Tags: Presidential History | ulysses s grant | memorial | monuments

In Memorial: Presidential Monuments Dedicated to Ulysses S. Grant

By    |   Friday, 08 Jan 2016 04:58 PM

Ulysses S. Grant was America’s first four-star general and national hero, so it should come as no surprise that there are several memorials erected in his honor.

Grant became the secretary of war under the appointment by President Andrew Johnson. However, in January of 1986, Grant resigned and broke his connection with Johnson. In May 1868, Grant was nominated by the Republicans as their presidential candidate. At age 46, he became the youngest president-elect in the United States up to that point.

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When Grant entered the White House, he entered in the middle of the Reconstruction era. He tried to bring about a peaceful resolution between the North and South, and supported pardons for former Confederate leaders, while at the same time trying to protect the civil rights of newly freed slaves. Grant also signed legislation to limit activities of terrorist groups, including those like the KKK.

Grant also signed legislation to establish the Department of Justice, Yellowstone National Park (America’s first national park), and the Weather Bureau. The administration made huge progress with foreign policy by establishing the 1871 Treaty of Washington. The treaty improved relations between the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Grant's second term was much less successful than his first, after being plagued by scandals and a severe depression. He did not seek a third term in office.

The Grant Memorial is one of the most well-known and recognized memorials in the country, which could be due in part to the time and effort put in to picking the architect, location, and design of the structure. Built in 1920, it was dedicated in 1922 in Union Square, west of the U.S. Capitol Building and by the Capitol Reflecting Pool. Made of bronze and marble, the Grant Memorial was sculpted by Henry Merwin Shrady and its architect was Edward Pearce Casey. The impressive memorial is 252 feet long, 71 feet wide, and is divided into three sections.

"The Grant Memorial continues to captivate viewers with its immediacy and dramatic power," stated Architect of the Capitol. "The low height of the flanking groups of Cavalry and Artillery, situated across from marble exedras built into the monument, allows viewers to imagine themselves amid the action as if in the heat of battle. Realistic details at eye level, including military trappings and uniforms, rocky terrain, battle debris, horse musculature, and the pained expressions of individual soldiers, endow the scene with authenticity."

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Another monument honoring Grant can be found in Chicago's Lincoln Park. (Oddly, a statue of Abraham Lincoln can be found in the city's Grant Park.) It was created by sculptor Louis Rebisso and erected in 1891. There was some discord over the bronze statue of Grant atop the 50-foot-wide memorial, with some people saying it didn't look like him.

The General Grant National Memorial, known coloquially as Grant's Tomb, is the former president's final resting place. It sits in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. It was designed by American architect John H. Duncan, who said he wanted to make "a monumental structure that should be unmistakably the tomb of a military character," according to a General Grant National Memorial Historical Resource Study. "Approximately 90,000 people from around the world donated over $600,000 towards the construction of Grant's Tomb. This was the largest public fundraising effort ever at that time," says the National Park Service.

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Ulysses S. Grant was America's first four-star general and national hero, so it should come as no surprise that there are several memorials erected in his honor.
ulysses s grant, memorial, monuments
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2016-58-08
Friday, 08 Jan 2016 04:58 PM
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