- A petition for land and exemption was submitted to a U.S. diplomatic officer at St. Petersburg during the middle of 1872. A temporary reply was given to encourage emigration, but later directions from Hamilton Fish, Grant's Secretary of State, were to refrain from making any promises that could not be binding in any event without Senate ratification.
- In August 1873 the Hutterites Paul and Lorenz Tschetter, and the Mennonite Tobias Unruh secured a personal interview with President Grant at the White House. Grant was very much in favor of granting the Mennonites some sort of written assurance concerning military service and asked Secretary of State Fish about the possibility of preparing such a statement; but Fish, a man of caution and integrity, warned Grant in a long letter against signing a promise that might later have to be broken in the event state or national legislatures enacted general military conscription laws.
- Later in the same year Mennonite Cornelius Jansen secured an interview with Grant; and probably because of Jansen's great diplomatic abilities Grant's interest in the Mennonite request was revived. This time Grant contacted his Secretary of Interior, Columbus Delano; and his concern centered not on military exemption for the Mennonites but on securing for them the land that they desired. The Grant-Delano proposal was submitted to Congress in Grant's 1874 "State of the Union" address, and a bill was subsequently introduced into the Senate which was designed to authorize Delano to withdraw from sale or entry such lands as the Mennonites may have desired to occupy upon arrival, up to 500,000 acres. This bill was debated over a period of several months by prominent legislators, but failed ultimately to come to a vote. The main argument in favor of the bill was not the plight of the Mennonite people in Russia but the advantage of obtaining a large group of what were considered to be high-class agriculturalists. Arguments against the bill were: opposition to the closed community and autonomous Mennonite culture; refusal of the Mennonites to help defend the common country; objection to monopolizing the land together with the possibility of fraud on the part of land agents.
- A petition from Mennonite representatives John F. Funk and Amos Herr on behalf of the Russian Mennonites was submitted to the House of Representatives, but was "pigeonholed" for lack of time and support.
Correll, E. H. "President Grant and the Mennonite Immigration from Russia." Mennonite Quarterly Review 9 (1935): 144-152.
Harder, Leland. "The Russian Mennonites and American Democracy Under Grant." In From the Steppes to the Prairies, edited by Cornelius Krahn. Newton, Mennonite Historical Series, 1949.
|Author(s)||Leland D Harder|
 Cite This Article
Harder, Leland D. "Grant, President Ulysses S. (1822-1885) and the Russian Mennonite Immigration." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 6 Dec 2013. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Grant,_President_Ulysses_S._(1822-1885)_and_the_Russian_Mennonite_Immigration&oldid=94919.
Harder, Leland D. (1957). Grant, President Ulysses S. (1822-1885) and the Russian Mennonite Immigration. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 December 2013, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Grant,_President_Ulysses_S._(1822-1885)_and_the_Russian_Mennonite_Immigration&oldid=94919.
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