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First Pets: Four-legged or Feathered Friends of President Ulysses Grant

By    |   Saturday, 23 Jan 2016 10:00 PM

Pets make a home seem homier, whether that home is the smallest apartment or the White House. These four-legged and winged friends have supported their owners through thick and thin, and President Ulysses Grant was among many U.S. presidents who had pets.

The 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant was born in 1822. The son of a leather tanner from Ohio, the White House Historical Association reported that Grant was sent to West Point against his will and graduated at the middle of his class. He was given command of a volunteer regiment in Illinois at the outbreak of the Civil War and had them in disciplined, fighting shape soon after.

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After several impressive battles over a number of years, Grant was appointed general-in-chief under Lincoln in March 1864. On April 9, 1865, he accepted the surrender of General Robert E. Lee, the leader of the Confederate forces. His remarkable record made him an obvious choice for a presidential candidate for the Radical Republicans in 1868. He served as president from 1869 to 1877.

President Grant had many pets during his time in the White House. The stables were particularly full, housing 10 horses and ponies. According to the Presidential Pet Museum, these included Jeff Davis, President Grant's wartime mount; Cincinnatus, a saddle horse; Julia, a racing horse; Egypt and St. Louis, carriage horses; Mary and Jennie, daughter Nellie's mares; Reb and Billy Button, Shetland ponies; and Butcher Boy. He also had several feathered friends including a parrot and some gamecocks that belonged to his son, Jesse.

The family also had two dogs with them in the White House. One was a dog named Rosie. The other, a Newfoundland named Faithful, was the constant companion of Grant's son, Jesse. He was so dear to his young master that the president threatened to fire every White House employee if anything happened to the dog. This action was never necessary, and Faithful reportedly enjoyed spending his time completing tasks around the White House and playing with the four Grant children.

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Pets make a home seem homier, whether that home is the smallest apartment or the White House. These four-legged and winged friends have supported their owners through thick and thin, and President Ulysses Grant was among many U.S. presidents who had pets.
President, Ulysses Grant, pets
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2016-00-23
Saturday, 23 Jan 2016 10:00 PM
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