Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Julia Dent Grant 1826 ~ 1902

 


Julia Dent Grant

Julia Dent Grant was a Missourian by birth, being the daughter of Judge Dent, of St. Louis, who resided on a large farm near that city. Here Mrs. Grant spent her girlhood. Her youngest brother, Frederick J. Dent, was appointed to West Point and formed a strong attachment for his classmate, Ulysses S. Grant, who had been appointed to the Military Academy from Ohio: This intimacy caused young Grant to come with his cadet friend young Dent, to St. Louis, when they had their first furlough. The result of the meeting of young Grant and Miss Dent was their marriage on the 22nd of August, 1848, at Judge Dent's city residence in St. Louis. Through all the trials to which Mrs. Grant was subjected as the wife of a lieutenant in the army in the forties and fifties, she bore herself with much loyalty to her husband and to her children; in fact her devotion to her husband and her children was her most striking characteristic.

When the war of the Rebellion broke out Lieutenant Grant had resigned from the army and was living at Galena, Illinois. They had four children, three sons and one daughter, and were in reduced circumstances. Governor Yates in his great dilemma for mustering officers, received from E. B. Washburn a recommendation of Ulysses S. Grant, a citizen of Galena. The ex-lieutenant of the army made haste to respond to the call of Governor Yates and engaged in drilling the troops at Springfield. Soon after he was appointed Colonel of the 21st Infantry Volunteer Regiment, in May, 1861, and from that time until his victorious entry into Washington at the close of the war, Mrs. Grant remained with her family except for making an occasional visit to her husband in the field. Through every phase of her husband's brilliant promotion from one high position to another, Mrs. Grant was the same unaffected, sincere, devoted wife, mother and friend.

When General Grant was elected to the Presidency she assumed the duties of Lady of the White House with the same simplicity of manner, sincerity and cordiality that had characterized her whole life. At no time in the history of the country has any woman who presided over the White House been called upon to conduct more brilliant functions than was Mrs. Grant. Entering the White House so near the close of the war there were more distinguished visitors to Washington than there have ever been during any administration. She received royalty and the most illustrious of our country with such genuine hospitality and graciousness as to avoid all criticisms and to win universal admiration. For eight years she was the first Lady in the Land, and it can be claimed that she made no enemies and was much beloved for her goodness of heart and sympathetic disposition.

At the close of General Grant's administration, in their journey around the world, they were received by the crowned heads of every country, and Mrs. Grant was universally admired for the simplicity of her manner and sincerity of her greeting. Her absolute devotion to her husband and children has left an example worthy of emulation. Her faithful vigilance during General Grant's long illness is especially to be admired

Weary of excitement and of being in the public eye, her children being married and away from her, she sought the National Capital for a home in which to spend her declining years. She received the continued respect and loving thought of the Nation to the day of her death in 1902. Her remains rest beside her husband's in the tomb on Riverside Drive, New York.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.

 

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