses Grant, his family and a small entourage. The former President was preceded by a great reputation. As General he had won the most contentious war in American history. Then, as President, he had the monumental task of effecting the Reconstruction he’d engineered.

This Saturday, September 15th, at 3:30pm, the Chatham Library is presenting Elizabeth Diggs, author of the new play, GRANT & TWAIN, in a conversation – “Ulysses Grant: Myth and Reality”. The event is part of the Authors and Artists series. Admission is free.

Grant was a popular man. When he traveled thru Europe and Asia, foreign royalty treated him as an equal. Eager to leave a lasting impression, they personally showed him the best their countries had to offer. Not coincidentally, his entourage included an American journalist who sent glowing reports back to his newspaper.

Five years later, in 1885, Ulysses Grant died. Within 20 years, through the efforts of white supremacists, he was reviled – his reputation in tatters. It is only recently, through some brilliant new biographies and the opening of the Grant Presidential Library, that the 18th President’s standing is experiencing a renaissance.

“Grant’s achievements can hardly be overestimated,” said Diggs, “but it has taken more than 150 years for his greatness to be appreciated.”

For more information on “Ulysses Grant: Myth and Reality” go to The Library is at 11 Woodbridge Avenue in Chatham. To learn more about Ms. Diggs play, go to

PHOTO CAPTION: Dwight Eisenhower considered Ulysses Grant to be among the finest generals to have ever lived. When released, his memoir was the biggest selling book in the history of America. His efforts to settle the divisiveness at the conclusion of the Civil War are legendary. Yet, for more than 150 years he has been vilified as a drunk and a failure.







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