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Civilian Life


Grant home in Covington, KY

Julia with Ulysses & Fred

Grant arrived back at White Haven in the summer of 1854, reunited with his wife and son Fred and seeing his second son Ulysses Jr. for the first time. In September the Grant's took a trip to visit Grant's parents now living in Covington, KY. 



By the summer of 1855 the Grant family had moved into another home on the White Haven property called Wish-ton-wish. On July 4th their daughter Ellen Wrenshall was born, she was nicknamed "Nellie" after her aunt. Grant began to clear the 60 acres of property Julia had received from her father and sold the wood in St. Louis to sustain the family income. He was determined to create an independent farm and built a somewhat rustic cabin nicknamed "Hardscrabble". By the summer of 1856 the Grant family had moved into their new home. Grant's crops did well the first season but the family suffered the loss of Julia's mother Ellen in January 1857. To add to the misfortune crop prices fell in the Panic of 1857 and the farm suffered.

Manumission document for William Jones

The Grant's had their last child Jesse Root in February 1858. In early 1858 Julia's father Colonel Dent moved to his St. Louis home and rented out much of White Haven to Ulysses. The family moved back into the main house at White Haven and sicknesses plagued the family throughout the year. Grant concluded by the fall of 1858 that he could not make a sufficient living by farming. With the farming venture over Grant made a bold statement by freeing William Jones the only slave from White Haven under his authority. 

1st Grant home in St. Louis

In the spring of 1859 the Grant family moved into St. Louis and Grant went into the real-estate business with Julia's cousin Harry Boggs. The partnership was short lived as the business did not suit Grant's character. In the summer he applied for county engineer but did not get the job. Grant traded Hardscrabble for another home in St. Louis and the family moved. He worked at the Custom House but lost his job after only a month when his employer died. With options for employment scarce Julia convinced him to ask his father for a position. Grant traveled to Covington in March and his father offered him a job in his leather goods shop in Galena, IL. 

2nd Grant home in St. Louis

Orvil Grant

Grant family Galena home

Galena leathergoods store

In April 1860 the Grant family packed up and moved to Galena, IL. They rented a brick house and Grant took up his position at the leather goods store with his brothers Orvil and Simpson. One benefit of the new job was that Grant was left with more time to spend with his family as he and Julia were always affectionate and doting parents. Family life was once again disrupted though with Abraham Lincoln being elected president in November of 1860 and the subsequent secession of  the southern states. Grant's military abilities and sense of duty would compel him to military service once again.  

Individuals and places relating to

U.S. Grant's Civilian Life....

Harry Boggs

(Julia's cousin and Grant's business partner in St. Louis real-estate.)


(The home Grant built at White Haven. Now part of Grant's Farm.)

John Heyl Vincent

(Grant's Methodist pastor in Galena, IL.)

John A. Rawlins

(Grant's Galena, IL friend and later officer on his staff in the Civil War.)

Fort Humboldt

(Grant's military post from 1853-54, Now Fort Humboldt SHP.)