Ulysses S. Grant
Name: Ulysses S. Grant
Occupation: President
Gender: Male
Birth Day: April 27, 1822
Death Date: Jul 23, 1885 (age 63)
Age: Aged 63
Birth Place: Point Pleasant, United States
Zodiac Sign: Taurus

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Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant was born on April 27, 1822 in Point Pleasant, United States (63 years old). Ulysses S. Grant is a President, zodiac sign: Taurus. Nationality: United States. Approx. Net Worth: $1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.).

Trivia

He was instrumental in passing the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which prevented the denial of voting rights based on race, color, or previous status as a slave.

Net Worth 2020

$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)
Find out more about Ulysses S. Grant net worth here.

Family Members

# Name Relationship Net Worth Salary Age Occupation
#1 Nellie Grant Daughter N/A N/A N/A
#2 Julia Dent Cantacuzène Spiransky-Grant Granddaughter N/A N/A N/A
#3 Algernon Edward Sartoris Grandson N/A N/A N/A
#4 Ulysses S. Grant III Grandson N/A N/A N/A
#5 Ulysses S. Grant IV Grandson N/A N/A N/A
#6 Chapman Grant Grandson N/A N/A N/A
#7 Ulysses S. Grant V Great-grandson N/A N/A N/A
#8 Hannah Simpson Grant Mother N/A N/A N/A
#9 Ulysses S. Grant Jr. Son N/A N/A N/A
#10 Frederick Dent Grant Son N/A N/A N/A
#11 Jesse Root Grant Son N/A N/A N/A
#12 Julia Grant Spouse N/A N/A N/A
#13 Julia Dent Grant Julia Dent Grant $1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.) N/A 76 Political Wife

Does Ulysses S. Grant Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Ulysses S. Grant died on Jul 23, 1885 (age 63).

Physique

Height Weight Hair Colour Eye Colour Blood Type Tattoo(s)
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Before Fame

He refused to attend church services at West Point and was given demerits for his intransigence.

Biography

Biography Timeline

1822

Hiram Ulysses Grant was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio, on April 27, 1822, to Jesse Root Grant, a tanner and merchant, and Hannah Simpson Grant. His ancestors Matthew and Priscilla Grant arrived aboard the ship Mary and John at Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. Grant's great-grandfather fought in the French and Indian War, and his grandfather, Noah, served in the American Revolution at Bunker Hill. Afterward, Noah settled in Pennsylvania and married Rachel Kelley, the daughter of an Irish pioneer. Their son Jesse (Ulysses's father) was a Whig Party supporter and a fervent abolitionist. Jesse Grant moved to Point Pleasant in 1820 and found work as a foreman in a tannery. He soon met his future wife, Hannah, and the two were married on June 24, 1821. Hannah descended from Presbyterian immigrants from Ballygawley in County Tyrone, Ireland. Ten months after she was married, Hannah gave birth to Ulysses, her and Jesse's first child. The boy's name, Ulysses, was drawn from ballots placed in a hat. To honor his father-in-law, Jesse declared the boy named Hiram Ulysses, though he would always refer to him as Ulysses.

1823

In 1823, the family moved to Georgetown, Ohio, where five more siblings were born: Simpson, Clara, Orvil, Jennie, and Mary. At the age of five, Ulysses began his formal education, starting at a subscription school and later in two private schools. In the winter of 1836–1837, Grant was a student at Maysville Seminary, and in the autumn of 1838, he attended John Rankin's academy. In his youth, Grant developed an unusual ability to ride and manage horses. Grant disliked the tannery, so his father put his ability with horses to use by giving him work driving wagon loads of supplies and transporting people. Unlike his siblings, Grant was not forced to attend church by his Methodist parents. For the rest of his life, he prayed privately and never officially joined any denomination. To others, including his own son, Grant appeared to be an agnostic. He inherited some of Hannah's Methodist piety and quiet nature. Grant was largely apolitical before the war but wrote, "If I had ever had any political sympathies they would have been with the Whigs. I was raised in that school."

1839

Grant's father wrote to Representative Thomas L. Hamer requesting that he nominate Ulysses to the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York. Despite political differences with Jesse Root Grant, Hamer, a Democrat, nominated his 17-year-old son to West Point in Spring 1839. Grant was accepted on July 1, although he doubted his academic abilities. Hamer, unfamiliar with Grant, submitted an incorrect name to West Point. On September 14 Grant was enlisted Cadet "U.S. Grant" at the national academy. His nickname at West Point became "Sam" among army colleagues since the initials "U.S." also stood for "Uncle Sam".

1843

Grant graduated on June 30, 1843, ranked 21st out of 39 in his class and was promoted the next day to the rank brevet second lieutenant. Small for his age at 17, he had entered the academy weighing only 117 pounds (53 kg) at 5 feet 2 inches (1.57 m) tall; upon graduation four years later he had grown to a height of 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m). Grant planned to resign his commission after his four-year term of duty. He would later write to a friend that among the happiest days of his life were the day he left the presidency and the day he left the academy. Despite his excellent horsemanship, he was not assigned to the cavalry, but to the 4th Infantry Regiment. Grant's first assignment took him to the Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis, Missouri. Lt. Col. Robert C. Buchanan fined Grant wine bottles for Grant's late returns from White Haven. Commanded by Colonel Stephen W. Kearny, the barracks was the nation's largest military base in the west. Grant was happy with his new commander but looked forward to the end of his military service and a possible teaching career.

1844

In Missouri, Grant visited Dent's family and became engaged to his sister, Julia, in 1844. Four years later on August 22, 1848, they were married at Julia's home in St. Louis. Grant's abolitionist father disapproved of the Dents owning slaves, and neither of Grant's parents attended the wedding. Grant was flanked by three fellow West Point graduates, all dressed in their blue uniforms, including Longstreet, Julia's cousin. At the end of the month, Julia was warmly received by Grant's family in Bethel, Ohio. They had four children: Frederick, Ulysses Jr. ("Buck"), Ellen ("Nellie"), and Jesse. After the wedding, Grant obtained a two-month extension to his leave and returned to St. Louis when he decided, with a wife to support, that he would remain in the army.

1846

After rising tensions with Mexico following the United States' annexation of Texas, war broke out in 1846. During the conflict, Grant distinguished himself as a daring and competent soldier. Before the war President John Tyler had ordered Grant's unit to Louisiana as part of the Army of Observation under Major General Zachary Taylor. In September 1846, Tyler's successor, James K. Polk, unable to provoke Mexico into war at Corpus Christi, Texas, ordered Taylor to march 150 miles south to the Rio Grande. Marching south to Fort Texas, to prevent a Mexican siege, Grant experienced combat for the first time on May 8, 1846, at the Battle of Palo Alto.

