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Collection of Ulysses S. Grant materials

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

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Collection of Ulysses S. Grant materials, 1840-1917 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

By Aaron M. Lisec

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Collection Overview

Title: Collection of Ulysses S. Grant materials, 1840-1917Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1861-1885

ID: 1/6/MSS 278

Primary Creator: Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), (1822-1885.)

Extent: 2.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Chronologically and by format.

Subjects: Appomattox Campaign, 1865., Fort Donelson, Battle of, Tenn., 1862., Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885, United States - History - 19th century, United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865, Vicksburg (Miss.) - History - Siege, 1863.

Forms of Material: Broadsides., Correspondence., Diaries., Ephemera., Grant, Frederick Dent, 1850-1912 - Correspondence, Grant, Jesse Root, 1794-1873 - Correspondence, Grant, Julia Dent, 1826-1902 - Correspondence, Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885 - Correspondence, Grant, Ulysses S., 1852-1929 - Correspondence, Photographs, Records (documents), Songs and music.

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection consists of letters, manuscripts, lithographs, and other material documenting the life of Ulysses S. Grant, including dozens of Grant autograph letters Signed dating from the Civil War, his presidency, and post-presidential career.  Significant Civil War documents include an 1862 letter to wife Julia Dent Grant concerning the battle of Fort Donelson, a telegrapher's pocket ledger of mainly Grant telegrams during the 1863 Vicksburg campaign, and a pocket diary listing purchases for Grant's mess during the Appomattox campaign.  Among Presidential papers are 1869 letters asking Hamilton Fish and George M. Robeson to serve as Secretary of State and the Navy, respectively; an 1875 letter discussing patronage changes in the Justice Department; and lengthy drafts in Grant's hand of his 1874 and 1876 annual messages to Congress.   Post-presidential highlights include letters from Grant's trip around the world (1877-79), an 1881 memorandum on currency reform, a letter of introduction for cartoonist Thomas Nast, and Grant's summary of his early army career on the Pacific coast.  The collection also includes legal and other documents relating to Grant & Ward, the brokerage firm whose 1884 collapse ruined Grant financially; correspondence from Grant's father Jesse Root Grant, sons Frederick Dent Grant and Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., and Julia Dent Grant's family; a collection of letters from U.S. Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts, who served as Grant's second vice president; a handwritten review of Grant's Memoirs by journalist and historian Rossiter Johnson; sheet music and a songbook dedicated to Grant; broadsides and other ephemera related to Grant's military and political career; lithographs and other images of Grant; and photographs of Grant and his family at Mount McGregor, the cottage where he died.

Biographical Note

Ulysses S. Grant, born Hiram Ulysses Grant (April 27, 1822 - July 23, 1885), was an American general and the eighteenth President of the United States (1869 - 1877). He achieved international fame as the leading Union general in the American Civil War.

Grant first reached national prominence by taking Forts Henry and Donelson in 1862 in the first Union victories of the war. In 1865, after conducting a costly war of attrition in the East, he accepted the surrender of his Confederate opponent Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House. Grant has been described by J.F.C. Fuller as "the greatest general of his age and one of the greatest strategists of any age." His Vicksburg Campaign in particular has been scrutinized by military specialists around the world.

In 1868, Grant was elected president. He led Radical Reconstruction and built a powerful patronage-based Republican party in the South, with the adroit use of the army. He took a hard line that reduced violence by groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

Presidential experts typically rank Grant in the lowest quartile of U.S. presidents, primarily for his tolerance of corruption. In recent years, however, his reputation as president has improved somewhat among scholars impressed by his support for civil rights for African Americans. Unsuccessful in winning the nomination for a third term in 1880, bankrupted by bad investments, and terminally ill with throat cancer, Grant wrote his Memoirs, which were enormously successful among veterans, the public, and the critics.

Subject/Index Terms

Appomattox Campaign, 1865.
Fort Donelson, Battle of, Tenn., 1862.
Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885
United States - History - 19th century
United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865
Vicksburg (Miss.) - History - Siege, 1863.

