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The New York Legislature in 1890 appointed a committee to
inquire into and report upon the subject. After several years of
discussion, the Legislature provided for a referendum, the result of
which showed a large majority in favor of uniting the cities referred
to. A bill was carefully framed, passed both branches of the law-making
body by a strong vote in February, 1897, and was signed by the mayors of
Brooklyn and of Long Island City. Mayor Strong, of New York, however,
vetoed the bill, but the Legislature immediately repassed it, and it was
signed by Governor Black.

The expanded metropolis began its official existence January 1, 1898,
the government being vested in a mayor and a municipal assembly, which
consists of two branches elected by the people. The population at the
time named was about 3,400,000, the daily increase being 400. Should
this rate continue, the total population at the middle of the twentieth
century will be 20,000,000, which will make it the most populous in the
world, unless London wakes up and grows faster than at present.

The area of Greater New York is 317.77 square miles. Its greatest width
from the Hudson River to the boundary line across Long Island beyond
Creedmoor is sixteen miles, and the extreme length, from the southern
end of Staten Island to the northern limits of Yonkers, is thirty-two
miles. Within these bounds are the cities of New York, Brooklyn, Long
Island City, Jamaica, all of Staten Island, the western end of Long
Island, Coney Island, Rockaway, Valley Stream, Flushing, Whitestone,
College Point, Willets' Point, Fort Schuyler, Throggs' Neck,
Westchester, Baychester, Pelham Manor, Van Cortlandt, Riverdale, and
Spuyten Devil.


The removal of the remains of General Grant to their final resting-place
in the magnificent tomb on Morningside Heights, on the banks of the
Hudson, took place during the first year of McKinley's administration,
and was marked by ceremonies among the most impressive ever witnessed in
the metropolis of the country. The final tributes to the foremost
defender of the country were made by eloquent tongues, and pens, and by
the reverent affection of the nation itself.

[Illustration: JOHN SHERMAN.

Secretary of State under President McKinley; resigned 1898.]

There have been many attempts made to analyze the character of this
remarkable man. Some of his most intimate friends failed to understand
him. Among the best of these analyses is that of Lieutenant-General John
M. Schofield. In this our last reference to General Grant, the words of
his trusted confidant deserve record:

"General Sherman wrote that he could not understand Grant, and
doubted if Grant understood himself. A very distinguished statesman,
whose name I need not mention, said to me that, in his opinion, there
was nothing special in Grant to understand. Others have varied widely
in their estimates of that extraordinary character. Yet I believe
its most extraordinary quality was its extreme simplicity, so extreme
that many have entirely overlooked it in their search for some deeply
hidden secret to account for so great a character, unmindful of the
general fact that simplicity is one of the most prominent attributes
of greatness.

"The greatest of all the traits of Grant's character was that which
lay always on the surface, visible to all who had eyes to see it.
That was his moral and intellectual honesty, integrity, sincerity,
veracity, and justice. He was incapable of any attempt to deceive
anybody, except for a legitimate purpose, as in military strategy;
and, above all, he was incapable of deceiving himself. He possessed
that rarest of all human faculties, the power of a perfectly accurate
estimate of himself, uninfluenced by vanity, pride, ambition,
flattery, or self-interest. Grant was very far from being a modest
man, as the word is generally understood. His just self-esteem was as
far above it as it was above flattery. The highest enconiums were
accepted for what he believed them to be worth. They did not disturb
his equilibrium in the slightest degree. Confiding, just, and
generous to everybody else, he treated with silent contempt any
suggestion that he had been unfaithful to any obligation. He was too
proud to explain where his honor had been questioned.

