In 1877, former President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife, Julia, embarked on a two-year world tour that would solidi fy Grant's reputation as an international celebrity. Leaving the United States by steamship for what was to be a quiet European holiday, the Grants found themselves in high demand for social events, speeches, dinners, and other events hosted by some of the most important people in Europe, North Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Throughout their travels, Julia Grant collected photographs of their royal hosts, such as Queen Victoria, Otto von Bismarck, and Meiji, the Emperor of Japan, and placed them in a photo album. Along with the photographs are Julia's recorded impressions of the individuals in these images, noting particularly their interactions with the Grants. The album was generously donated to the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library by the great-great grandson of President Grant, Ulysses Grant Dietz.
This photo album and the accompanying biographical notes provide a unique window into the Grants' post-presidential life. But they also shed light on diverse nations and cultures of the world in the late nineteenth century.
Ryan Semmes of the Congressional and Political Research Center worked with the Mississippi State University Libraries' Digital Preservation Access Unit to make these images available on the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library website, as well as on the MSU Libraries' Digital Collection website. The biographical notes were compiled by MSU History Department graduate student Melissa Lawrence, an intern at the Grant Library. The images can be accessed here: http://library.msstate.edu/dc/usgrant/worldtour.
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