The Ups and Downs of Ulysses Grant

HUDSON – At the conclusion of the Civil War, Ulysses (no “S”) Grant was idolized by both the North and the South.  He toured the world for more than two years and was received everywhere by enormous crowds.


“He was welcomed by the common people as their hero and by Queens and princes as a great man,” says Elizabeth Diggs, playwright of PS21’s upcoming debut play, GRANT & TWAIN. “Known as one of the greatest horsemen of the century as well as a brilliant military leader, he was expected to ride at the head of parades in full military regalia.  But he refused.  Instead, he explored the world’s cities, often alone and on foot, among the common people – a true ambassador for democracy.”


On Thursday, August 23rd, Diggs will be talking about Grant’s life in a lecture entitled, “The Enigma of Ulysses Grant” at the Hudson Area Library beginning at 6pm.  The discussion is part of the History Speakers series and is FREE.  More information is at


“Grant rose to greatness as a military leader, as President and as a writer,” Diggs adds. “Yet, he was not ambitious.  He hated war, he disliked politics and he never intended to write his memoirs.  When he was forced to pick up his pen due to financial necessity, his book was proclaimed as one of the greatest memoirs of all time.”


Diggs stories of the President are a result of research for her new play, GRANT & TWAIN – the story of an extraordinary friendship between two of the most famous men in the United States during the late 1800s. More can be learned at


“He met every test and rose to the occasion unlike any other man in American history,” said Dwight Eisenhower.  “He’s not been given his due.”




PHOTO CAPTION: After leaving the Presidency, Ulysses Grant went on a two-year world tour. Here, he is photographed sitting with China’s Governor-General Li Hongzhang in 1879. 

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