Skip to Main Content

Ulysses S. Grant Information Center: Julia Dent Grant

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

Julia Dent Grant, the Woman Who Won Grant's Heart

Julia was the first First Lady to write her own memoirs. They were not published until 1975, by Putnam, and edited by Professor John Y. Simon.

Articles About Julia From Newspapers of the 19th Century

Julia and Ulysses

Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant

Ulysses often sent Julia "a thousand kisses" in his letters to her.

Julia Dent Grant, Aspects of Her Life and Genealogy

January 26, 1826-December 14, 1902

When Julia Boggs Dent was about 12 years old she and her friends at the boarding school she attended in St. Louis named the occupations they hoped their individual future husbands would have. Julia, who had been reading a novel titled The Dashing Lieutenant, told her friends emphatically that she wanted to marry a gallant, brave dashing soldier. This little girl with an idealistic vision for her future little knew what awaited her as the wife of America's greatest soldier, Ulysses S. Grant. All of that was yet to come when Ulysses and Julia "shared one of the great, romantic beautiful loves of all American history." Bruce Catton

The first link below will take you to a chronological summary of Julia's life with a list of references. The succeeding links have other information related to Julia.

Julia Grant as Psychic

Julia believed herself to be psychic.  She had one very striking vision at the time Grant was in great peril at Belmont, Missouri early in the War.

While resting one day in their little home in Galena she says she "distinctly saw Ulys a few rods from me. I saw only his head and shoulders, about as high as if he were on horseback." She called out to him, "Ulys!"

A few days later she learned from her husband that this was at the same time he was thinking of her very intensely and what would happen to her and their children should he be lost in the War. 

Rare Photo of Julia

This is a highly unusual picture of Julia because she is facing the camera, something she never liked to do because of her eye condition. From Peterson Magazine, N.S. Vol. 7, no. 6, June 1897, p.615 (shortly after the dedication of Grant's Tomb) Available in Hathitrust. 

Julia Grant and Varina Davis, Wife of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy

Links to Material on the Internet About Julia Dent Grant


Flag Counter

Julia's Father Objected to Marriage Between His Favorite Daughter and the Young Lieutenant

Colonel Dent, not wanting to lose his favorite daughter, offered Julia's younger sister, Ellen (or Nellie), to an astonished Grant, who promptly turned 
down this outrageous idea.  Colonel Dent, like so many coming after him in the future, had to submit to Grant's wishes and give consent, in this case, for his marriage to Julia.