1847

Grant served as regimental quartermaster, but yearned for a combat role; when finally allowed, he led a charge at the Battle of Resaca de la Palma. He demonstrated his equestrian ability at the Battle of Monterrey by volunteering to carry a dispatch past snipers, where he hung off the side of his horse, keeping the animal between him and the enemy. Before leaving the city he assured some wounded Americans, he would send for help. Polk, wary of Taylor's growing popularity, divided his forces, sending some troops (including Grant's unit) to form a new army under Major General Winfield Scott. Traveling by sea, Scott's army landed at Veracruz and advanced toward Mexico City. The army met the Mexican forces at the battles of Molino del Rey and Chapultepec outside Mexico City. For his bravery at Molino del Rey, Grant was brevetted first lieutenant on September 30. At San Cosmé, Grant directed his men to drag a disassembled howitzer into a church steeple, then reassembled it and bombarded nearby Mexican troops. His bravery and initiative earned him his brevet promotion to captain. On September 14, 1847, Scott's army marched into the city; Mexico ceded the vast territory, including California, to the U.S. on February 2, 1848.

1848

Grant's first post-war assignments took him and Julia to Detroit on November 17, 1848, but he was soon transferred to Madison Barracks, a desolate outpost in upstate New York, in bad need of supplies and repair. After four months, Grant was sent back to his quartermaster job in Detroit. When the discovery of gold in California brought droves of prospectors and settlers to the territory, Grant and the 4th infantry were ordered to reinforce the small garrison there. Grant was charged with bringing the soldiers and a few hundred civilians from New York City to Panama, overland to the Pacific and then north to California. Julia, eight months pregnant with Ulysses Jr., did not accompany him. While Grant was in Panama, a cholera epidemic broke out and claimed the lives of many soldiers, civilians, and children. Grant established and organized a field hospital in Panama City, and moved the worst cases to a hospital barge one mile offshore. When orderlies protested having to attend to the sick, Grant did much of the nursing himself, earning high praise from observers. In August, Grant arrived in San Francisco. His next assignment sent him north to Vancouver Barracks in the Oregon Territory.

1853

Promoted to captain on August 5, 1853, Grant was assigned to command Company F, 4th Infantry, at the newly constructed Fort Humboldt in California. Grant arrived at Fort Humboldt on January 5, 1854, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Robert C. Buchanan, a martinet officer, with whom Grant had earlier crossed paths at Jefferson Barracks. Separated from his wife and family, Grant began to drink. Colonel Buchanan reprimanded Grant for one drinking episode and told Grant to "resign or reform." Grant told Buchanan he would "resign if I don't reform." On Sunday, Grant was found influenced by alcohol, but not incapacitated, at his company's pay table. Keeping his pledge to Buchanan, Grant resigned, effective July 31, 1854. Buchanan endorsed Grant's letter of resignation but did not submit any report that verified the incident. Grant did not face court-martial, and the War Department said: "Nothing stands against his good name." Grant said years later, "the vice of intemperance (drunkenness) had not a little to do with my decision to resign." With no means of support, Grant returned to St. Louis and reunited with his family, uncertain about his future.

1855

At age 32, with no civilian vocation, Grant needed work to support his growing family. It was the beginning of seven years of financial struggles, poverty, and instability. Grant's father offered him a place in the Galena, Illinois, branch of the family's leather business, but demanded Julia and the children stay in Missouri, with the Dents, or with the Grants in Kentucky. Grant and Julia declined the offer. In 1855, Grant farmed, using Julia's slave Dan, on his brother-in-law's property, Wish-ton-wish, near St. Louis. The farm was not successful and to earn a living he sold firewood on St. Louis street corners.

1858

The next year, the Grants moved to land on Julia's father's farm, and built a home called "Hardscrabble" on Grant's Farm. Julia described the rustic house as an "unattractive cabin", but made the dwelling as homelike as possible with the family's keepsakes and other belongings. Grant's family lacked money, clothes, and furniture, but always had enough food. During the Panic of 1857, which devastated Grant as it did many farmers, Grant had to pawn his gold watch in order to buy Christmas gifts for his family. In 1858, Grant rented out Hardscrabble and moved his family to Julia's father's 850-acre plantation. That fall, after suffering from malaria, Grant gave up farming.

1859

The same year, Grant acquired a slave from his father-in-law, a thirty-five-year-old man named William Jones. Although Grant was not an abolitionist, he was not considered a "slavery man", and could not bring himself to force a slave to do work. In March 1859, Grant freed William by a manumission deed, potentially worth at least $1,000, when Grant needed the money. Grant moved to St. Louis, taking on a partnership with Julia's cousin Harry Boggs working in the real estate business as a bill collector, again without success and with Julia's prompting ended the partnership. In August, Grant applied for a position as county engineer, believing his education qualified him for the job. He had thirty-five notable recommendations, but the position was given on the basis of political affiliation and Grant was passed over by the Free Soil and Republican county commissioners because he was believed to share his father-in-law's Democratic sentiments. In the 1856 presidential election, Grant cast his first presidential vote for Democrat James Buchanan, later saying he was really voting against Republican John C. Frémont over concern that his anti-slavery position would lead to Southern secession and war and because he considered Frémont to be a shameless self-promoter.

1860

In April 1860, Grant and his family moved north to Galena, accepting a position in his father's leather goods business run by his younger brothers Simpson and Orvil. In a few months, Grant paid off his debts. The family attended the local Methodist church and he soon established himself as a reputable citizen of Galena. For the 1860 election, he could not vote because he was not yet a legal resident of Illinois, but he favored Democrat Stephen A. Douglas over the eventual winner, Abraham Lincoln, and Lincoln over the Southern Democrat, John C. Breckinridge. He was torn between his increasingly anti-slavery views and the fact that his wife remained a staunch Democrat.

1861

On April 12, 1861, the American Civil War began when Confederate troops attacked Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. The news came as a shock in Galena, and Grant shared his neighbors' concern about the war. On April 15, Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers. The next day, Grant attended a mass meeting to assess the crisis and encourage recruitment, and a speech by his father's attorney, John Aaron Rawlins, stirred Grant's patriotism. Ready to fight, Grant recalled with satisfaction, "I never went into our leather store again." On April 18, Grant chaired a second recruitment meeting, but turned down a captain's position as commander of the newly formed militia company, hoping his previous experience would aid him to obtain more senior military rank.

On November 2, 1861, Lincoln removed Frémont from command, freeing Grant to attack Confederate soldiers encamped in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. On November 5, Grant, along with Brigadier General John A. McClernand, landed 2,500 men at Hunter's Point, and on November 7 engaged the Confederates at the Battle of Belmont. The Union army took the camp, but the reinforced Confederates under Brigadier Generals Frank Cheatham and Gideon J. Pillow forced a chaotic Union retreat. Grant had wanted to destroy Confederate strongholds at both Belmont, Missouri and Columbus, Kentucky, but was not given enough troops and was only able to disrupt their positions. Grant's troops fought their way back to their Union boats and escaped back to Cairo under fire from the fortified stronghold at Columbus. Although Grant and his army retreated, the battle gave his volunteers much-needed confidence and experience. It also showed Lincoln that Grant was a general willing to fight.

