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  • Ulysses S. Grant Collection

Ulysses S. Grant was born in Galena, Illinois, in 1822. He attended West Point and served in the Mexican-American War under General Zachary Taylor. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Illinois Governor Richard Yates appointed Grant to command a volunteer regiment. Following his success with the regiment, Grant rose to the rank of brigadier general of volunteers. After his victory at Fort Donelson in 1862, President Lincoln named Grant to major general of volunteers. Lincoln appointed Grant as General in Chief of the United States Army in 1864, leading the United States to a successful end of the Civil War.

Following the Civil War, Grant led the military's efforts during Reconstruction. Grant was elected President of the United States in 1868 and won re-election four years later. While in office Grant worked to unite the North and South while facing the rise of groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and increasing attacks on African Americans. Grant's administration was marred by financial scandals.

After leaving office, Grant was a partner in an unsuccessful investment firm which failed after one partner stole the firm's investors money. Grant then negotiated a book deal to write his memoirs. Shortly after beginning to write, he was diganosed with cancer of the throat. Grant accelerated his writing process, completing his memoirs two months before dying.

Photographs in this collection include portraits of Grant, images of several buildings he lived in during his lifetime, and images of his funeral in New York City.

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