Learn more about Peltz-Steele v. UMass Faculty Federation at Court Listener (complaint) and the Liberty Justice Center. The case is now on appeal in the First Circuit as no. 22-1466 (PACER paywall). Please direct media inquiries to Kristen Williamson.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Historian explores Grant statue's African odyssey

My photo from Bolama in 2020
RJ Peltz-Steele CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Martin H. "Jay" Joyce, author and my colleague in the exploration of historical curiosities, has authored a new article about the origins and winding story of the statue of U.S. President Ulysses S Grant on the island of Bolama in Guinea-Bissau and its two appearances on Bissauan postage stamps.

I have written about the Grant doppleganger's odyssey previously, in March 2020, when I got some of the facts wrong, and in November 2020, when I corrected and updated the record. Now Joyce has dived deep. He teases his piece thus:

In the March-April 2020 issue of Topical Time, Mr. George Ruppel recounted the story of why Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau) issued stamps in 1946 and again in 1970, featuring Ulysses S. Grant. Grant was honored for arbitrating a dispute between Portugal and Great Britain during his presidential administration in favor of Portugal. The crux of the dispute involved territorial rights over the island of Bolama, just off West Africa’s coast.... In the mid-twentieth century, Bolama frequently appeared in the philatelic press because of the Pan-American Airways Clipper airmail routes, which used Bolama as a stopping point before proceeding across the South Atlantic....

An internet search for statues of American presidents around the world rarely includes this statue. Why not? As former ABC News radio commentator Paul Harvey would say, "Here's the rest of the story...."

The article is Ulysses S. Grant in Portuguese Guinea—the Rest of the Story, Topical Time, May-June 2022, at 60. Topical Time is the journal of the American Topical Association.

Joyce is a 1974 graduate of the United States Military Academy. He is the author of Postmarked West Point: A US Postal History of West Point and its Graduates, a winner of a Vermeil award at the 2021 Great American Stamp Show. His forthcoming work from La Posta Publications is The West Point Post Office: 1815-1981: Keeping It All in the Family—Nepotism, Paternalism and Political Patronage, ... and Dedication to the Corps.

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