CIVIL WAR HERO AND 18th PRESIDENT DIED 128 YEARS AGO
Mount McGregor, New York (JFK+50) Union Civil War hero who later became the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant*, died at his home here in Mount McGregor 128 years ago today, July 23, 1885.
At the age of 60, with two difficult terms as president behind him, Ulysses and his wife, Julia**, went on a two-year tour of the world.
By the time they returned, the Grants were in deep debt. The former president had to declare bankruptcy and adding to his worries, he was diagnosed with throat cancer.
At the time he declared bankruptcy, Mr. Grant was offered $100,000 by P.T. Barnum for the right to display his memorabilia from the Civil War.
With the help of Mark Twain, Mr. Grant was able to market his work and leave his widow with a windfall of $450,000.
"The Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant," published in 2 volumes, sold 350,000 sets. The work focused on General Grant's performance as a Union officer in the Civil War.
The image we have today of Grant is of a man of short stature always with a cigar in his mouth. That image is not far from the truth. Ulysses S. Grant was 5'2" tall and he is said to have smoked as many as 20 cigars a day.
STRANGE AS IT MAY SEEM
Like Lincoln President Grant liked to go on carriage rides, but unlike Abe, he enjoyed driving himself. He was often seen in a light 2 wheeled carriage going very fast. In fact, he got a ticket for speeding from a Washington police officer who apparently didn't recognize him.
How could you not recognize Grant????
"To the Best of My Ability: The American Presidents, Ulysses S. Grant," by Michael Les Benedict, James M. McPherson, Editor, Dorling Kindersley Publishers, New York, 2001.
Writing His "Memoirs"
*Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio. He graduated from West Point in 1843 and served in the Mexican War. Appointed to captain after the war, he resigned in 1854.
Grant farmed and then worked in a tannery before rejoining the army in 1861. He helped recruit volunteers and was promoted to colonel.
General Grant was one of the most successful officers in the war. He captured Forts Henry and Donelson early in the war, led the Army of Tennessee at the Battle of Shiloh, captured Vicksburg, Mississippi after a long siege, and accepted Lee's surrender in April 1865.
US Grant was elected 18th President in 1868 and re-elected in 1872 but his terms were marked by corruption.
Despite the scandals, Grant remained a popular figure among Republicans. He was almost nominated for another term in 1880.
Ulysses S. Grant National Monument
Morningside Heights, New York City
Photo by User:Dschwen (2004)
**Julia Boggs Dent Grant (1826-1902) was born near St. Louis, Missouri the daughter of a slaveholding planter. After a 4 year engagement, Julia married U.S. Grant and they would have 4 children.
Her time as 1st Lady she described as the "happiest period" of her life. Like her husband, she wrote her memoirs but they were not published until 1975.
Julia Dent Grant
IT WAS ABOUT TIME FOR JOE KENNEDY, SR. TO MAKE A MAGAZINE COVER
New York City (JFK+50) FDR's chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., made the cover of Time magazine 78 years ago today, July 23, 1935.
Mr. Kennedy's cover picture included the caption:
"He makes it easy for the honest".