1862

Columbus blocked Union access to the lower Mississippi. Grant and General James B. McPherson planned to bypass Columbus and with a force of 25,000 troops, move against Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. They would then march ten miles east to Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River, with the aid of gunboats, opening both rivers and allowing the Union access further south. Grant presented his plan to Henry Halleck, his new commander in the newly created Department of Missouri. Halleck was considering the same strategy, but rebuffed Grant, believing he needed twice the number of troops. However, after Halleck telegraphed and consulted McClellan about the plan, he finally agreed on condition that the attack be conducted in close cooperation with navy Flag Officer, Andrew H. Foote. Foote's gunboats bombarded Fort Henry, leading to its surrender on February 6, 1862, before Grant's infantry even arrived.

The Union capture of Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi, was vital, and would split the Confederacy in two. Lincoln, however, appointed McClernand for the job, rather than Grant or Sherman. Halleck, who retained power over troop displacement, ordered McClernand to Memphis, and placed him and his troops under Grant's authority. On November 13, 1862, Grant captured Holly Springs and advanced to Corinth. Grant's plan was to march south to Jackson, and attack Vicksburg overland, while Sherman would attack Vicksburg from Chickasaw Bayou. However, Confederate cavalry raids on December 11 and 20, 1862, broke Union communications and recaptured Holly Springs, preventing Grant and Sherman from converging on Vicksburg. Grant observed sabotage by civilians who had feigned loyalty and complained: "Guerrillas are hovering around in every direction." On December 29, a Confederate army led by Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton repulsed Sherman's direct approach ascending the bluffs to Vicksburg at Chickasaw Bayou. McClernand reached Sherman's army, assumed command, and independently of Grant led a campaign that captured Confederate Fort Hindman.

On December 17, 1862, Grant issued a controversial General Order No. 11, expelling "Jews, as a class", from his Union Army military district. The order was fully enforced at Holly Springs (December 17) and Paducah (December 28). Confederate General Van Dorn's raid on Holly Springs (December 20), prevented many Jewish people from potential expulsion. After complaints, Lincoln rescinded the order on January 3, 1863. Grant finally stopped the order within three weeks on January 17.

1863

On January 29, 1863, Grant assumed overall command. Eventually, he attempted to advance his army through water-logged terrain to bypass Vicksburg's guns. The plan of attacking Vicksburg from downriver carried great risk, because upon crossing the Mississippi river, his army would be beyond reach of most of its supply lines. On April 16, Grant ordered Admiral David Dixon Porter's gunboats south under fire from the Vicksburg batteries to meet up with troops who had marched south down the west side of the river. Grant ordered diversionary battles, confusing Pemberton and allowing Grant's army to move east across the Mississippi, landing troops at Bruinsburg. Grant's army captured Jackson, the state capital. Advancing west, Grant defeated Pemberton's army at the Battle of Champion Hill on May 16, forcing their retreat into Vicksburg. After Grant's men assaulted the entrenchments twice, suffering severe losses, they settled in for a siege lasting seven weeks. During quiet periods of the campaign Grant would take to drinking on occasion. The personal rivalry between McClernand and Grant continued until Grant removed him from command when he contravened Grant by publishing an order without permission. Pemberton surrendered Vicksburg to Grant on July 4, 1863.

Lincoln promoted Grant to major general and assigned him command of the newly formed Division of the Mississippi on October 16, 1863, including command of the Armies of the Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland. After the Battle of Chickamauga, the Army of the Cumberland retreated into Chattanooga where they became trapped. Grant arrived in Chattanooga on horseback, assisted by Major General Joseph Hooker, with plans to resupply the city and break the siege. Union forces captured Brown's Ferry and opened a supply line to Bridgeport.

1864

On March 2, 1864, Lincoln promoted Grant to lieutenant general, giving him command of all Union Armies. Grant's new rank had only previously been held by George Washington. Grant arrived in Washington on March 8, and he was formally commissioned by Lincoln the next day at a Cabinet meeting. Grant developed a good working relationship with Lincoln, who allowed Grant to devise his own strategy. Grant established his headquarters with General George Meade's Army of the Potomac in Culpeper, north-west of Richmond, and met weekly with Lincoln and Stanton in Washington. After protest from Halleck, Grant scrapped a risky invasion plan of North Carolina, and adopted a plan of five coordinated Union offensives on five fronts, so Confederate armies could not shift troops along interior lines. Grant and Meade would make a direct frontal attack on Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, while Sherman—now chief of the western armies—was to destroy Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee and take Atlanta. Major General Benjamin Butler would advance on Lee from the southeast, up the James River, while Major General Nathaniel Banks would capture Mobile. Major General Franz Sigel was to capture granaries and rail lines in the fertile Shenandoah Valley.

1865

By March 1865, Grant had severely weakened Lee's strength, having extended his lines to 35 miles. Lee's troops deserted by the thousands due to hunger and the strains of trench warfare. Grant, Sherman, Porter, and Lincoln held a conference to discuss the surrender of Confederate armies and Reconstruction of the South on March 28.

On April 9, Grant and Lee met at Appomattox Court House. Upon receiving Lee's dispatch about the proposed meeting Grant had been jubilant. Although Grant felt depressed at the fall of "a foe who had fought so long and valiantly," he believed the Southern cause was "one of the worst for which a people ever fought." After briefly discussing their days of old in Mexico, Grant wrote out the terms of surrender. Men and officers were to be paroled, but in addition, there was amnesty: "Each officer and man will be allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed by U.S. authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside." Lee expressed satisfaction and accepted Grant's terms. At Lee's request, Grant also allowed them to keep their horses. Grant ordered his troops to stop all celebration, saying the "war is over; the rebels are our countrymen again." Johnston's Tennessee army surrendered on April 26, 1865, Richard Taylor's Alabama army on May 4, and Kirby Smith's Texas army on May 26, ending the war.

On April 14, 1865, five days after Grant's victory at Appomattox, he attended a cabinet meeting in Washington. Lincoln invited him and his wife to Ford's Theater, but they declined as upon his wife Julia's urging, had plans to travel to Philadelphia. In a conspiracy that also targeted top cabinet members in one last effort to topple the Union, Lincoln was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth at the theater, and died the next morning. Many, including Grant himself, thought that he had been a target in the plot and during the subsequent trial, the government tried to prove that Grant had been stalked by Booth's conspirator Michael O'Laughlen. Stanton notified Grant of the President's death and summoned him back to Washington. Vice President Andrew Johnson was sworn in as president on April 15. Attending Lincoln's funeral on April 19, Grant stood alone and wept openly; he later said Lincoln was "the greatest man I have ever known." Grant was determined to work with Johnson, while he privately expressed "every reason to hope" in the new president's ability of running the government "in its old channel."

