Grant's Third Charge : a Tale of Scapegoating, Atonement, and Affirmation During the Era of Reconstruction (1863-1877)
This dissertation serves to shed new light on the continued effort by historians to reassess Ulysses S. Grant’s reputation as the eighteenth president of these United States. Even though historical evidence supports the claim that Grant was inept as President, there exists a body of evidence suggesting that he was adept in other matters related to social justice and civil rights. More importantly, the corruption and scandals that stained his reputation blinded historians to the progressive nature of his presidency, such as his work to advance civil rights for African Americans in the Jim Crow South, a more moral and humane American Indian policy, and affirmative action for American Jews in a post-Civil War America. All told, this dissertation by design will help us better understand the maligned enigma that is Ulysses S. Grant and his civil rights record, building on the work of other historians and scholars in order to broaden their chronology and add more sources to an already rich and engaging story.