William H. Reynolds of Providence, Rhode Island, wrote to George F. Shepley, a Portland lawyer, invited him to speak at a "Grant & Colfax Ratification Meeting."
Shepley, a brigadier general who served as military governor of Louisiana during the Civil War, had been a Democrat before the war, but switched to the Republican party after the war.
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Schuyler Colfax had been nominated as the presidential ticket by the Republican Party May 20-21. The Providence "ratification" event was scheduled for June 26.
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