Little Rock, Ark. April 15th, 1880. Broadside on silk, a banquet invitation honoring Gen. Grant, 8 3/8 x 3 1/2 in., matted, glazed and framed. Some light creasing, a small spot or two, but overall a very nice example.
Ulysses S. Grant visited Little Rock in the spring of 1880, and was welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd. He participated in a parade, made a couple of public appearances, and was toasted at a banquet in Concordia Hall. The event was recorded in an article in the "New York Graphic" on April 26, 1880: "In the evening a grand banquet was given at Concordia Hall. It was the largest and most sumptuous entertainment of the kind that the local Delmonico had ever attempted, and it was in every respect a magnificent success. Plates were laid for 250 guests. Every one came in festive array and the solid men of Little Rock felt themselves proud to be numbered in the chosen band. General Grant was naturally given the seat of honor, with Mayor Fletcher, Colonel Logan H. Roots, Governor W.R. Miller, Judge McCrary, of St. Louis; Judge Isaac C. Parker, of Fort Smith; Col. Zeb. Ward and Byron Andrews, of the Chicago Inter-Ocean, on his right, and ex-Governor Powell Clayton, Judge Henry C. Caldwell, ex-Governor H.M. Rector, ex-Governor O.A. Hadley and Major John D. Adams, on his left." Gen. Grant gave the first toast, brief and to the point: "The United States of America--Forever United." [see the account in "Historical Reivew of Arkansas," by Fay Hempstead, Lewis Pub. Co.: 1911, pp.291-4.]. Item #62052
Ulysses S. Grant had returned from his nearly three year world tour in December 1879. He was considering running for President again in 1880 and may have been testing the strength of his renewed popularity in this tour through the south. The Republican Convention convened in June 1880 in Chicago and Grant was initially the most promising candidate, winning 304 of the 370 votes needed. Eventually the party compromised with various factions and James Garfield was chosen.