Ulysses Grant biography

Ulysses Grant biography

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UlyssesGrant biography

UlyssesGrant is among the most renowned general and president of the UnitedStates for his contributions towards the establishments of the freeworld. Grant was born on April 27, in the year 1822 in a place knownas Point Pleasant, Ohio (Library of Congress 1). He was the firstborn in a family of six siblings. Grant was the son of hardworkingman known as Jesse Grant. His father worked as a businessman and aleather tanner. Although Grant’s father made a good living out hisleather tanning business, the working conditions were undesirable andhis, which made Grant to think and confess to his father that hewould pursue a different career when he grew up. The stinging cattlehides and stinking chemicals disrupted Grant when he occasionallyworked at his father’s leather tanning facility.


Grant’sparents moved from Point Pleasant to Georgetown, Ohio a year afterhis birth. Unlike his siblings, Ulysses Grant preferred working onthe farm to working in the leather tanning facility. His Methodistparents did not force him to go to church. He preferred prayingprivately and refused to join a denomination officially (Library ofCongress 2). Grant occasionally attended school, although he did notperform well. He was nominated to the US. Military Academy located atWest Point, New York by a Congressman named Thomas Hamer at his ageof 17 years. He did not do well in the military academy, but he atleast managed to graduate at position 21stout of 39 students (Perez 1). However, he performed above average ingeography and mathematics and demonstrated his talent in riding andcontrolling horses.

Personallife and military career

Grantwas sent Jefferson Barracks soon after graduating from the militaryschool in 1843, but he was determined to leave the military andpursue a teaching career after his four years of mandatory service.Grant had the opportunity to visit his classmate’s, Tracy Dent,home at West Point where he dated his sister Julia. He got engaged toJulia in 1844 and got married to her in 1848 where they gave birth tofour children (Perez 1). Grant did his first battle in 1846, when theAmerican-Mexican War broke out. He demonstrated his unique abilitiesby taking a dispatch across the streets that were controlled by theMexican snipers riding on the side on the side of his horse. His fourmandatory years of service ended before the end of theAmerican-Mexican war and he chose to continue serving in the militaryfor the sake of his country. Grant was promoted to a position of acaptain in 1853, but was forced to resign in 1854 by his commandingofficer, Robert Buchanan following his intoxication during anoff-duty part (Widger 2).

Grantand farming life

Afterresigning from the military, Grant faced financial hardships and hecould hardly meet his responsibilities as a father and a husband. Hisoffered Grant a job at one of the skin tanneries located in Galena,Illinois, but on condition that he would separate with his wife(Simpson 1). Grant chose to decline the offer and try farming in 1855in a property owned by his brother-in-law. His new farming venturewas not successful and he moved with his family to farm in a propertyowned by his wife’s father, where he acquired his first slave in1857 (Simpson 1). The second farming venture was also unsuccessful,and grant decided to set free his only slave in 1859. His fatheroffered him a job at Galena’s tannery unconditionally and acceptedit in 1860.

CivilWar and Grant’s return to military

TheCivil War broke out in 1861 and the United States did not have enoughmilitary officers to face the Southern Confederates. The president,Abraham Lincoln, had to recruit about 75,000 volunteers (Simpson 1).Grant was selected because of his military background, but he couldonly serve in the training camp where he recruited and trainedvolunteers before they could be sent to war. In June 1861, Grant waspromoted to a position of Colonel and given the responsibility ofmaintaining discipline in the force and troop commandership in August1861 (Perez 1). This gave Grant an opportunity to take part in theCivil War, where he fought in Paducah, Belmont, Shiloh, Vicksburg,and Chattanooga. President Lincoln promoted Grant to the position ofthe major general, heading the Mississippi Division in 1863.

Politicalcareer as the 18thpresident of the U.S

Grantwas assigned the role of overseeing reconstruction at the end of theCivil War in 1865. Grant gained popularity after opposing thedecision of President Johnson to fight with Republican radicals.Republicans nominated Grant as their presidential candidate in the1868 elections where he worn becoming the 18thpresident (Perez 1). He was the youngest president (46 years old) inthe U.S. history and the most politically inexperienced. However, hemanaged to make some successes during his presidency, including theestablishment of the National Park Service, Indian Peace Policy, andratification of the famous 15thAmendment among others (Perez 1). Although Grant was known to be anhonest and a dedicated president, he appointed corrupt officials whoengaged in numerous scandals (such as the Credit Mobilier) thattarnished Grant’s name.

Postpresidency popularity

Soonafter his second term as the president Grant travelled across theworld with his family, a tour that took two years. The warm welcomethat Grant received from the leaders of other countries, coupled withthe large clouds that greeted him in all countries that he visitedgave republicans a new picture of Grant. Grant’s popularity in theface of the world made republicans believe that he could run forthird term (Lagueux 17). However, Grant did not have enough number ofdelegates to get the nomination. The world tour cost him almost allhis savings and he needed to get into business to earn some money.However, nearly all his new business ventures (including the railwayproject between Mexico and the U.S. and house brokerage) failed,leaving grant bankrupt.

Lastmoments and his death

Afterlosing in all business attempts, Grant started writing articles ontopics related to the Civil War and sold them to The Century Magazinefor a fee of $ 500 per article. In 1884, Grant was diagnosed with thecancer of the throat while he was still writing a memoir. He had onlywritten up to the Civil War and he died before writing on the postwar period, including his presidency. He died in 1885, leaving hisson Fred to edit and publish his memoirs. It can be concluded thatUlysses Grant was a successful politician and a military officer, buthe had no breakthrough in the business world.


Lagueux,J. Thepower struggle between a great commander in chief and an almostinvisible army.Sylvania, OH: Lourdes College, 2011. Print.

Libraryof Congress. Readinghistory: Ulysses S. Grant. St.Louis, MO: National Historic Site, 2000. Print.

Perez,R. and Horse, C. Ulysses S. Grant: U.S. President, general(1822-1885). Bioand the Bio.2015. Web. 6 September 2015.

Simpson,B. UlyssesS. Grant: Triumph over adversity, 1822-1865.Boston: Houghton Mafflin, 2000. Print.

Widger,D. PersonalMemoir of U. S. Grant.Fort Belvoir: National Museum of the U.S. Army, 2004. Print.