"While Grant knew his own merits as well as anybody did, he also knew
his own imperfections and estimated them at their real value. For
example, his inability to speak in public, which produced the
impression of extreme modesty or diffidence, he accepted simply as a
fact in his nature which was of little or no consequence, and which
he did not even care to conceal. He would not, for many years, even
take the trouble to jot down a few words in advance, so as to be able
to say something when called upon. Indeed, I believe he would have
regarded it as an unworthy attempt to appear in a false light if he
had made preparations in advance for an 'extemporaneous' speech. Even
when he did in later years write some notes on the back of a
dinner-card, he would take care to let everybody see that he had done
so by holding the card in plain view while he read his little speech.
After telling a story, in which the facts had been modified somewhat
to give the greater effect, which no one could enjoy more than he
did, Grant would take care to explain exactly in what respects he had
altered the facts for the purpose of increasing the interest in his
story, so that he might not leave any wrong impression.

"When Grant's attention was called to any mistake he had committed,
he would see and admit it as quickly and unreservedly as if it had
been made by anybody else, and with a smile which expressed the exact
opposite of that feeling which most men are apt to show under like
circumstances. His love of truth and justice was so far above all
personal considerations that he showed unmistakable evidence of
gratification when any error into which he might have fallen was
corrected. The fact that he had made a mistake and that it was
plainly pointed out to him did not produce the slightest unpleasant
impression; while the further fact, that no harm had resulted from
his mistake, gave him real pleasure. In Grant's judgment, no case in
which any wrong had been done could possibly be regarded as finally
settled until that wrong was righted, and if he himself had been, in
any sense, a party to that wrong, he was the more earnest in his
desire to see justice done. While he thus showed a total absence of
any false pride of opinion or of knowledge, no man could be firmer
than he in adherence to his mature judgment, nor more earnest in his
determination, on proper occasions, to make it understood that his
opinion was his own and not borrowed from anybody else. His pride in
his own mature opinion was very great; in that he was as far as
possible from being a modest man. This absolute confidence in his own
judgment upon any subject which he had mastered, and the moral
courage to take upon himself alone the highest responsibility, and to
demand full authority and freedom to act according to his own
judgment, without interference from anybody, added to his accurate
estimate of his own ability and clear perception of the necessity for
undivided authority and responsibility in the conduct of military
operations, and in all that concerns the efficiency of armies in time
of war, constituted the foundation of that very great character.

"When summoned to Washington to take command of all the armies, with
the rank of lieutenant-general, he determined, before he reached the
capital, that he would not accept the command under any conditions
than those above stated. His sense of honor and of loyalty to the
country would not permit him to consent to be placed in a false
position, one in which he could not perform the service which the
country had been led to expect from him, and he had the courage to
say so in unqualified terms.

"These traits of Grant's character must now be perfectly familiar to
all who have studied his history, as well as to those who enjoyed
familiar intercourse with him during his life. They are the traits of
character which made him, as it seems to me, a very great man, the
only man of our time, so far as we know, who possessed both the
character and the military ability which were, under the
circumstances, indispensable in the commander of the armies which
were to suppress the great rebellion.

"It has been said that Grant, like Lincoln, was a typical American,
and for that reason was most beloved and respected by the people.
That is true of the statesman and the soldier, as well as of the
people, if it is meant that they were the highest type, that ideal
which commands the respect and admiration of the highest and best in
a man's nature, however far he may know it to be above himself. The
soldiers and the people saw in Grant or in Lincoln, not one of
themselves, not a plain man of the people, nor yet some superior
being whom they could not understand, but the personification of
their highest ideal of a citizen, soldier, or statesman, a man whose
greatness they could see and understand as plainly as they could
anything else under the sun. And there was no more mystery about it
all, in fact, than there was in the popular mind."

[Illustration: SPEAKER THOMAS B. REED.

Resigned as Speaker in 1899.]

To the widow of General Grant was given the right to select the spot for
the last resting-place of his remains, she to repose after death beside
her husband. She decided upon Riverside. It then became the privilege of
his friends to provide a suitable tomb for the illustrious soldier. The
funds needed, amounting to nearly half a million dollars, were raised by
subscription, ground was broken on the anniversary of Grant's birthday,
April 27, 1891, and a year later the corner-stone was laid by President

The tomb of General Grant, standing on the banks of the Hudson, is an
imposing structure, square in shape, ninety feet on each side, and of
the Grecian-Doric order.

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