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Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States (1869-1877). He was the Commander of the Union Armies at the end of the American Civil War. His middle initial “S” is from a military nickname, “Sam”. For more information on Ulysses S. Grant read the fact file below or download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Hiram Ulysses Grant was born on April 27, 1822, in Point Pleasant, Ohio. He was the son of Jesse Root Grant and Hannah Simpson. Young Ulysses attended local schools prior to his recruitment to the U.S. Military Academy when he was 17 years old. He graduated from West Point and was immediately assigned to the 4th U.S. Infantry. On August 22, 1848, he married Julia Dent with whom he had four children.
- His military career started during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) under General Zachary Taylor. Afterwards, Grant was assigned to Detroit, New York, California, and the Oregon Territory.
- On July 31, 1854, Grant resigned from the Army. In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers when the Civil War broke out. He was ask to go back into service and train volunteers in Springfield, Illinois. Grant was promoted to colonel by the power of the governor. In February 1862, he was promoted by President Lincoln to major general of the Tennessee Army after the successful takeover of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. By 1864, he became the commander of all the Union armies after a series of victories in Mississippi.
- On April 9, 1865, Commander Grant defeated the Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the battle in North Carolina, ending the Civil War after the surrender at the Appomattox Court House. In July 1866, the Congress promoted Grant to General of the Army of the United States and he was considered a war hero.
Initially, Grant was appointed as the Secretary of War by President Andrew Johnson. His task was to oversee the reconstruction of the southern states but later on his views differed.
- Ulysses S. Grant joined the Republican Party in which he later won the party’s presidential nomination for the 1868 election.
- On March 4, 1869, Ulysses S. Grant took his oath as the 18th President of the United States at the East Portico, U.S. Capitol.
During his term, four more former Confederate states were readmitted to the Union. Virginia, Mississippi, Texas, and Georgia assured that they would grant and honor the rights of all citizens to vote. He joined forces with the Congress on the passage of legislative measures against the harassment by the Ku Klux Klan towards freed slaves.
- September 24, 1869, known as Black Friday, led to the suffering of many gold investors after President Grant ordered the sale of
$4 million-worth of gold. It was done to hinder the manipulation of two speculators, Fisk and Goud, in controlling the market.
- On February 3, 1870, President Grant pushed for the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment, giving the right to vote to all citizens regardless of race, color, and previous status of servitude. He also signed the Naturalization Act of 1870, which naturalized people of African descent.
- By 1871, the Treaty of Washington was approved by the United States and Great Britain. The treaty was due to Alabama claims and the damages caused by the Civil War. The Confederate vessels were built in England, making Britain liable for war damages. After arbitration, the United States was awarded with $15.5 million-worth of gold.
- Grant won the re-election in 1872 with overwhelming support from both the electoral and popular votes.
In 1872, the Credit Mobilier scandal came into public view, which implicated two congressmen and the vice president. As a result, they were censured, while the vice president’s nomination was replaced.
- The Panic of 1873 was experienced by the Americans for five years, along with the world’s economic depression. The Legal Tender Act was vetoed by Grant but he signed the Resumption Law, which brought back the specie payment.
- He signed the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which granted equal treatment to African-Americans in public accommodations, transportation, and jury selection, but was later found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1883.
- In 1875, Grant’s personal secretary, Orville E. Babcock was implicated in the Whiskey Ring Scandal. Distillers of the Midwest were caught diverting excise taxes. Babcock was forced to resign.
- In 1875, Hawaii became a protectorate of the United States through the Hawaiian Preferential Treaty. It also enabled preferential trade status between the two.
During his term, Grant created the Department of Justice, Office of the Solicitor General, National Weather Service, U.S. Civil Service Commission, and Office of the Surgeon General.
- Grant’s presidency was weakened by issues of corruption and scandal. Eleven scandals were exposed implicating Grant’s people but not him.
Post Presidency & Death:
- Upon his retirement, Grant and his wife embarked on their world tour from Europe, Middle East, Africa, to Asia.
- In 1880, Grant tried to run for his third term but failed to gain the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. James Garfield won the nomination.
- Most of his wealth was invested into the Grant and Ward investment banking firm. Unfortunately, his son’s partner, Ferdinand Ward, bankrupted the company in 1884, leaving Grant destitute.
- Grant sold most of his Civil War mementos to pay his debt. He became a writer for Century Magazine reiterating his Civil War experience. By 1884, he began writing his memoir after discovering his throat cancer. His good friend, Mark Twain, published his memoir.
- On July 23, 1885, Grant died of throat cancer. His body was carried in a procession from Mount McGregor, where he spent most of his retirement years, to New York City passing the West Point. He was interred at the largest mausoleum in North America, now known as the General Grant National Memorial in New York.
- The $450,000 royalties earned from his memoir was paid to his wife. The library in Mississippi State University was named after him. Most of the artifacts, photographs, and letters during his presidential term were kept at the Mitchell Memorial Library.
Ulysses S. Grant Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Ulysses S. Grant Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about Ulysses S. Grant who was the 18th President of the United States (1869-1877). He was the Commander of the Union Armies at the end of the American Civil War. His middle initial “S” is from a military nickname, “Sam”
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Ulysses S. Grant Facts
- The Unconditional Surrender
- Fact or Bluff
- Scandals Word Search
- Millions-worth of Gold
- Civil Rights Act of 1875
- Other U.S. Presidents
- American Civil War
- Cartoon Analysis
- Grant Administration
- Let’s Sum Up!
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