Ulysses S Grant National Historic Site

Point Pleasant in Ohio was the birthplace of Hiram Ulysses Grant on April 27, 1822. He was the first child of Jesse and Hannah Grant who always called him Ulysses, or Ulys for short. His father owned a tannery but the young Ulysses disliked working there and spurned the opportunity to follow his father into the business. Instead he was appointed to the US Military Academy at West Point to train to be a military officer. His name was erroneously listed at the academy as Ulysses S. Grant and he was told that the only way to correct it would be to go through the whole appointment process again. He became Ulysses S. Grant for the rest of his life. After graduating he was assigned to Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis, Missouri. White Haven in St. Louis County was the family farm of an old West Point room mate and while visiting there in 1844 he met his future wife, Julia Dent. He married her in 1848 after returning from the Mexican-American War. In 1854 Grant left the army and from then until 1860 he  turned his hand to farming at White Haven, working with slaves owned by his father-in-law. The Civil War took Grant back into the army  on the Union side and he soon gained prominence, rising to the rank of General. After the Civil War he continued to serve in the Army until in 1868 he was elected President for the first of two terms. Ulysses and Julia purchased White Haven from her father planning to retire there, but a long world tour after leaving office changed their plans and instead they settled in New York near their children.




Summer Kitchen

As a Civil War General, Ulysses S Grant fought against slavery, but before the war at White Haven he had worked with his father-in-law’s slaves and acquired one of his own. Prior to the conflict, Grant kept his views on slavery to himself, but it may be indicative that when he left White Haven he freed his slave instead of selling him. Julia had four slaves, and this picture shows the summer kitchen behind the main house, where they may have worked. Click Tab 2 to see the interior.

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Ice House & Chicken House

There are two other buildings behind the main house. The Ice House and a Chicken House have both been restored to the way they would have looked around 1875.


- A useful piece in the jigsaw of the Ulysses S Grant story.
-  Although Ulysses and Julia eventually owned White Haven,  they did not own it when they lived there. As a result it lacks the personal possessions that really would help to paint a picture of them.
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Grant's House

In 1854 White Haven was still owned by Ulysses’ father-in-law, Colonel Frederick Dent. As a wedding present, Dent had given Ulysses & Julia 32 hectares (80 acres) of land at the farm and Ulysses farmed this from 1854 to 1860 as well as managing the rest of the land at the farm. A farmer must have a farmhouse and for the Grants it was initially a log cabin called Hardscrabble.  It was built by Ulysses with help from slaves and neighbours. In 1856 the Grants moved in but Julia was not enamoured with the roughly built homestead. They lived there for only 3 months because Julia’s mother died and her father then asked them to move into White Haven. The Hardscrabble log cabin has been moved several times, but can still be seen in the adjacent Grant’s Farm  wildlife preserve. White Haven has been preserved as as Grant’s House in the Ulysses S Grant National Historic SiteClick Tab 2 to see the Sitting Room.

Grant's House, Ulysses S Grant NHS, St Louis, MO, USA
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Tab 2



Summer Kitchen, Grant's House, Ulysses S Grant NHS, St Louis, MO, USA
Tab 1
Tab 2
Ice House & Chicken House, Grant's House, Ulysses S Grant NHS, St Louis, MO, USA
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