Most accounts of U.S. Grant’s stay in Detroit include a lawsuit with Zachariah Chandler over a slippery sidewalk problem. The implication is that the two were thereverafter on the outs. So it was a bit of a recent surprise to read in the magnificent bio Grant by J.E. Smith that, when appointed Secretary of Interior in 1875, “Chandler was an old friend of the president’s time with the 4th infantry in Detroit.” (p. 587, ppbk edition of 2001) Also: “Grant felt comfortable with Chandler. He was loyal to the president, and as one scholar observed, he could carry out reforms without moral cant and without bidding for the applause of the audience.” (Id.)
Grant's reputation has been undergoing revision in recent years after the mainstream historiography had relegated him to the bottom rung of the Nation's chief executives. Books like Grant and Joan Waugh's recent U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth reveal a much different man than we were led to believe. In the face of opposition his Reconstruction policies were pro-African American. He was the polar opposite of Andrew Johnson.
More reason that the U.S. Grant house in Detroit should be saved!