At the war's end, Grant remained commander of the army, with duties that included dealing with Maximilian and French troops in Mexico, enforcement of Reconstruction in the former Confederate states, and supervision of Indian wars on the western Plains. After the Grand Review of the Armies, Lee and his generals were indicted for treason in Virginia. Johnson demanded they be put on trial, but Grant insisted that they should not be tried, citing his Appomatox amnesty. Johnson backed down, so charges against Lee were dropped. Grant secured a house for his family in Georgetown Heights in 1865, but instructed Elihu Washburne that for political purposes his legal residence remained in Galena, Illinois. That same year, Grant spoke at Cooper Union in New York in support of Johnson's presidency. Further travels that summer took the Grants to Albany, New York, back to Galena, and throughout Illinois and Ohio, with enthusiastic receptions. On July 25, 1866, Congress promoted Grant to the newly created rank of General of the Army of the United States.

President Johnson's Reconstruction policy included a speedy return of the former Confederates to Congress, reinstate whites to office in the South, and relegate blacks to second-class citizenship. On November 27, 1865, General Grant left Washington, sent by Johnson on a fact-finding mission to the South, to counter a pending less favorable report by Senator Carl Schurz. Grant recommended continuation of the Freedmen's Bureau, which Johnson opposed, but advised against using black troops, which he believed encouraged an alternative to farm labor. Grant did not believe the people of the South were ready for self-rule, and that both whites and blacks in the South required protection by the federal government. Concerned that the war led to diminished respect for civil authorities, Grant continued using the Army to maintain order. Grant's report on the South, that Grant later recanted, sympathized with Johnson's conservative Reconstruction policies. Although Grant desired former Confederates be returned to Congress, Grant advocated eventual black citizenship. On December 19, the day after the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment was announced in the Senate, Johnson's response used Grant's report, read aloud to the Senate, to undermine Schurz's final report and Radical opposition to Johnson's policies.

1867

Grant was initially optimistic about Johnson, saying he was satisfied the nation had "nothing to fear" from the Johnson administration. Despite differing styles, Grant got along cordially with Johnson, and attended cabinet meetings concerning Reconstruction. By February 1866, the relationship began to break down. Johnson opposed Grant's closure of the Richmond Examiner for disloyal editorials and his enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, passed over Johnson's veto. Needing Grant's popularity, Johnson took Grant on his "Swing Around the Circle" tour, a failed attempt to gain national support for lenient policies toward the South. Grant privately called Johnson's speeches a "national disgrace" and he left the tour early. On March 2, 1867, overriding Johnson's veto, Congress passed the first of three Reconstruction Acts, using military officers to enforce policy. Protecting Grant, Congress passed the Command of the Army Act, preventing his removal or relocation, and forcing Johnson to pass orders through Grant.

Grant wanted to replace Edwin Stanton, a Radical Republican, as Secretary of War, but recommended against bypassing the Tenure of Office Act, prohibiting a cabinet removal without Senate approval. Grant accepted the position, not wanting the Army to fall under a conservative appointee who would impede Reconstruction, and managed an uneasy partnership with Johnson. In December 1867, Congress voted to keep Stanton, who was reinstated by a Senate Committee on Friday, January 10, 1868. Grant told Johnson he was going to resign office to avoid fines and imprisonment. Johnson said he would assume Grant's legal responsibility, and reminded Grant that he had promised him to delay his resignation until a suitable replacement was found. The following Monday, Grant surrendered the office to Stanton. Johnson, with the complete backing of his cabinet, accused Grant of lying and "duplicity" at a stormy cabinet meeting, while a shocked and disappointed Grant felt it was Johnson who was lying. The publication of angry messages between Grant and Johnson led to a complete break between the two. The controversy led to Johnson's impeachment and trial in the Senate. Johnson was saved from removal from office by one vote. Grant's popularity rose among the Radical Republicans and his nomination for the presidency appeared certain.

1869

On March 4, 1869, Grant was sworn in as the eighteenth President of the United States by Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase. In his inaugural address, Grant urged the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment, while large numbers of African Americans attended his inauguration. He also urged that bonds issued during the Civil War should be paid in gold and called for "proper treatment" of Native Americans and encouraged their "civilization and ultimate citizenship".

Grant appointed more than fifty Jewish people to federal office, including consuls, district attorneys, and deputy postmasters. He appointed Edward S. Salomon territorial governor of Washington, the first time an American Jewish man occupied a governor's seat. Grant was sympathetic to the plight of persecuted Jewish people. In November 1869, reports surfaced of the Russian Czar Alexander II expelling 2,000 Jewish families to the Interior for smuggling. In response, Grant publicly supported the Jewish American B'nai B'rith petition against the Czar. In December 1869, Grant appointed a Jewish journalist as Consul to Romania, to protect Jewish people from "severe oppression".

Grant was considered an effective civil rights president, concerned about the plight of African Americans. On March 18, 1869, Grant signed into law equal rights for blacks, to serve on juries and hold office, in Washington D.C., and in 1870 he signed into law the Naturalization Act that gave foreign blacks citizenship. During his first term, Reconstruction took precedence. Republicans controlled most Southern states, propped up by Republican controlled Congress, northern money, and southern military occupation. Grant advocated the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment that said states could not disenfranchise African Americans. Within a year, the three remaining states—Mississippi, Virginia, and Texas—adopted the new amendment—and were admitted to Congress. Grant put military pressure on Georgia to reinstate its black legislators and adopt the new amendment. Georgia complied, and on February 24, 1871 its Senators were seated in Congress, with all the former Confederate states represented.

When Grant took office in 1869, the nation's policy towards Native Americans was in chaos, affecting more than 250,000 Native Americans being governed by 370 treaties. He appointed Ely S. Parker, a Seneca and member of his wartime staff, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, the first Native American to serve in this position, surprising many around him. Grant's religious faith also influenced his policy towards Native Americans, believing that the "Creator" did not place races of men on earth for the "stronger" to destroy the "weaker". In April 1869, Grant signed legislation establishing an unpaid Board of Indian Commissioners to reduce corruption and oversee implementation of what was called Grant's Indian "Peace" policy. In 1871, Grant ended the sovereign tribal treaty system; by law individual Native Americans were deemed wards of the federal government. Grant's Indian policy was undermined by Parker's resignation in 1871, denominational infighting among Grant's chosen religious agents, and entrenched economic interests. Indian wars declined overall during Grant's first term, while on October 1, 1872, Major General Oliver Otis Howard negotiated peace with the Apache leader Cochise.

