|Interment Location||Visited||Sequence in Graves I Have Visited|
|New York, NY||August 15, 2004||10th President visited|
Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb? Former First Lady Julia Grant and her husband Ulysses are interred within the monument, located near the eastern bank of the Hudson River in Manhattan’s Riverside Park. Though the 5’8″ Ulysses S. Grant was small in stature compared to some of his fellow U.S. presidents, he is a giant of American history for commanding the Union Army to victory in the Civil War. He and Mrs. Grant are fitting choices to rest in the most voluminous mausoleum on the North American continent.
In May 1868, Grant wrote a letter to the head of the Republican National Convention, Joseph B. Hawley, in which he accepted the GOP nomination for president. He ended the missive, “Let us have peace.” This went on to become Grant’s unofficial campaign slogan and is carved high above the entryway to his tomb, between the allegorical figures of Victory and Peace.
When I dropped by Grant’s Tomb for the second time in May 2011 American flags decorated the exterior, which I thought enhanced the building’s visual appeal by adding more color. Old Glory served as a grand background for this stone eagle. This sculpture and its companion on the other side of the portico staircase were added to the mausoleum in the 1930s after they were salvaged by the Works Progress Administration from a demolished post office.
The Grants’ bodies are held within two red granite sarcophagi in the lower level crypt in the center of the tomb. Their names are etched into the lids, but since you cannot see the inscriptions from the point of view presented in this image, I will let you know that, here, Julia Grant’s sarcophagus is on the left and the general’s is on the right.
For a thorough history of this iconic New York landmark, read Louis L. Picone’s 2021 book, Grant’s Tomb: The Epic Death of Ulysses S. Grant and the Making of an American Pantheon. It is my goal someday to have my own book published — a memoir about my childhood presidential travels — so that you can also read why my visit to the national monument at nine years old was an unexpectedly sneaky venture.
Born: April 27, 1822 in Point Pleasant, Ohio
Spouse: Julia Dent Grant (m. 1848-1885)
Highest Military Rank: General of the Army — U.S. Army
Political Affiliation: Republican Party
Presidential Term: 1869-1877
Vice Presidents: Schuyler Colfax (1869-1873); Henry Wilson (1873-1875)
Died: July 23, 1885 in Wilton, New York
Cause of Death: Throat Cancer
Last Words: “Water.”
Interment: General Grant National Monument, New York, New York
"The cause of the great War of the Rebellion against the United Status will have to be attributed to slavery. For some years before the war began it was a trite saying among some politicians that 'A state half slave and half free cannot exist.' All must become slave or all free, or the state will go down. I took no part myself in any such view of the case at the time, but since the war is over, reviewing the whole question, I have come to the conclusion that the saying is quite true."
- Ulysses S. Grant
in volume II of his personal memoirs, published posthumously in 1886
Grant, Ulysses S. Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant. Vol. 2. New York: Charles L. Webster and Company, 1886; Project Gutenberg, 2004. https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/1068/pg1068.html.
Grant, Ulysses S. Ulysses S. Grant to Joseph B. Hawley, May 29, 1868. Letter. From Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Gilder Lehrman Collection. Accessed January 9, 2022. https://www.gilderlehrman.org/collection/glc08129.