Ulysses Grant, circa 1870 – 1880
The 18th President of the United States, 1869 – 1877
AKA: Sam, Unconditional Surrender Grant, U S Grant
From: Ohio, New York
College: United States Military Academy
Married to: Julia Dent
Children: Fredrick Dent Grant, Ulysses S. (Buck) Grant, Jr., Ellen (Nellie) Wrenshall Grant, Jesse Root Grant
Previous Jobs: Horse trainer, soldier, farmer, real estate agent, leather goods merchant,
In His Words: “The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.”
General Ulysses Grant, a 2-star General, 1864
“I have long since believed that in spite of all the vigilance that can be infused into post commanders, the special regulations of the Treasury Department have been violated, and that mostly by Jews and other unprincipled traders. So well satisfied have I been of this that I instructed the commanding officers at Columbus to refuse all permits to Jews to come South, and I have frequently had them expelled from the department, but they come in with their carpet-sacks in spite of all that can be done to prevent it. The Jews seem to be a privileged class that can travel anywhere. They will land at any woodyard on the river and make their way through the country. If not permitted to buy cotton themselves, they will act as agents for someone else, who will be at military post with a Treasury permit to receive cotton and pay for it in Treasury notes which the Jew will buy up at an agreed rate, paying gold.”
“God gave us Lincoln and Liberty, let us fight for both.”
“Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do. Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what we are going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do.”
A 3-star General, circa 1865.
“I propose to receive the surrender of the Army of N. Va. on the following terms, to wit: Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate. One copy to be given to an officer designated by me, the other to be retained by such officer or officers as you may designate. The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the Government of the United States until properly exchanged, and each company or regimental commander sign a like parole for the men of their commands. The arms, artillery and public property to be parked and stacked, and turned over to the officer appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers, nor their private horses or baggage. This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside.
-Terms of surrender, given to General Robert E Lee after the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse, April 9, 1985.
“I rise only to say that I do not intend to say anything. I thank you for your hearty welcomes and good cheers.”
- Grant’s “Perfect Speech,” used frequently in 1865
“I leave comparisons to history, claiming only that I have acted in every instance from a conscientious desire to do what was right, constitutional, within the law, and for the very best interests of the whole people. Failures have been errors of judgment, not of intent.”
“Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately you occasionally find men disgrace labor.”
“Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace.”
“Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions.”
Not true: In 1839, his father arranged for his admission to West Point. The congressman who nominated him mistakenly believed his name was Ulysses Simpson Grant (Simpson was his mother’s maiden name). Grant never corrected the error, maintaining that the “S.” didn’t stand for anything. His birth name, however, was Hiram Ulysses Grant.
True: When the Confederate Army launched a surprise assault at the Battle of Shiloh, the Union Army under Grand suffered devastating casualties on the first day of fighting. President Abraham Lincoln received several demands for Grant’s removal from command. Nevertheless, Lincoln refused, stating, “I can’t spare this man. He fights.”
Lincoln appointed him General-in-Chief in March 1864.
Grant was appointed our first 4-star general in 1866.
The Suez Canal opened and the first transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, his first year as President.
His annual salary as President was $25,000 … the same sum paid George Washington and every other President through 1872. In 1873, his salary was doubled to $50,000 (where it stayed through Theodore Roosevelt’s tenure).
Our first national park, Yellowstone, was established during Grant’s Presidency.
Colorado became a state during his tenure.
Ulysses Grant’s time in office was marred by scandal and corruption. However, he did not participate nor profit from the illegal actions of his associates and appointees.
After leaving Washington to write his memoirs, Grant entered into an investment partnership with Ferdinand Ward. Unfortunately, Ward embezzled Grant’s asset, for which he went to jail. This left Grant with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and he claimed bankruptcy. He was forced to sell his Civil War memoirs to save his family from further financial hardship.
Ulysses S. Grant is buried in New York City in the largest mausoleum of its kind in the United States. Grant’s tomb is a National Memorial.
The Official Portrait: President and Mrs. Rutherford B. Hayes took great interest in collecting presidential portraits for the White House, adding paintings of Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Jackson, John Adams, James Madison, James Monroe, Zachary Taylor and William Henry Harrison in the 1870s. German-born Henry Ulke completed a fine portrait of Grant from life in 1875.
Civil War Trust’s Biography
“I am a part of everything that I have read.”
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
- Benjamin Franklin, painting by David Martin, 1767
“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”
- Will Rogers
“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
- Harry Truman
“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read.”
“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”
- Mark Twain, in a color chromograph on December 21, 1908. Credit: Alvin Langdon Coburn
“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”
- Ray Bradbury
“From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it.”
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
- Groucho Marx
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.”
- Jacqueline Kennedy
“Reading isn’t good for a ballplayer. Not good for his eyes. If my eyes went bad even a little bit I couldn’t hit home runs. So I gave up reading.”
