AKA Julia Boggs Dent
Birthplace: St. Louis, MO
Location of death: Washington, DC
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Grant's Tomb, General Grant National Memorial, New York, NY
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: First Lady
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Wife of US President Ulysses Grant
Julia Dent grew up on her father's plantation, which he called "White Haven". She fell in love with her brother's friend, Ulysses S. Grant, and she waited for "Ulys" for four years as he served in the Mexican War. When they were finally married at White Haven, Grant's parents refused to attend, offended by the Dents' ownership of many slaves. She accompanied him to his military posts, and stood by him while he worked as a farmer and rent collector with minimal success. In the Civil War, he trapped the Confederates south of Richmond, forcing their surrender and ending the war. Four years later this war hero became America's President.
Julia Grant reveled in her years as First Lady, describing it as the happiest time of her life. She quickly befriended the wives of her husband's cabinet members, and hosted stylish, popular balls in the Executive Mansion. She refurbished the White House with new rugs, furniture and chandeliers, and had the Army Corps of Engineers add Grecian columns to the building's fašade. By her order, the capitol was open to the general public every Tuesday afternoon, welcoming common folk and the wealthy alike. In a remarkably bold move, she directed that even 'colored' visitors were welcome, although capitol staff usually turned them away without her knowledge. When her husband's Presidency ended, she hosted a lavish luncheon to welcome President-Elect Rutherford B. Hayes and his family.
In the years following Grant's administration, she spoke out in support of the women's suffrage movement. Ulysses and Julia Grant were swindled in a Wall Street investment scheme, but the sales of the former President's memoirs provided enough earnings for his widow to live comfortably. She became the first First Lady to write a memoir, though she was unable to find a publisher, and she had been dead almost 75 years when her The Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant (Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant) was finally published. Her last public appearance was at the 1897 dedication of Grant's Tomb in New York City, America's largest mausoleum, where she now rests alongside her husband.
Father: Frederick Fayette Dent (plantation owner, b. 7-Oct-1787, d. 15-Dec-1873)
Mother: Ellen Bray Wrenshall Dent (b. circa 1792, m. 22-Dec-1814, d. 14-Jan-1857)
Brother: John Cromwell Dent (b. 22-May-1816, d. 1889)
Brother: George Wrenshall Dent (b. 30-Jan-1819, d. 1899)
Brother: Frederick Tracy Dent (b. 17-Dec-1820, d. 23-Dec-1892)
Brother: Lewis Dent (b. 3-Mar-1823, d. 22-Mar-1874)
Sister: Ellen Wrenshall Dent (b. 28-Jun-1828, d. 6-Dec-1904)
Sister: Mary Dent (b. 30-Dec-1829, d. infancy)
Sister: Emily Marbury Dent (b. 6-Jun-1836, d. 1866)
Husband: Ulysses S. Grant (US President, b. 1822, dated 1844-48, m. 22-Aug-1848, d. 1885)
Son: Frederick Dent Grant (US Army General, b. 30-May-1850, d. 12-Apr-1912)
Son: Ulysses Simpson Grant Jr ("Buck", real estate investor, b. 22-Jul-1852, d. 26-Sep-1929)
Daughter: Ellen Wrenshall Grant Sartoris Jones ("Nellie", b. 4-Jul-1855, d. 30-Aug-1922)
Son: Jesse Root Grant (gambling resort owner, b. 6-Feb-1858, d. 8-Jun-1934)
High School: Misses Mauros Boarding School, St. Louis, MO (1843)
Author of books:
The Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant (Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant) (1975)
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