Key Dates

1839 Ulysses S. Grant enters West Point.

1848 Mexican War ends. Grant is a war hero.

1864 Grant becomes chief of the Union Army.

1865 The Civil War ends.

1868 Grant is elected President

1870 The Fifteenth Amendments is passed giving African American men the right to vote.

1873 The Presidents salary is raised form $25,000 to $50,000 a year.

1876 The results from the Presidential Election are disputed. Congress makes Hayes the winner.

1884 Grant loses his live savings.

1885 Grant dies just after finishing his autobiography. His autobiography becomes a best seller.  

Ulysses S. Grant
1869 - 1877
18th President

His mother, Hannah Simpson, was an Irish immigrant from Dergenagh, County Tyrone.

Ulysses S. Grant was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio on April 27, 1822. Grant was the first President born in Ohio.

Grant was a Methodist.

Ulysses was a skilled horseman even as a young man. He was good a "breaking" horses for riding and could ride all most any horse.

His given name was Hiram Ulysses Grant. Before leaving for West Point, he decided to reverse the names, but his appointment was in the name of Ulysses S. Grant. The Army never changed it's mind about U.S. Grant, so he finally began to use the patriotic name himself. A good trivia question is what does the S in U.S. Grant stand for in his name. The answer is nothing. The congressman who appointed Grant to West Point thought is middle name was Stanton his mothers last name.

Ulysses S. Grant set a high jump record at West Point that lasted for more than 25 years. He also demonstrated some artistic abilities in his paintings.

Grant ran against the first woman to be nominated for President. Victoria Claflin Woodhall was nominated by the Equal Rights Party.

Ulysses Grant served in both Mexican War and US Civil War. During the Mexican war he served with several soldiers he would later face in the Civil War.

After the war he went broke trying to farm. He ended up selling fire wood on the street.

General Grant

Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Cold Harbor, Va. 1864.
Mathew Brady. Mathew Brady Collection.
National Archives and Records Administration

He was forced to leave the army due to a night of drinking.

He was the first President whose parents were both alive when he was inaugurated.

Ulysses S. Grant was arrested for speeding while driving a horse and buggy in Washington, DC. He had to pay a fine of $20.00 and walk back to the White House.

He suffered from migraine headaches all his life. He wore false teeth and was very squeamish.

He owned a slave named William Jones, acquired from his father-in-law. At a time when he could have desperately used the money from the sale of Jones, Grant signed a document that gave his freedom.

Although Grant had 15 years in the regular military, his initial offer to serve in the Civil War was overlooked by the War Department. His letter was not found until after the war was over.

His favorite breakfast was a cucumber soaked in vinegar.

Grant had both a beard and a mustache.

Ulysses S. Grant established Yellowstone as the nation's first national park on March 1, 1872.

It was rumored that Grant smoked twenty cigars a day.

Ulysses Grant didn't have a Vice President for part of his second-term. Vice President, Henry Wilson, died in office and was not replaced, leaving Grant without a VP for more than a year.

Ulysses Grant was elected to two terms 1868, 1872.

President Grant had two Vice Presidents and a period of time where he didn't have a Vice President.

Schuyler Colfax (1869-1873)
Henry Wilson (1873-1875)
none (1875-1877)

A friend of Grant's once tried to get him to learn the increasingly popular game of golf. Finally, Grant consented to go as an observer. His friend, however, could not connect with the ball. Confused, Grant admitted that it did look like very good exercise but asked what the little white ball was for.

His children had two ponies while they lived in the White House. The ponies were named Reb and Billy Button. Ulysses had a Newfoundland named Faithful.

He was tone deaf and could not recognize any of the light airs of the time. Military music was especially annoying to him. He once told a reporter, "I only know two tunes. One of them is Yankee Doodle and the other isn't."

Grant wrote a best-paying books of its time and it is still high on the all-time list. His book was President Grant's Memoirs. Royalties were estimated to be $500,000. He never saw the book in print He died before it was published.

President Grant's picture is on the $50 bill.

Ulysses S. Grant died in Mount McGregor, New York on July 23, 1885. He was 63 years and 87 days. Yes, Grant is buried in Grant's Tomb in New York City beside his wife. It is the largest mausoleum in North America. So the answer to who is buried in Grant's Tomb, is Mrs. and Mrs. Grant.

Grant was nearly broke when he died. His autobiography was a best seller and saved his family financially.



Quick Facts

18th President 1869-1877

Born: Point Pleasant Ohio, April 27, 1822

Inaugurated: First Term: March, 1869 Second Term: March 4, 1873

Party: Republican

Died: Mount McGregor, N.Y. July 23, 1885, age 63

One of my favorite books about U.S. Grant.



  • The Presidents of the United States. 22 September 2004
  • Davis, Gibbs and Ilus. David A. Johnson. Wackiest White House Pets. New York: Scholastic Press, October 2004
  • James, Barber and Amy Pastan. Smithsonian Presidents and First Ladies. New York: DK Publishing, 2002
  • Harnsberger, Caroline Thomas. Treasury of Presidential Quotations. Chicago: Follett Publishing Company, 1964
  • Kane, Joseph Natan. Facts about the Presidents from Washington to Johnson. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.
  • National Park Service Web Site on Presidential Trivia:

Additional Sources:


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This page was last modified: January 31, 2012