Take a Virtual Tour of Ulysses Grant’s Life

Ulysses S. Grant lived in many places throughout his lifetime. Now that the year-long celebration of the Ulysses S. Grant Bicentennial has come to an end, we thought it was a perfect time to visit a range of historic sites around the country where you can trace the growth and development of our 18th president.  From homes to memorials to museums, each of these 11 sites provides a unique perspective on the life and legacy of our 18th president.

The first stop on our virtual tour is Ulysses’ birthplace in Point Pleasant, a small town in southwest Ohio. He was born there on April 27, 1822, in a one-story frame home rented by his parents, Jesse and Hannah Grant.  The family moved a year later to a larger brick home in nearby Georgetown, Ohio, and young Ulysses lived there until he left for West Point in 1839. In addition to his boyhood home, the town also features the small schoolhouse he attended, the tannery his father built, and other Grant-related sites.

Credit: U.S. Grant Birthplace

When he was 17, Grant enrolled in the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY, thanks to his father’s encouragement.  Visitors to West Point can see several memorials and statues dedicated to Grant when they book a tour at the academy.

Painting of West Point by George Catlin, circa 1827. Credit: U.S. Army

After graduation, the young cadet was assigned to join the 4th U.S. Infantry at Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis.  It was here that Grant’s friendships led him to visit White Haven, the sprawling plantation where he would meet his future wife, Julia Dent. Visitors to Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site can tour the White Haven home as well as the on-site museum devoted to Ulysses and Julia’s lives.

Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site

Other sites on our virtual tour trace the various military outposts and stations around the country where Grant served in the U.S. military, sometimes with Julia and his children, sometimes not.  These include Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, WA – another National Park Service site.

Barracks at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Credit: NPS

Additional Grant home sites that are open for public tours are also part of our virtual tour.  They include the Grant home in Galena, Ill., where his family relocated after his failed career as a farmer in White Haven, and the Grant Cottage in Wilton, NY where Grant died of throat cancer on July 23, 1885.

The Grant home in Galena, IL. Credit: U.S. Grant State Historic Sites

The final resting place of Ulysses and Julia Grant is also worthy of a visit.  This is the General Grant National Memorial in New York City. This largest mausoleum in North America was dedicated in 1897, with more than a million people in attendance.

General Grant National Memorial. Credit: NPS

And finally, Grant scholars will want to stop in at the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library in Starkville, MI.  Mississippi was the site of the Battle of Vicksburg, the general’s greatest victory in the Civil War.  Visitors to the library can view exhibits as well as many of Grant’s papers, which are housed at Mississippi State University.

Credit: Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library

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