Ulysses S. Grant Facts
Full Name: Hiram Ulysses Grant. It is frequently said that Grant's middle name was "Simpson." It was not. His middle name was "Ulysses" and he admitted that the "S" in his name stood for nothing.
Date of Birth: April 27, 1822, Point Pleasant, Ohio.
Date of Death: July 23, 1885, Mount McGregor, Saratoga Springs, New York.
Religion: Born Methodist, but was not religious. He attended church services occasionally as an adult, but he did it primarily to please his wife, Julia, who was genuinely religious.
Education: U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York. Grant graduated July 1, 1843 and his class rank was 21 out of 39. Though he later enjoyed visiting West Point, he was not happy there as a cadet. He described his four years there as "interminable."
Father: Jesse Root Grant, born January 23, 1794, near Greensburg, Pennsylvania. He was a tanner and made a great deal of money. Old Jesse dies on June 29, 1873 in Covington, Kentucky at the age of 79. Grant had ambivalent feelings for his father, who was a loquacious braggart. They were dissimilar in temperament and Grant's letters to him are sometimes curt and show disapproval for his condescending attitude towards his wife, Julia, and his miserly habits when she visited.
Mother: Hannah Simpson Grant, born November 23, 1798, in Montgomery, Pennsylvania. Hannah is a mysterious and distant woman who gave Ulysses little overt affection when growing up. She never visited him the White House and he scarcely mentioned her in his correspondence. An interesting relationship, but a decidedly shadowy one. She dies in Jersey City, New Jersey, on May 11, 1883, at the age of 84.
Date of Marriage: August 22, 1848, St. Louis, Missouri. Grant marries a Missouri slave-owners daughter, Julia Boggs Dent. He finally finds happiness in a marriage that is an unusually rich and close relationship. He had been courting Julia for four years, though much of the wooing took place through the U.S. mails. His love letters to her survive, and they make engrossing reading.
Wife: Julia Boggs Dent, born January 26, 1826, St. Louis, Missouri. Julia is unlovely, but Grant never noticed her imperfections. She provides him an emotional haven from the frustrations of "real life." She was 22 when they marry and remains protective and adoring of her husband, whom she addressed with a large assortment of nicknames, including Dodo, Dode, Victor and Dudy. They are faithful to one another and don't engage in the modern propensity of "straying." This is the integral relationship in Grant's life.
Children: Julia and Ulysses have four children and are indulgent, affectionate parents who give freely of material possessions. Grant is incapable of disciplining the two youngest children and allows them extreme, yet loving, latitude.