Back to All Events

Interrupted Odyssey: Ulysses S. Grant and the American Indians - A Path Through History Program

  • Grant Cottage 1000 Mt McGregor Rd Wilton, NY 12831 (map)

Contrary to previous works on President Grant, Mary Stockwell’s Interrupted Odyssey: Ulysses S. Grant and the American Indians argues that Grant had no intention of appointing missionaries to run the nation’s many reservations. Instead, he developed plans, with the help of his friend and first commissioner of Indian affairs, Ely S. Parker, himself a Seneca Indian, to place the executive branch and the army in charge of the Indian service.  He was determined to protect the tribes from the onrush of settlers and to make every Indian and American citizen.  Opposition to his approach arose swiftly from Congress, the Board of Indian Commissioners, reformers, the press, and the tribes themselves.  In the end, Grant’s dreams for America’s “first occupants” failed in all respects but two: the tribes were saved, not exterminated, and the Indians finally became citizens of the United States in the 20th century.  Our presenter Mary Stockwell received her Ph.D. in American history from the University of Toledo, served as a professor of history and department chair at Lourdes University, and is currently a fulltime writer.  She is the author of Unlikely General: “Mad” Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America (Yale University Press, 2018) and The Other Trail of Tears: The Removal of the Ohio Indians (Westholme, 2015) as well as history books used by young people throughout the United States, including The Ohio Adventure, A Journey through Maine, and Massachusetts, Our Home. A book signing will be held at the conclusion of the program.

The suggested donation for Grant Cottage Porch Programs is $5 per person. Our events are supported with funding from the New York State Park and Trail Partnership Program (NYSPTPP) and New York’s Environmental Protection Fund. The NYSPTPP is administered by Parks & Trails New York, in partnership with the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.