AFTER THE UNITED STATES SOLD AND SHIPPED 400,000 RIFLES AND AMMUNITION TO FRANCE DURING THE FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR (1870-71) PRESIDENT GRANT DISCONTINUED ANY FURTHER SALES IN APPEASMENT TO PRUSSIAN CHANCELLOR OTTO VON BISMARK AND TO AVOID ANY AMERICAN VIOLATION OF NEUTRALITY. BUT THE HARDSHIP THAT FRANCE ENDURED WITH THE FOUR-MONTH SIEGE OF PARIS WITH SUCH COURAGE, FOLLOWING THE CAPTURE OF NAPOLEON III AND THE DEFEAT OF HIS ARMY, AND THE SHORT-LIVED REVOLUTIONARY UPRISING OF THE PARIS COMMUNE THAT FOLLOWED, INCREASED THE SYMPATHY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, INCLUDING GRANT, TOWARDS FRANCE. THIS RESULTED IN THE OUTPORING OF AMERICAN SUPPORT FOR FRANCE AND AID FOR REFUGEES DURING THE WAR. A CHARITY FAIR, FOR THE RELIEF OF CIVILIAN SUFFERING IN FRANCE, WAS HELD FROM 11-22 APRIL OF 1871 AT THE BOSTON THEATRE. THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS WERE ABLE TO DRAW UPON EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE GAINED DURING THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR IN HOSTING “SANITARY FAIRS” THAT AIDED SICK AND WOUNDED SOLDIERS AND THEIR FAMLIES. AT THE BOSTON CHARITY FAIR ITEMS WERE SOLD AND ART, ARTIFACTS, AND AUTOGRAPHS WERE ON DISPLAY. THIS EXTREMELY RARE ARTIFACT FROM THAT EVENT WAS SIGNED BY U.S. PRESIDENT ULYSSES S. GRANT AND WAS PART OF THE AUTOGRAPH DISPLAY AND LATER SOLD TO RAISE MORE FUNDS.
ULYSSES S. GRANT (1822-85) SIGNED DOCUMENT, “U. S. Grant”, 4.25 x 5.5, 1 pg., Boston, April 1871, by the American military officer and politician who served as the 18th President of the United States. Here he shows his support for the plight of French civilians during the Franco-Prussian War by contributing his autograph to the Boston French Fair. The printed document is headed “Autograph, Presented to the French Fair With the Compliments of” below which President Grant provides his bold, handwritten signature. In fine condition, with one tiny age spot, lower left.