"GRANT'S NATIONAL MONUMENT IS NOT OF GRANITE OR BRONZE, BUT OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS STRONG WILL AND PERSEVERANCE": FOUR LETTERS SIGNED BY SHERMAN TO GENERAL STRONG DISCUSSING THE DESIGN, ERECTION, AND UNVEILING CEREMONY FOR AN EQUESTRIAN STATUE OF GENERAL GRANT
SHERMAN, William Tecumseh. Four letters signed. New York: 1888-90. Each letter written on one sheet of ruled paper, measuring 16 by 10-1/2 inches, folded once to make four pages. The letter signed is one page; the three autograph letters signed are three, four, and three pages, for a total of 11 pages. $9000.
Interesting archive of four related letters signed from General William T. Sherman to General William Strong, discussing plans for building and then the ceremony for unveiling an equestrian statue dedicated to General Grant, sponsored by the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, the first army which General Grant commanded.
The one-page letter signed, written to General William Strong, dated November 27, 1888, discusses a Grant statue and reads in part: "In my judgment the horse and rider are excellent, and reflect great credit on the designer. I am glad you have made such progress in this matter. Ours at St. Louis was the first done, but you are entitled to great praise notwithstanding…"
The first autograph letter signed, dated from New York on March 27, 1890, reads in part, "Dear General Strong, I have received your letter of the 24th and am embarrassed by the long delay in the publication of the proceedings of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee at Cincinnati—last September not yet received… My remembrance is that when the local committee had reported a specific date for the completion of the statue, I as President was to call the Society together to participate in the Ceremony… I am especially glad that this whole matter was concluded by the Society at the last annual meeting, for I am resolved not to attempt any oration, or speaking other than the short extempore efforts, to which I now confine myself… Hoping to meet you and the other members on the occasion… W.T. Sherman."
The second autograph letter signed, dated from New York on April 3, 1890, reads in part, "In the absence of the usual annual report of proceedings of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee I must accept General Hickenlooper's statement that his selection as the orator for Sept. 1890 in connection with the ceremony of unveiling General Grant's statue at Chicago was intended only as the usual oration, though I most certainly believed it was special to this particular event… But as to myself, when I retired from active service with the Army I resolved never again to attempt any thing more than the short impromptu remarks suggested by the occasion and have adhered to it. For this reason I am still alive. Of course I will not undertake to attempt an oration in the life and service of General Grant, in any event, especially since he himself prepared and published his own memoirs almost up to the moment of death. I wish however to retain the good opinion of such men as Gen'l Strong and Hickenlooper, therefore will aid them in every way… General J.R. Hawley once an enthusiastic soldier now an eminent Senator would fill the bill; Senator C.R. Davis of Minnesota is another." He then disagrees with General Strong, who called the statue a national monument, by claiming it to be a local monument only: "Grant's national monument is not of granite or bronze, but of the consequences of his strong will and perseverance."
The third autograph letter signed, dated July 15, 1890, reads in part, "Of course General Hickenlooper is right. The Society of the Army of the Tennessee adjourned last year at Cincinnati to meet in Chicago at the time of the unveiling of the equestrian statue of General Grant, due notice of the time to be published after the completion and erection of the statue on the pedestal already completed and which you took me to last year. It was then supposed this statue would be ready in all, September 1890, surely not later than October, and all our calculations have been based on that conclusion. Now it appears from causes, not unusual, this statue cannot be moulded and placed in position till midwinter. Indeed another season may pass before the statue can be unveiled and dedicated… My advice is to give the artist and founder all the time they want; only remembering that the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, the first army which General Grant commanded, have been publicly invited to participate in the necessary ceremonies of the dedication of this statue."
Minor areas of toning, faint foldlines. Fine condition.