Flags flew and champagne flowed when the Czar’s ships anchored in New York Harbor. Fifty years later we learned the reason for their surprise visit
No delegation of Russian visitors, the Bolshoi dancers not excepted, ever has been welcomed to this country with anything like the enthusiasm that greeted the Czar’s Atlantic fleet when it dropped anchor in New York Harbor in 1863. The fleet’s arrival was completely unexpected—a point to which we will return—but the American reaction was immediate, spontaneous, and open-armed.
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