Ulysses S. Grant and the 4th Annual Lecture in Honor of John C. Van Horne

Dr. Ronald C. White

This past June over 100 Library Company shareholders, members, and guests attended the 4th Annual Lecture in Honor of John C. Van Horne at the Union League of Philadelphia. Following a special reception with the speaker, Dr. Ronald C. White gave an engaging lecture about President and Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant. Dr. White’s talk focused on history’s perceptions of Grant spanning from the 19th century to now.  In the late 19th century, following his victories during the Civil War, Grant was widely regarded as a successful war hero who restored the Union.  His star fell, however, when 20th century historians painted his presidency as a failure and Grant a temperamental drunk.  Dr. White’s lecture examines a third interpretation of Grant: that of a heroic, tenacious, but flawed man. Thanks to Dr. White’s enlightening presentation many guests left with a renewed and refocused sense of who Grant was and how he impacted our country.

As in the past, the reception and lecture served as an ideal evening to remember Director Emeritus Dr. John C. Van Horne’s contributions, years of service, and vision for the Library Company.  The community of dedicated scholars and supporters who attended the lecture in honor of Dr. Van Horne continues to advance the Library Company mission and make educational and illuminating evenings like this possible to all of those who wish to learn and reinterpret our nation’s history.