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright.  Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection.  Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Physical Access Note: Collection stored off-site during renovation of Morris Library.   Twenty-four hours advance notice required to access collection.

Acquisition Source: Purchased.

Related Materials:

Grant Family Papers, 1832-1968

Charles J. Keim Collection of Ulysses S. Grant, 1858-1908


Box and Folder Listing


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[Box 1],
[Box 2],
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Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Pre-Civil War Correspondence, circa 1839-1858Add to your cart.
Acrostic, likely in Grant's hand, spelling out "Mary King," a childhood friend; 1851 letter ordering military uniform; 1858 letter to his sister
Folder 2: Civil War Correspondence, 1861 May-NovemberAdd to your cart.
Correspondents include Lorenzo Thomas, John C. Fremont, Seth Williams, and John C. Kelton.  Printed report from John A. McClernand on action at Columbus, Kentucky, November 7, 1861.
Folder 3: Civil War Correspondence, 1862 January-NovemberAdd to your cart.
Correspondents include Abraham Lincoln, Edward O. C. Ord, Montgomery C. Meigs, and Confederate General Earl Van Dorn.  Two letters to Julia Dent Grant describe period between battles of Fort Donelson and Shiloh.
Folder 4: Civil War Correspondence, 1863 March-1864 JulyAdd to your cart.
Correspondents include Edwin M. Stanton, Henry Wilson, George G. Meade, Montgomery C. Meigs, and Isaac N. Morris
Folder 5: Civil War and Reconstruction Correspondence, 1865 January-1866 JuneAdd to your cart.
Subjects include Grant's finances and land purchases, and the choice of his biographer(s).
Folder 6: Reconstruction Correspondence, 1867 January-1868 NovemberAdd to your cart.
Correspondents include Isaac N. Morris, Richard Yates, Hamilton Fish, Alexander H. Bullock, and John Jay.  Subjects include plans for White Haven, Julia Dent Grant's family home; Grant's opinion of Wendell Phillips and the progress of Reconstruction; and arrangements for portraits of Grant and his family.
Folder 7: Presidential Correspondence, 1869-1876Add to your cart.

Correspondents include Elihu B. Washburne, Hamilton Fish, George M. Robeson, Schuyler Colfax, Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., Lucius Fairchild, Alexander T. Stewart, William S. Hillyer, William A. Richardson, and Edwards Pierrepont.  Subjects include Cabinet selection, the education of Grant's sons; patronage in New York City,

Arkansas, Delaware, and Texas; and plans for Grant's White Haven farm near St. Louis.

Folder 8: Presidential Manuscripts, 1874Add to your cart.
Grant's penciled drafts of his 1874 annual message to Congress, the 19th Century written equivalent of today's State of the Union address.
Folder 9: Presidential Manuscripts, 1876Add to your cart.
Grant's penciled draft of his 1876 annual message to Congress, the 19th Century written equivalent of today's State of the Union address.
Folder 10: Post-Presidential Correspondence, 1877-1879Add to your cart.
Correspondents include Rutherford B. Hayes, George M. Robeson, Hamilton Fish, Lot M. Merrill, J. C. Bancroft Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., Culver C. Sniffen, George C. Childs, and Hamilton Fish, Jr.  Subjects include Cabinet farewells, arranging for a portrait of Grant, descriptions of Grant's world travels, and Grant's tour of the United States after his return.
Folder 11: Post-Presidential Correspondence, 1879 JulyAdd to your cart.
Printed testimonial, signed by hundreds of Unionists in New Orleans and Louisiana, welcoming Grant back to the United States following his tour around the world, and expressing hope for a third presidential term.
Folder 12: Post-Presidential Correspondence, 1881-1884Add to your cart.
Subjects include Grant's objection to a currency bill vetoed by President Hayes in 1881; Grant's business activities in Mexico; friendly teasing of Hamilton Fish, his former Secretary of State; family members in West Virginia; Grant's White Haven property near St. Louis; an introduction for cartoonist Thomas Nast; an 1883 trip to inaugurate the Northern Pacific Railroad; the sale of arms to China; and Grant's summary of his early army career on the Pacific Coast.

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