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Ulysses S. Grant: Family Life

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By any measure, the marriage of Ulysses and Julia was a successful one. The two met through her brother, Frederick Dent, who was Grant's roommate at West Point. Letters between them throughout their lives together reveal a bond that was both strong and touching. Julia stood by her husband through hard times before the outbreak of the Civil War and told friends that she believed in Ulysses. She was convinced he would make something of himself one day. From all accounts, he was a doting, devoted father. Ulysses and Julia Grant had four children, three boys and a girl. He missed much of their upbringing due to his army duties, but tried to make up for it in later life. Grant's elder sons, Frederick and Ulysses Jr., attended West Point and Harvard; the youngest, Jesse, ran about the White House and gave his beleaguered father much-needed cheer. His daughter Ellen, known as Nellie, was married at the White House in 1874, a grand social occasion that captured the fancy of many Americans.

Citation Information

Consulting Editor

Joan Waugh

Professor Waugh is a professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her writings include:

U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth (University of North Carolina Press, 2009)

Wars within a War: Controversy and Conflict over the American Civil War (editor with Gary W. Gallagher, University of North Carolina Press, 2009)

The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture (editor with Alice Fahs, University of North Carolina Press, 2004)

Unsentimental Reformer: The Life of Josephine Shaw Lowell (Harvard University Press, 1998)