- Babe Ruth
“A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.”
- Abraham Lincoln, shown here reading the Bible to his son, Tad.
Photo by Anthony Berger, 1864.
Art of Manliness on Becoming A Lifelong Learner
How To Speed Read Like Theodore Roosevelt
The Most Beautiful Public Libraries In The World
All Things Leadership on Harry Truman
He is risen. He is risen, indeed!
The Chicago Daily Tribune famously called the 1948 Presidential election … and got it wrong. In print.
The quality of journalism is declining in our society. Or is it?
That’s precisely the question that the Pew Research Center’s annual report on News Media tries to answer … and pundits have had a strikingly divergent reaction to this year’s report. I’ve linked a couple, below, along with Pew’s report. Slate says that journalism has never been better; Newspaper Death Watch has a slightly less optimistic view. Here’s what Pew said:
“News organizations are less equipped to question what is coming to them or to uncover the stories themselves, and interest groups are better equipped and have more technological tools than ever.”
The reality is that employment in journalism is down below 40,000 now, lower than it was in 1978. However, the growth of citizen journalists and, of course, the internet, has resulted in an EXPLOSION in the amount of coverage generated daily, and a veritable tsunami of information has resulted from the daily deluge being supplemented by the easy accessibility of seemingly all written thought on the ‘net.
It is fascinating to me that corporations have found it easier to control their message through public relations (PR) and “new media” than they have found ways to effectively advertise it. The result is spectacular growth in PR jobs, even as the number of journalists who can properly interpret the corporate speak has been dropping. Publishers have an increasing pressure on their bottom line, and this has resulted in an increase in sponsored news, or advertorials. The lack of journalistic resources apparently even impacted the Presidential campaign, as Pew said:
“Only about a quarter of statements in the media about the character and records of the presidential candidates originated with journalists, while twice that many came from political partisans.”
Do you really trust political partisans – even if they are YOUR political partisans – to tell you the truth all of the time? I’ve explored that before; read about the lying liars here.
These days, everybody has a blog, it seems (HA. Humor. Coming at you.). I don’t do this to make money (note the lack of advertising and subscription cost). And, ultimately, that’s the problem with journalism these days. I can do this blog easily. And cheaply, believe me. And when you’re reading this, you’re not reading the thoughts of some smart journalist working for the LA Times. Or St Louis Post Dispatch. Or even your local community newspaper.
But then, I understand that. You can afford me.
The Glory Days Of American Journalism
Pew Research Center’s State of the News Media 2013
Newspaper Death Watch
I’ve worked at home full-time since April 15, 2009. Here are a few tips to help if you should ever be fortunate enough to work at home.
1. Get a water cooler. If you don’t talk while standing around the water cooler, you’re missing a great cultural cliché.
2. Don’t have any hobbies. Those will only distract you from work.
3. Do leave your house occasionally. I go to the post office on Fridays, which is my weekly treat.
4. Don’t tell anyone you know that you’re working at home, or they’ll borrow your car.
5. Every week, send your boss an email at 2am. Because you’re always working.
6. Have an office. Have a door. Post a sign on the outside: “If I needed your help, the door would be open.”
Sisyphus, condemned by Zeus to endlessly carry his burden to the top of a mountain through all eternity. Painting by Titian, 1549, from the Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain
7. Have a dedicated workspace, and don’t do anything else in that space. Dear IRS: this is what I do.
8. Develop a close working relationship with your new best friends: the Fed Ex guy and the UPS guy. (Note: I’m not sexist. They are always guys.)
9. Make sure you always answer your cellphone. Even though your family KNOWS you are at home and they KNOW you are working, they’ll not forgive you if you don’t respond to text messages quickly.
10. Consider dropping your cellphone service.
11. Remember having an IT person that you can just call to fix your computer? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
12. Every week, call the boss at 6am your time. Because you’re always working.
13. Don’t eat lunch in the kitchen. That will only encourage you to do the dishes. No one does household chores during business hours.
14. Invest in comfy sweats and socks with gripper bottoms. You don’t have time to dress before you go to work. At 6am. Every day.
15. Do shower regularly. Do not shower at expected times. Showers at 3pm are invigorating.
16. Do not encourage the cats, or they’ll become needy when you’re on the phone. Which is fine, really, but you don’t want your client to KNOW you’re petting the cat while giving the client 100% of your attention.
17. Buy a wireless headset for your telephone. Wear it constantly, and conduct conference calls walking around the house. Insist the kids turn off all TVs & music because you are WORKING.
18. If you’re wearing the headset you’re on the phone. As far as they know.
19. Never answer the phone when the boss calls. Because you’re always on the phone with a client.
20. Do buy tickets to afternoon movies & baseball games. It’s really the only way to relieve the intense stress of working at home.