Ulysses S. Grant, destined to be the 18th president, was born in a tiny hamlet in Ohio called Point Pleasant on April 27, 1822, in a one-room, twenty square-foot wooden house owned by Jesse Root Grant and Hannah Simpson. Ulysses S. Grant genealogy dates back to 1630 when Matthew Grant, an early ancestor in the Ulysses S. Grant family tree, arrived in Massachusetts from England. The Grant family migrated first to Connecticut and later to Pennsylvania, where both of Ulysses' parents were from, before finally settling in Ohio.
Ulysses S. Grant's family history includes his great-grandfather Noah Grant who was a captain in the Revolutionary War, although he was reputed to be lazy compared to his son, Jesse, who was ambitious and hard-working. Jesse Root Grant started work as a tanner in Owen Brown's tannery, father of infamous John Brown, and he lived with the Browns, who were part of the underground railroad. It was Jesse Root Grant who insisted Ulysses attend West Point, although it was through a fellow cadet that he met his future bride, Julia Boggs Dent, from St. Louis. Their courtship lasted over four years, as Ulysses faced opposition from her family and fought in the Mexican War. It wasn't until his heroics in the Civil War that he became well-known and a candidate for president.
Ulysses S. Grant was born Hiram Ulysses Grant, although most people called him by his middle name, and it was at West Point that Hiram was dropped and the middle initial "S" was added, although it doesn't actually stand for anything. Historians note that West Point viewed him as a country boy whose initials, H.U.G., weren't acceptable. Fellow cadets nicknamed him Sam, referencing Uncle Sam for his first two initials. Ulysses S. Grant's family genealogy includes five younger siblings, which gave Ulysses a lot of freedom. He was also his father's, Jesse Root Grant, favorite son, although this caused friction when the father's expectations didn't match his son's desires. Ulysses' father owned a tannery and was a well-known radical republican. Ulysses attended West Point against his will and didn't particularly enjoy his time there, although his friend Frederick Dent brought Ulysses to his home in St. Louis, a plantation called White Haven, where Ulysses met Julia Dent and fell in love. They were married in 1848, after Ulysses finished serving in the Mexican War under General Zachary Taylor.
Ulysses S. Grant's family history shows that he quit the army abruptly in 1854, and rumors of drunkenness followed him, although he maintained that he was never intoxicated on the duty. This was during a time that Ulysses was separated from his family, which included two young sons he didn't know. Upon leaving the army, he toiled on the land deeded to him from the Dent's family plantation in St. Louis until he left there to work in his father's tannery in Illinois. Then, the Civil War erupted, and Ulysses was about to make history.
Ulysses S. Grant's family history is filled with his accomplishments during the Civil War, which led directly to him becoming president. Ulysses joined the Union side and trained new regiments in Illinois. He gained a fearsome reputation in 1862 after the Battle of Shiloh, where his aggressive leadership helped seize Tennessee and Kentucky for the Union. In 1863, he won the Battle of Vicksburg, a vital battle that gave control of the Mississippi River to the Union. After his victory at the Battle of Chattanooga, President Lincoln promoted Ulysses to lieutenant-general and head of the entire Union Army. Robert E. Lee eventually surrendered to Ulysses at Appomattox in 1865.
Ulysses remained commander of the Union Army during reconstruction and was active in promoting the newly acquired civil rights of former slaves. He planned to hold new elections so slaves could vote, and Ulysses was elected 18th president of the U.S. in 1868 and again in 1872. He was the first president since Andrew Jackson to serve two terms. His presidency is marked by Ulysses enforcing civil rights laws and fighting southern groups like Ku Klux Klan. Ulysses also got former slaves elected to state government and Congress for the first time.
The Ulysses S. Grant family tree continued when his children began to marry, although he wasn't pleased with his daughter Nellie's choice of husband. She married Algernon Sartoris, an English singer and nephew of the actress Fanny Kemble. Although he turned out to be a bad husband, he left Nellie a wealthy widow in 1893. Ulysses' son Jesse Root married Elizabeth Chapman, whose father was a founder of the California Academy of Sciences. Unfortunately, Jesse Root Grant publicly sued his wife for divorce, and the affair dragged out through the newspapers. Jesse Root Grant, after his divorce, went on to develop a gambling resort Tia Juana, which is now Tijuana, Mexico. Frederick Grant married the daughter of a Chicago real estate magnate, Henry Hamilton Honor�, and Ulysses "Buck" Jr., married Fannie Chaffee, daughter of the U.S. Senator from Colorado, Jerome Chaffee.
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