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Portrait of King Luis I of Portugal in suit and tie
Don Luis I, King of Portugal came to throne in 1861 and ruled until 1889. He married Maria of Savoy the daughter of Victor Emmanuel II, King of Italy. They had two sons Carlos I and Alfonso. Once he learned the Grants had arrived in Lisbon, King Luis I came to the city to welcome them. A royal audience and dinner provided General Grant and King Luis I with several occasions to meet and converse. Having once served as a naval officer, the King was interested in this American War hero. Grant and the King discussed naval warfare. The King was also anxious to use this meeting with Grant to establish better commercial relations with America. During his reign, the King had taken strides to tap into his country’s economic potential. The direct trade route established between Lisbon and New York contained much calmer waters than between other American ports and Liverpool. To further facilitate merchant travel between countries, Luis I was also building railroads through Portugal and Spain. He assured Grant of the benefits American merchant would receive from these markets.
The Grants enjoyed a festive visit to Portugal. They had arrived in the country days before the King’s birthday and were guests at the palace reception and opera gala celebrating this royal occasion. General Grant found Luis I interested in literature and eager to discuss his attempts at translating Shakespean plays into Portuguese. King Luis I wanted to show his appreciation of Grant’s visit by honoring the General with the grand cross of the Tower and Sword. Grant thanked the King for the gesture but wished to decline. Laws of the United States prohibited American officials from accepting such decorations. However, Grant assured the King that he would always remember the compliment.
Ulysses Grant Dietz
A. Fillon Photograph, 46 Rua Nova Dos Martyrs, Photo formerly part of the Charles L. Ritzmann Collection
Approximate Creation Date
Mississippi State University Libraries (electronic version).
Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, Mississippi State University Libraries.
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[Title of Document], Ulysses S. Grant and Julia D. Grant Papers, Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, Mississippi State University Libraries