Enjoyed this piece. Grant's visit was certainly a high point in Japan/U.S. bilateral relations. Also interesting to note that Grant appointed John Bingham, Ohio Congressman to be America's Chief of Mission in Japan. (in those days title was Minister, now Ambassador) Bingham served from 1873-1885, the longest term of any American ambassador. Bingham was a major political figure of his generation: confidante of Lincoln, a prosecutor of the Lincoln assassins, deliverer of the articles of impeachment to the Senate in the trial of President Andrew Johnson and most importantly, principal author of the important sections of the 14th Amendment. The later contribution has led American constitutional scholars to call Bingham a second Madison or America's Founding Son, title of Magliocca's biography of Bingham. Bingham is pretty obscure. He gets more ink in American history books for having appointed George Armstrong Custer to West Point than he does for all his other contributions.
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Posted in: Things you'd better not do upon retiring