Short Biography: Julia Dent Grant's Life In America

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Julia was born on 26 January 1826, in her family's “White Haven” farm in St. Louis,
Missouri. She was daughter of successful merchant, Frederick Fayette Dent, and Ellen Bray
Wrenshall, as her mother, an English Methodist. Julia was the fifth of eight siblings, four brothers, three sisters. Throughout her entire life, Julia Dent Grant was a regular church-goer and made an effort early on to ensure her children received a religious education. Shortly before
Julia’s birth, her parents purchased a spacious wooden house, southern from St. Louis in the
Gravois Creek, which her father named it "White Haven" after one of his old homes back in
England. The family made the White Haven a working farm with imported animals, one of the first crops in the
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Four years, later soon after Grant returned from war he suggested to Julia that they should marry as soon as possible. The Dent-Grant wedding took place at the Dent family home in St.
Louis on the corner of Cerre and Fourth Street, on 22 August 1848. Since many of her friends were out of the city due to the summer heat, the wedding was small, but elegant. Julia wore an
Indian muslin gown for the ceremony and a veil of white fringed tulle that was gifted from her
O’Fallon relatives. The newlyweds took a three-month honeymoon excursion by riverboat and stagecoach, stopping in Louisville and then travelling through Ohio to the home of his parents and other relatives. The attraction between Ulysses and Julia Grant was intense and lifelong. She had a series of affectionate nicknames for him, such as “Victor” (as in always the winner), Dodo, and Dudy. Physically, Julia Dent Grant was often described as plain, mainly due to her crossed eyes. Highly self-conscious about this physical defect, in later years she scheduled an appointment for surgery to correct it until her husband gently reminded her that he had fallen
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On July 23, 1885, just four days after finishing his memoirs, former President Grant died. Julia Grant was too bereft to attend what proved to be the largest public funeral ever held in
New York City. His August 8 funeral services for the first time gathered three presidents (Hayes,
Arthur and incumbent Grover Cleveland).
Apart from her numerous press interviews, Julia Grant also proved a talent for writing.
As a widow she began to pen a number of short article for popular, national magazines and syndicated newspaper stories. In April of 1897, for example, she contributed a Sunday World piece about her husband in conjunction with the Grant’s Tomb dedication. Julia Grant died at her
Washington, D.C. home on 14 December 1902 in the presence of her daughter. She was 74 years old. December 21, 1902, Julia Grant was buried beside her husband at “Grant’s Tomb” on
Riverside Drive in New York. While the ceremony was not opened the general public, it did mark the first burial rites of a First Lady treated as a quasi-official federal event, with local Army and Navy officers in attendance, along with her four

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