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Ulysses S. Grant Information Center: His Life

Information about General and President Ulysses S. Grant and resources for doing research. Includes material suitable for the K-12 audience.

The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man - Ulysses S. Grant

Grant's Alleged Alcohol Problem

Recollections of Grant from McClure's Magazine

Multiple full-text articles from McClure's Magazine, Volume 2, December 1893-May 1894 by individuals recalling General Grant. In Hathitrust. 

The link above to McClure's Magazine will take you to the table of contents showing these titles:
Grant as His Son (Frederick) Saw Him, by A. E. Watrous.
Grant, General, an Autograph Letter About, by His Father.
Grant, General, Personal Traits of, by General Horace Porter.
Grant, Some Reminiscences of, by General O. O. Howard and General Ely S. Parker.
Grant's General, Greatest Year, by T. C. Crawford.
Human Documents. Grant, Ulysses S. Fourteen Portraits.

Hamlin Garland Articles in McClure's Magazine

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Grant Family Genealogy

Here are some links to help you with determining genealogical information about Ulysses S. Grant. Please be advised that the author of this website does not know just exactly how Grant might be related to all of his collateral family. I cannot assist readers in determining if they are related to Grant in any way. Genealogical research is time consuming, but rewarding. Please start with these suggested links and also check with your local public library or historical society for assistance in doing further research. 

You may also email Diane Meives, usglady@excel.net, a person with a longtime interest in Grant genealogy and a willingness to help others with the same interest.

Genealogical information from the Grant Presidential Library.

Digitized Book: The Ancestry of General Grant and Their Contemporaries, by Edward Chauncey Marshall. From Hathitrust.

Report of the First Reunion of the Grant Family Association, 1899, edited by Arthur Hastings Grant. There are subsequent volumes for reunions of the Grant Family Association, but I cannot locate any that are digitized.

Brief listing of children and grandchildren of U. S. and Julia Grant.

The Descendants of the Presidents of the United States, by Walter Lewis Zorn. Self published by the author, 1954. 

Genealogies of the Families of the Presidents, by Henry Buchanan.

Excerpts about Grant's mother, Hannah Simpson Grant, as recorded in Early Records of Simpson Families, by Helen A. Simpson. Simpson family genealogy as well. From Hathitrust.

Funeral service for Hannah Simpson Grant. Take note that her son instructed the presiding minister that in no way was he to be mentioned in any laudatory manner. The focus was to be on his mother. Digitized magazine from Hathitrust titled The Pulpit Treasury: an Evangelical Monthly.

Book: The Genealogy of Galena: Nineteenth Century Americana, by Lorraine X. Page, Self-Published, 1993. Has 23 pages on Grant. This is available in 6 libraries in the United States. See the WorldCat

Gallery

Ulysses S. Grant

Videos About Grant

C-Span Vignette of U. S. Grant's Life - 3 minutes

C-Span 3, Talk by Charles Calhoun, author of The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant - 1.5 hours.

C-Span Life Portrait of Ulysses S. Grant - 2.5 hours. Professors John Y. Simon and Allen Ballard discuss Grant's life.

C-Span on the Grant Memorial in Washington, DC - 3 minutes

C-Span Memoirs of Ulysses S Grant - 24 minutes. Talk by Ben Kemp, Historian at the Grant Cottage, near Saratoga Springs, New York. 

Ulysses S. Grant, Warrior and President. From PBS - 1.75 hours

Grant's Trip Around the World

Ulysses S. Grant in Japan

Grant as Mathematician

Grant was highly adept in mathematics and hoped to make it his career. In his Memoirs he said:

"My idea then was to ... secure a detail for a few years as assistant professor of mathematics at the Academy, and afterwards obtain a permanent position as professor in some respectable college; but circumstances always did shape my course different from my plans." (p. 11, 1995 Dover edition)

Furthermore, Julia's father objected to him marrying his daughter because the "Colonel" thought army life would not suit her. Grant took care of that objection. In a letter to Julia dated Oct., 1845, from Corpus Christi, Texas, he said:
"I have at this time the offer of a professorship of mathematics in a tolerably well endowed College in Hillsboro, Ohio, a large and flourishing town ...  "

This obviously did not work out in the long run, but does demonstrate his facility with a subject that is difficult for most of us.

Links to More Information About Grant

Last Five Years of Grant's Life


Ulysses S. Grant's Funeral

The following are links to a variety of materials documenting the last five years of Grant's life and the preservation of the cottage at Mt. McGregor, New York, where he died on July 23, 1885 at age 63.   

Did Grant Own Slaves?

Here is what Brooks Simpson has to say about Grant and slaves at White Haven (property owned by Julia's father):

[After Julia's mother died, her father persuaded Julia and Ulysses to move from Hardscrabble to White Haven where Grant had to take over supervision of the estate and its personnel]. "At first glance, this would not seem to be too difficult, for Colonel Dent owned a good number of slaves (the precise number at this time is not known, although the 1850 census reports thirty Dent slaves, split between White Haven and the family residence in St. Louis). However, because most of the Dent slaves at White Haven were house servants, Grant had to hire field hands.

Grant proved a poor manager of slave labor. A neighbor smiled as he recalled that the ex-captain 'was helpless when it came to making slaves work' Louisa Boggs, the wife of one of Julia's cousins, agreed: 'He was no hand to manage negroes. He couldn't force them to do anything. He wouldn't whip them.' He did not fare better with hired help. One of his workers, an old free black named Uncle Jason, remarked: 'He used ter pay us several cents more a cord for cuttin' wood than anyone else paid, and some of the white men cussed about it, but Cap'n he jis' kep' right on a-paying for er work just er same.' Uncle Jason decided that Grant 'was the kindest man he ever worked for.' A white neighbor complained that Grant paid his black workers too much, 'a-spoiling them, sir, spoiling them.' Grant respected his fellow workers as he labored beside them. He had no problem paying them and treating them like men; he could not treat them as slaves, and the fact that they were slaves made him feel ashamed." - from Ulysses S. Grant, Triumph Over Adversity, 1822-1865, by Brooks Simpson. Houghton Mifflin, 2000.

Grant had purchased a slave from his father-in-law and later gave him his freedom at a time when he could have used the money from the sale of said slave. This excerpt is also from Grant in St. Louis, by Walter B. Stevens.

Grant Manumits His Slave

Ferdinand Ward and Ulysses S. Grant

Ferdinand Ward and General Grant

Ferdinand Ward

To Do, to Be, to Suffer

Undated note from Grant to his physician Dr. John H. Douglas (probably written in July of 1885).

"I do not sleep though sometimes dose off a little. If up I am talked to and in my efforts to answer cause pain. The fact is I think I am a verb instead of a personal pronoun. A verb is any thing that signifies to be; to do; or to suffer. I signify all three."