The most pressing diplomatic problem in 1869 was the settlement of the Alabama claims, depredations caused to the Union by the Confederate warship CSS Alabama, built in a British shipyard in violation of neutrality rules. Secretary Hamilton Fish played the central role in formulating and implementing the Treaty of Washington and the Geneva arbitration (1872). Senator Charles Sumner, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee led the demand for reparations, with talk of British Columbia as payment. Fish and Treasurer George Boutwell convinced Grant that peaceful relations with Britain were essential, and the two nations agreed to negotiate along those lines. To avoid jeopardizing negotiations, Grant refrained from recognizing Cuban rebels who were fighting for independence from Spain, which would have been inconsistent with American objections to the British granting belligerent status to Confederates. A commission in Washington produced a treaty whereby an international tribunal would settle the damage amounts; the British admitted regret, but not fault. The Senate, including Grant critics Sumner and Carl Schurz, approved the Treaty of Washington, which settled disputes over fishing rights and maritime boundaries, by a 50–12 vote, signed on May 8, 1871. The Alabama claims settlement would be Grant's most successful foreign policy achievement.

In 1869, Grant initiated his plan to annex the Dominican Republic, then called Santo Domingo. Grant believed acquisition of the Caribbean island and Samaná Bay would increase American prosperity and U.S. naval protection to enforce the Monroe Doctrine, safeguard against British obstruction of U.S. shipping and protect a future oceanic canal, while blacks would have a safe haven from "the crime of Klu Kluxism".

Soon after taking office Grant took conservative steps to return the nation's currency to a more secure footing. During the Civil War, Congress had authorized the Treasury to issue banknotes that, unlike the rest of the currency, were not backed by gold or silver. The "greenback" notes, as they were known, were necessary to pay the unprecedented war debts, but they also caused inflation and forced gold-backed money out of circulation; Grant was determined to return the national economy to pre-war monetary standards. On March 18, 1869, he signed the Public Credit Act of 1869 that guaranteed bondholders would be repaid in "coin or its equivalent", while greenbacks would gradually be redeemed by the Treasury and replaced by notes backed by specie. The act committed the government to the full return of the gold standard within ten years. This followed a policy of "hard currency, economy and gradual reduction of the national debt." Grant's own ideas about the economy were simple and he relied on the advice of wealthy and financially successful businessman that he courted.

In April 1869, railroad tycoons Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, conspired to corner the gold market in New York, the nation's financial capital. They controlled the Erie Railroad, and a high price of gold would allow foreign agriculture buyers to purchase exported crops, shipped east over the Erie's routes. Boutwell's bi-weekly policy of selling gold from the Treasury, however, kept gold artificially low. Unable to corrupt Boutwell, the two schemers built a relationship with Grant's brother-in-law, Abel Corbin, and gained access to Grant. Gould bribed Assistant Treasurer Daniel Butterfield $10,000 to gain insided information into the Treasury. Gould and Fisk personally lobbied Grant on board their private yacht from New York to Boston, in mid-June 1869 to influence Grant's gold policy.

1870

In 1870, to enforce Reconstruction, Congress and Grant created the Justice Department that allowed the Attorney General and the new Solicitor General to prosecute the Klan. Congress and Grant passed a series of enforcement laws, designed to protect blacks and Reconstruction governments. Grant's Justice Department did destroy the Ku Klux Klan, but in both his terms Blacks lost political strength in the Southern United States. By October, Grant suspended habeas corpus in part of South Carolina and sent federal troops to help marshals, who initiated prosecutions. Grant's Attorney General, Amos T. Akerman, who replaced Hoar, was zealous to destroy the Klan. Akerman and Grant appointed Solicitor General Benjamin Bristow, made hundreds of arrests while forcing 2,000 Klansmen to flee the state. By 1872 the Klan's power had collapsed, and African Americans voted in record numbers in elections in the South. Attorney General George H. Williams, Akerman's replacement, in the Spring of 1873, suspended prosecutions of the Klan in North Carolina and South Carolina, but prior to the election of 1874, he changed course and prosecuted the Klan.

On December 31, Grant met with Senator Charles Sumner, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), at his Washington D.C. home to gain his support for annexation. Grant left confident Sumner approved, however, what Sumner said was disputed. The controversial episode led to hostility between the two men. On January 10, 1870, Grant submitted the treaties to the SFRC for ratification, but Sumner purposely neglected the bills. Prompted by Grant to stop stalling the treaties, Sumner's committee took action, but rejected the bills by a 5-to-2 vote. Sumner sent the treaties for a full Senate vote, while Grant personally lobbied other senators. Despite Grant's efforts, the Senate defeated the treaties, on Thursday, June 30, by a 28–28 vote when a 2/3 majority was required.

Grant in his first term appointed Secretary of Interior Jacob D. Cox, who implemented civil service reform: he fired unqualified clerks, and took other measures. On October 3, 1870, Cox resigned office under a dispute with Grant over handling of a mining claim. Authorized by Congress on March 3, 1871, Grant created the first Civil Service Commission. The Commission advocated competitive exams, and the end of mandatory political assessments. which took effect the next year, but Department heads, and others were exempted.

1871

Sumner had previously led Grant to believe that he would support the treaties. Grant was outraged, and on Friday, July 1, 1870, he removed his appointed Minister to Great Britain, John Lothrop Motley, Sumner's friend, knowing he could not pacify Sumner. In January 1871, Grant signed a joint resolution to send a commission to investigate annexation. For this undertaking, he chose three neutral parties, with Fredrick Douglass to head the commission. Although the commission approved its findings, the Senate remained opposed, forcing Grant to abandon further efforts. The stinging controversy over Santo Domingo overshadowed Grant's foreign diplomacy.

Grant's first administration was mixed with both success and failure. In 1871, to placate reformers, he created the America's first Civil Service Commission, chaired by reformer George William Curtis.

In November 1871, Grant's appointed New York Collector, and Conkling ally, Thomas Murphy, resigned. Grant replaced Murphy with another Conkling ally, Chester A. Arthur, who implemented Boutwell's reforms. A Senate committee investigated the New York Customs House from January 3, 1872, to June 4, 1872. This led to Grant firing warehouse owner George K. Leet, for charging exorbitant freight fees and splitting the profits. Although exonerated, Grant was derided for his association with Conkling's New York patronage machine.

1872

Grant nominated Sherman to succeed him as general-in-chief and gave him control over war bureau chiefs. When Rawlins took over the War Department, he complained to Grant that Sherman was given too much authority. Grant reluctantly revoked his own order, upsetting Sherman and damaging their wartime friendship. James Longstreet, a former Confederate general who had endorsed Grant's nomination, was nominated for the position of Surveyor of Customs of the port of New Orleans, and was met with general amazement, and seen as a genuine effort to unite the North and South. In March 1872, Grant signed legislation that established Yellowstone National Park, the first national park. Grant was sympathetic to women's rights; including support of female suffrage, saying he wanted "equal rights to all citizens."

