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Sited south of Harlem and west of Morningside Heights and Columbia University is the tomb of Ulysses S. Grant. (b. 1822 Point Pleasant, Ohio – d. Mt. McGregor, New York, 1885) The tomb is a fitting memorial to a great American general and president.
John Hemenway Duncan designed the tomb, beginning in 1897. Grant had requested that he be buried in St. Louis, Galena, IL, or New York City, rather than Washington DC. The monument was never really finished.
The granite for the exterior is from Maine and was quarried by the New Hampshire Granite Company.
Grant's Tomb is now run by the U.S. Park Service. The monument, like President Grant himself, has had its share of controversy.
Ulysses S. Grant (b. 1822 Point Pleasant, Ohio – d. Mount McGregor, NY 1885) won the Civil War as the commander of the Union Army and served as President of the United States. He was the son of a tanner. Grant went to West Point against his will and graduated in the middle of his class. In the Mexican War, he fought under General Zachary Taylor. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Grant was working in his father's leather store in Galena, Illinois. He was appointed by the Governor to command an undisciplined volunteer regiment. In the Civil War at Shiloh, Grant fought a bloody battle and did poorly. President Lincoln deflected demands for Grant's removal by saying, 'I can't spare this man — he fights.'
For his next engagement, Grant fought and won the key city on the Mississippi — Vicksburg. His victory cut the Confederacy in two. Then he broke the Confederate hold on Chattanooga. Lincoln appointed him General-in-Chief in March 1864. Grant directed Sherman to drive through the South while he, with the Army of the Potomac, pinned down General Robert E. Lee's Army. On April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Lee surrendered. Grant wrote out generous terms of surrender that would prevent treason trials.
As President, Grant brought part of his Army staff to the White House. Grant was honest, but his administration was corrupt. There were federal patronage scandals in New York's Customs House. His brother-in-law was involved with speculators Jay Gould and James Fisk, who attempted to corner the gold market. Grant's administration had a reputation for criminality. Grant drank heavily, as always.
In his 1872 reelection campaign, Grant was attacked by liberal Republican reformers. He called them 'narrow-headed men,' their eyes so close together that 'they can look out of the same gimlet hole without winking.' Grant's friends in the Republican Party came to be known as 'the Old Guard.' Grant allowed the bitterly resented Radical Reconstruction to run its course in the South. He backed it up with military force when necessary. It was a disorganized mess.
He achieved success when he established Yellowstone National Park. In retirement, Grant invested in a Wall Street financial firm, run in part run by his son, which went famously and scandalously bankrupt. Grant was financially wiped out. Desperate for money, he wrote his memoirs, which earned his family the then astronomical sum of $450,000, but he died of cancer just days after finishing them. His tomb is a national monument in New York City.
Winchester Guildhall, Hampshire
Winchester Guildhall is on the site of an estate granted by Alfred the Great to his wife Ealswith probably as a coronation gift in ad 871. After his death she retired there and founded a nunnery known as Nunnaminster. Known in the later medieval ages as St. Mary's Abbey, it was one of the foremost nunneries in England. In 1539 Henry VIII dissolved the abbey and the site passed to the crown. The land came into the city's hands to help defray its costs for hosting the wedding Mary Tudor and Philip of Spain in Winchester Cathedral in 1554.
Winchester's earliest guildhall was located next to the Butter Cross in a small chamber above the passageway leading from the High Street to the cathedral. In 1712 it occupied the upper chamber of the Old Market House on the High Street, while the ground floor served as a covered market. The expansion of civic responsibilities following the Local Reform Act of 1835 markedly changed the role of guildhalls and Winchester needed a newer and larger building.
The Hastings architectural firm Jeffrey and Skiller submitted a design in the Gothic revival style. On 22nd December 1871 Viscount Eversley laid the foundation stone and in May 1873 Lord Selborne opened the new Guildhall. The total cost of construction was ?16,000.
The Guildhall was part of a larger complex, housing the law courts, police station and fire brigade. The greater part was given over to civic roles including council meetings, mayor making ceremonies, the mayor's leaving banquet, and the mayor's charity events.
For a building of Gothic revival design, the Guildhall facade is relatively uncluttered. Its decoration includes four statues of kings and bishops with Winchester connections. Placed in the arches above the principle windows are sculpted panels showing events reflecting the ancient dignity of the mayor and major events in the city's history. In pride of place is the central panel below the clock tower that shows Florence de Lunne, Winchester's 1st mayor, receiving the city's charter from King Henry II.
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