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Portrait of Patrice De MacMahon, Duke of Magenta in uniform holding hat
Marshal Marie Esme Patrice Maurice de MacMahon, 1st Duke of Magenta was a French general and politician. He was the first president of France’s Third Republic serving from 1875 until 1879. During his stay in Paris, General Grant made a formal visit to the Élysée Palace where he was presented to Marshal MacMahon, president of the French Third Republic. A military man himself, the president recognized Grant as a fellow comrade and was anxious to present a show of France’s military. However, General Grant was to have expressed disinterest in military affairs while abroad. His hosts were often shocked that this great American war hero did not want to see any military pageants or even hear any military bands. Mrs. Grant was pleased by the attention the President and his wife gave to her and General Grant. President and Madame MacMahon threw the American couple a lavish dinner and allowed them to enjoy the president’s box at the opera, theater and races. On another occasion, President MacMahon and Madame MacMahon gave a large banquet to General Grant and his wife. General Grant and Mrs. Grant appear to have had a more intimate reception with the French President and his wife than they received from the British royal family. Mrs. Grant recorded in her memoirs that she was seated next to President MacMahon. She praises his gentlemanly behavior, “He always conducted me to the door, took my wrap from the attendant, and placed it around my shoulders”.
Ulysses Grant Dietz
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Mississippi State University Libraries (electronic version).
Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, Mississippi State University Libraries.
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