In 1872, the Liberals nominated Horace Greeley, a leading Republican New York Tribune editor and a fierce enemy of Grant, for president, and Missouri governor B. Gratz Brown, for vice president. The Liberals denounced Grantism, corruption, nepotism, and inefficiency, demanded the withdrawal of federal troops from the South, literacy tests for blacks to vote, and amnesty for Confederates. The Democrats adopted the Greeley-Brown ticket and the Liberals party platform. Greeley, whose Tribune gave him wider name recognition and a louder campaign voice, pushed the themes that the Grant administration was failed and corrupt.

In 1872, Grant signed into law an act that ended private moiety (tax collection) contracts, but an attached rider allowed three more contracts. Boutwell's assistant secretary William A. Richardson, hired John B. Sanborn to go after "individuals and cooperations" who allegedly evaded taxes. Retained by Richardson (as Secretary), Sanborn aggressively collected $427,000 in supposed delinquent taxes, keeping half for himself, splitting $160,000 of his money with others. During an 1874 Congressional investigation, Richardson denied involvement, but Sanborn said he met with Richardson six times over the contracts. Congress severely condemned Richardson's permissive manner. Grant appointed Richardson judge of the Court of Claims, and replaced him with reformer Benjamin Bristow. In June, Grant and Congress abolished the moiety system.

1873

During his second term, Grant's Indian policy fell apart. On April 11, 1873, Major General Edward Canby was killed in Northern California south of Tule Lake by Modoc leader Kintpuash, in a failed peace conference to end the Modoc War. Grant ordered restraint after Canby's death. The army captured Kintpuash, who was convicted of Canby's murder and hanged on October 3 at Fort Klamath, while the remaining Modoc tribe was relocated to the Indian Territory. In 1874, the army defeated the Comanche at the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, forcing them to finally settle at the Fort Sill reservation in 1875. Grant pocket-vetoed a bill in 1874 protecting bison and supporting Interior Secretary Columbus Delano, who believed correctly the killing of bison would force Plains Native Americans to abandon their nomadic lifestyle.

American policy was to remain neutral during the Ten Years' War (1868–78), a series of long bloody revolts that were taking place in Cuba against Spanish rule. The U.S. refused to recognize the belligerence of the rebels, and in effect endorsed Spanish colonial rule there, while calling for the abolition of slavery in Cuba. This policy was shaken in October 1873, when a Spanish cruiser captured a merchant ship, Virginius, flying the U.S. flag, carrying supplies and men to aid the insurrection. Spanish authorities executed the prisoners, including eight American citizens, and many Americans called for war with Spain. Grant ordered U.S. Navy Squadron warships to converge on Cuba, off of Key West, supported by the USS Kansas. On November 27, Fish reached a diplomatic resolution in which Spain's president, Emilio Castelar y Ripoll, expressed his regret, surrendered the Virginius and the surviving captives. A year later, Spain paid a cash indemnity of $80,000 to the families of the executed Americans.

Grant won reelection easily thanks to federal prosecution of the Klan, a strong economy, debt reduction, lowered tariffs, and tax reductions. He received 3.6 million (55.6%) votes to Greeley's 2.8 million votes and an Electoral College landslide of 286 to 66. A majority of African Americans in the South voted for Grant, while Democratic opposition remained mostly peaceful. Grant lost in six former slave states that wanted to see an end to Reconstruction. He proclaimed the victory as a personal vindication of his presidency, but inwardly he felt betrayed by the Liberals. Grant was sworn in for his second term by Salmon P. Chase on March 4, 1873. In his second inaugural address, he reiterated the problems still facing the nation and focused on what he considered the chief issues of the day: freedom and fairness for all Americans while emphasizing the benefits of citizenship for freed slaves. Grant concluded his address with the words, "My efforts in the future will be directed towards the restoration of good feelings between the different sections of our common community". In 1873, Wilson suffered a stroke; never fully recovering, he died in office on November 22, 1875. With Wilson's loss, Grant relied on Fish's guidance more than ever.

Economic turmoil renewed during Grant's second term. In September 1873, Jay Cooke & Company, a New York brokerage house, collapsed after it failed to sell all of the bonds issued by Cooke's Northern Pacific Railway. The collapse rippled through Wall Street, and other banks and brokerages that owned railroad stocks and bonds were also ruined. On September 20, the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading for ten days. Grant, who knew little about finance, traveled to New York to consult leading businessmen and bankers for advice on how to resolve the crisis, which became known as the Panic of 1873. Grant believed that, as with the collapse of the Gold Ring in 1869, the panic was merely an economic fluctuation that affected bankers and brokers. He instructed the Treasury to buy $10 million in government bonds, injecting cash into the system. The purchases curbed the panic on Wall Street, but an industrial depression, later called the Long Depression, nonetheless swept the nation. Many of the nation's railroads—89 out of 364—went bankrupt.

On March 3, 1873, Grant signed into law an appropriation act that increased pay for federal employees, Congress, the Judiciary, and the President. Grant's annual salary doubled from $25,000 to $50,000. Publicly derided, the law was partially repealled, but Grant kept his much needed pay raise. Grant's personal reputation remained intact.

1874

After gold was discovered and trespassing occurred on Sioux protected lands, Grant offered them $6,000,000 in October 1874; Red Cloud reluctantly entered negotiations, but other Sioux chiefs readied for war. On November 3, 1875, Grant held a meeting at the White House and, under advice from Sheridan, agreed not to enforce keeping out miners from the Black Hills, and to force "hostile" Native Americans onto the Sioux reservation. During the Great Sioux War that started after Sitting Bull refused to relocate to agency land, warriors led by Crazy Horse killed George Armstrong Custer and his men at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Grant castigated Custer in the press, saying "I regard Custer's massacre as a sacrifice of troops, brought on by Custer himself, that was wholly unnecessary—wholly unnecessary." In September and October 1876, Grant convinced the tribes to relinquish the Black Hills. Congress ratified the agreement three days before Grant left office in 1877.

Congress hoped inflation would stimulate the economy and passed what became known as the "Inflation Bill" in 1874. Many farmers and workingmen favored the bill, which would have added $64 million in greenbacks to circulation, but some Eastern bankers opposed it because it would have weakened the dollar. Belknap, Williams, and Delano told Grant a veto would hurt Republicans in the November elections. Grant believed the bill would destroy the credit of the nation, and he vetoed it despite their objections. Grant's veto placed him in the conservative faction of the Republican Party and was the beginning of the party's commitment to a gold-backed dollar. Grant later pressured Congress for a bill to further strengthen the dollar by gradually reducing the number of greenbacks in circulation. When the Democrats gained a majority in the House after the 1874 elections, the lame-duck Republican Congress did so before the Democrats took office. On January 14, 1875, Grant signed the Specie Payment Resumption Act, which required gradual reduction of the number of greenbacks allowed to circulate and declared that they would be redeemed for gold beginning on January 1, 1879.

1875

In 1875, Grant proposed a constitutional amendment that limited religious indoctrination in public schools. Instruction of "religious, atheistic, or pagan tenets," would be banned, while funding "for the benefit or in aid, directly or indirectly, of any religious sect or denomination," would be prohibited. Schools would be for all children "irrespective of sex, color, birthplace, or religions." Grant's views were incorporated into the Blaine Amendment, but it was defeated by the Senate.

By 1875, Redeemer Democrats had taken control of all but three Southern states. As violence against black Southerners escalated once more, Grant's Attorney General Edwards Pierrepont told Republican Governor Adelbert Ames of Mississippi that the people were "tired of the autumnal outbreaks in the South", and declined to intervene directly, instead sending an emissary to negotiate a peaceful election. Grant later regretted not issuing a proclamation to help Ames, having been told Republicans in Ohio would bolt the party if Grant intervened in Mississippi. Grant told Congress in January 1875 he could not "see with indifference Union men or Republicans ostracized, persecuted, and murdered." Congress refused to strengthen the laws against violence, but instead passed a sweeping law to guarantee blacks access to public facilities. Grant signed it as the Civil Rights Act of 1875, but there was little enforcement and the Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional in 1883. In October 1876, Grant dispatched troops to South Carolina to keep Republican Governor Daniel Henry Chamberlain in office.

In the face of strong opposition from Democrats, Grant and Fish secured a free trade treaty in 1875 with the Kingdom of Hawaii, incorporating the Pacific islands' sugar industry into the United States' economic sphere.

The Interior Department under Secretary Columbus Delano, whom Grant appointed to replace Cox, was rife with fraud and corrupt agents and Delano was forced to resign. Surveyor General Silas Reed had set up corrupt contracts that benefited Delano's son, John Delano. Grant's Secretary Interior Zachariah Chandler, who succeeded Delano in 1875, implemented reforms, fired corrupt agents, and ended profiteering. When Grant was informed by Postmaster Marshall Jewell of a potential Congressional investigation into an extortion scandal involving Attorney General George H. Williams' wife, Grant fired Williams and appointed reformer Edwards Pierrepont in his place. Grant's new cabinet appointments temporarily appeased reformers.

After the Democrats took control of the House in 1875, more corruption in federal departments was exposed. Among the most damaging scandal involved Secretary of War William W. Belknap, who took quarterly kickbacks from the Fort Sill tradership, which led to his resignation in February 1876. Belknap was impeached by the House but was acquitted by the Senate. Grant's own brother Orvil set up "silent partnerships" and received kickbacks from four trading posts. Congress discovered that Secretary of Navy Robeson had been bribed by a naval contractor, but no articles of impeachment were drawn up. In his December 5, 1876, Eighth Annual Message, Grant apologized to the nation and admitted mistakes were made: "Failures have been errors of judgement, not of intent."

The abandonment of Reconstruction by the nation played a central role during the Election of 1876. Mounting investigations into corruption by the House, controlled by the Democrats, politically discredited Grant's presidency. Grant, by a public letter in 1875, chose not to run for a third term, while the Republicans chose Governor Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio, a reformer, at their convention. The Democrats nominated Governor Samuel J. Tilden of New York. Voting irregularities in three Southern states caused the election that year to remain undecided for several months. Grant told Congress to settle the matter through legislation and assured both sides that he would not use the army to force a result, except to curb violence. On January 29, 1877, he signed legislation forming an Electoral Commission to decide the matter. Hayes was ruled President by the commission; to forestall Democratic protests, Republicans agreed to the Compromise of 1877, in which the last troops were withdrawn from Southern capitals. With Reconstruction dead, an 80-year era of Jim Crow segregation was launched. Grant's "calm visage" through out the election crisis appeased the nation.

1876

Grant appointed David Dyer, under Bristow's recommendation, federal attorney to prosecute the Ring in St. Louis, who indicted Grant's old friend General John McDonald, supervisor of Internal Revenue. Grant endorsed Bristow's investigation writing on a letter "Let no guilty man escape..." Bristow's investigation discovered Babcock received kickback payments, and that Babcock had secretly forewarned McDonald, the ring's mastermind boss, of the coming investigation. On November 22, the jury convicted McDonald. On December 9, Babcock was indicted, however, Grant refused to believe in Babcock's guilt, was ready to testify in Babcock's favor, but Fish warned that doing so would put Grant in the embarrassing position of testifying against a case prosecuted by his own administration. Instead, Grant remained in Washington and on February 12, 1876, gave a deposition in Babcock's defense, expressing that his confidence in his secretary was "unshaken". Grant's testimony silenced all but his strongest critics.

1879

As a courtesy to Grant by the Hayes administration, his touring party received federal transportation on three U.S. Navy ships: a five-month tour of the Mediterranean on the USS Vandalia, travel from Hong Kong to China on the USS Ashuelot, and transportation from China to Japan on the USS Richmond. During the tour, the Hayes administration encouraged Grant to assume a public unofficial diplomatic role to represent the United States and strengthen American interests abroad, while resolving issues for some countries in the process. Homesick, the Grants left Japan sailing on the SS City of Tokio escorted by a Japanese man-of-war, crossed the Pacific and landed in San Francisco on September 20, 1879, greeted by cheering crowds. Before returning home to Philadelphia, Grant stopped at Chicago for a reunion with General Sherman and the Army of the Tennessee. Grant's tour demonstrated to much of the world that the United States was an emerging world power.

1880

Stalwarts, led by Grant's old political ally, Roscoe Conkling, saw Grant's renewed popularity as an opportunity to regain power, and sought to nominate him for the presidency in 1880. Opponents called it a violation of the unofficial two-term rule in use since George Washington. Grant said nothing publicly but wanted the job and encouraged his men. Washburne urged him to run; Grant demurred, saying he would be happy for the Republicans to win with another candidate, though he preferred James G. Blaine to John Sherman. Even so, Conkling and John A. Logan began to organize delegates in Grant's favor. When the convention convened in Chicago in June, there were more delegates pledged to Grant than to any other candidate, but he was still short of a majority vote to get the nomination.

1881

At the convention, Conkling nominated Grant with an eloquent speech, the most famous line being: "When asked which state he hails from, our sole reply shall be, he hails from Appomattox and its famous apple tree." With 370 votes needed for nomination, the first ballot had Grant at 304, Blaine at 284, Sherman at 93, and the rest to minor candidates. Subsequent ballots followed, with roughly the same result; neither Grant nor Blaine could win. After thirty-six ballots, Blaine's delegates deserted him and combined with those of other candidates to nominate a compromise candidate: Representative and former Union general James A. Garfield of Ohio. A procedural motion made the vote unanimous for Garfield, who accepted the nomination. Grant gave speeches for Garfield but declined to criticize the Democratic nominee, Winfield Scott Hancock, a general who had served under him in the Army of the Potomac. Garfield won the election. Grant gave Garfield his public support and pushed him to include Stalwarts in his administration. On July 2, 1881, Garfield was shot by an assassin and died on September 19. On learning of Garfield's death from a reporter, Grant wept bitterly.

When Grant had returned to America from his costly world tour, he had depleted most of his savings and needed to earn money and find a new home. Wealthy friends bought him a home on Manhattan's Upper East Side, and to make an income, Grant, Jay Gould, and former Mexican Finance Secretary Matías Romero chartered the Mexican Southern Railroad, with plans to build a railroad from Oaxaca to Mexico City. Grant urged Chester A. Arthur, who had succeeded Garfield as president in 1881, to negotiate a free trade treaty with Mexico. Arthur and the Mexican government agreed, but the United States Senate rejected the treaty in 1883. The railroad was similarly unsuccessful, falling into bankruptcy the following year.

1883

At the same time, Grant's son Buck had opened a Wall Street brokerage house with Ferdinand Ward—although a confidence man who swindled numerous wealthy men, Ward was at the time regarded as a rising star on Wall Street. The firm, Grant & Ward, was initially successful. In 1883, Grant joined the firm and invested $100,000 of his own money. Grant, however, warned Ward that if his firm engaged in government business he would dissolve their partnership. To encourage investment, Ward paid investors abnormally high interest, by pledging the company's securities on multiple loans in a process called rehypothecation. Ward, in collusion with banker James D. Fish and kept secret from bank examiners, retrieved the firm's securities from the company's bank vault. When the trades went bad, multiple loans came due, all backed up by the same collateral.

1884

Historians agree that Grant was likely unaware of Ward's intentions, but it is unclear how much Buck Grant knew. In May 1884, enough investments went bad to convince Ward that the firm would soon be bankrupt. Ward, who assumed Grant was "a child in business matters," told him of the impending failure, but assured Grant that this was a temporary shortfall. Grant approached businessman William Henry Vanderbilt, who gave him a personal loan of $150,000. Grant invested the money in the firm, but it was not enough to save it from failure. Essentially penniless, but compelled by a sense of personal honor, he repaid what he could with his Civil War mementos and the sale or transfer of all other assets. Vanderbilt took title to Grant's home, although he allowed the Grants to continue to reside there, and pledged to donate the souvenirs to the federal government and insisted the debt had been paid in full. Grant was distraught over Ward's deception and asked privately how he could ever "trust any human being again."

In the summer of 1884, Grant complained of a sore throat but put off seeing a doctor until late October, when he learned it was cancer, possibly caused by his frequent cigar smoking. Grant chose not to reveal the seriousness of his condition to his wife, who soon found out from Grant's doctor. Before being diagnosed, Grant was invited to a Methodist service for Civil War veterans in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, on August 4, 1884, receiving a standing ovation from more than ten thousand veterans and others; it would be his last public appearance. In March of the following year, The New York Times announced that Grant was dying of cancer, and a nationwide public concern for the former president began.

1885

In March 1885, as his health was failing, he testified against both Ward and Fish. Ward was convicted of fraud in October 1885, months after Grant's death, and served six and a half years in prison. After the collapse of Grant & Ward, there was an outpouring of sympathy for Grant.

After a year-long struggle with throat cancer, surrounded by his family, Grant died at 8:08 a.m. in the Mount McGregor cottage on July 23, 1885, at the age of 63. Sheridan, then Commanding General of the Army, ordered a day-long tribute to Grant on all military posts, and President Grover Cleveland ordered a thirty-day nationwide period of mourning. After private services, the honor guard placed Grant's body on a special funeral train, which traveled to West Point and New York City. A quarter of a million people viewed it in the two days before the funeral. Tens of thousands of men, many of them veterans from the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), marched with Grant's casket drawn by two dozen black stallions to Riverside Park in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan. His pallbearers included Union generals Sherman and Sheridan, Confederate generals Simon Bolivar Buckner and Joseph E. Johnston, Admiral David Dixon Porter, and Senator John A. Logan, the head of the GAR. Following the casket in the seven-mile-long (11 km) procession were President Cleveland, the two living former presidents Hayes and Arthur, all of the President's Cabinet, as well as the justices of the Supreme Court.

1891

The Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site near St. Louis, and several other sites in Ohio and Illinois memorialize Grant's life. The U.S. Grant Cottage State Historic Site, located at the top of Mount McGregor in Wilton, New York, preserves the house in which he completed his memoirs and died. There are smaller memorials in Chicago's Lincoln Park and Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. Named in his honor are Grant Park, as well as several counties in western and midwestern states. On June 3, 1891, a bronze statue of Grant by Danish sculptor Johannes Gelert was dedicated at Grant Park in Galena, Illinois. From 1890 to 1940, part of what is now Kings Canyon National Park was called General Grant National Park, named for the General Grant sequoia.

1921

Grant's image has appeared on the front of the United States fifty-dollar bill since 1913. In 1921, the Ulysses S. Grant Centenary Association was founded with the goal of coordinating special observances and erecting monuments in recognition of Grant's historical role. The venture was financed by the minting of 10,000 gold dollars (depicted below) and 250,000 half dollars. The coins were minted and issued in 1922, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Grant's birth. Grant has also appeared on several U.S. postage stamps, the first one issued in 1890, five years after his death.

1922

Several memorials honor Grant. In addition to his mausoleum—Grant's Tomb in New York City—there is the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial at the foot of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Created by sculptor Henry Merwin Shrady and architect Edward Pearce Casey, and dedicated in 1922, it overlooks the Capitol Reflecting Pool. In 2015, restoration work began, which is expected to be completed before the bicentennial of Grant's birth in 2022.

2012

In May 2012, the Ulysses S. Grant Foundation, on the institute's fiftieth anniversary, selected Mississippi State University as the permanent location for Ulysses S. Grant's presidential library. Historian John Y. Simon edited Grant's letters into a 32-volume scholarly edition published by Southern Illinois University Press.

2019

For some years Grant had entertained the idea of taking a long deserved vacation after his presidency and, after liquidating one of his investments to finance the venture, the Grants set out on a world tour that lasted approximately two and a half years. Grant's voyage abroad was funded by a Nevada-based mining company investment he made that earned him $25,000. (~ $600,000 in 2019 dollars) Preparing for the tour, they arrived in Philadelphia on May 10, 1877, and were honored with celebrations during the week before their departure. On May 16, Grant and Julia left for England aboard the SS Indiana. During the tour the Grants made stops in Europe, Africa, India, and points in the Middle East and Far East, meeting with notable dignitaries such as Queen Victoria, Pope Leo XIII, Otto von Bismarck, Emperor Meiji and others. Grant was the first U.S. president to visit Jerusalem and the Holy Land.

2020

On June 19, 2020, protesters toppled a bronze bust, U. S. Grant (1896), at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

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