fka Ulysses Simpson Grant

To maintain the momentum happening middle names amongst presidential families, I’ll talk about one of many extra complicated instances, concerning President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885). The up to date reporting on his precise title different significantly and will get repeated even amongst organizations that ought to have had a extra direct relationship with Grant or his descendants.

Probably the most genuine supply on the matter was the president’s father, Jesse Root Grant (1794-1873), who wrote a serial column within the New York Ledger on “Early Life of Gen. Grant.” On 14 March 1867 he wrote “I consider he glided by the title ‘Uncle Sam,” at [West Point] on account of his initials … he was christened Hiram Ulysses; however he was all the time known as by the latter title, which he himself most popular when he obtained sufficiently old to find out about it. However Mr. Hamer, who nominated him as a cadet, understanding Mrs. Grant’s title was Simpson, by some means obtained the matter a bit combined in making the nomination, and despatched the title in Ulysses S. Grant as an alternative of Hiram Ulysses Grant. My son tried in useless afterwards to get it set proper by the authorities, and I suppose he’s now content material together with his title because it stands.”

“It was presently and by a blunder of Gen. Hamer, that his unique title, Hiram Ulysses, was exchanged for that which he has since made so well-known.”

An 1868 biography on then-presidential candidate Ulysses S. Grant and his operating mate Schuyler Colfax offers a considerably comparable account: “It was presently and by a blunder of Gen. Hamer, that his unique title, Hiram Ulysses, was exchanged for that which he has since made so well-known. Normal Hamer, in nominating him, had reported his title to the Examiner at West Level as Ulysses S. Grant, in all probability with some vague concept that he had two names, and that, as he was all the time known as Ulysses, the second title was in all probability Simpson, from his mom’s maiden title. Nonetheless this can be, the younger cadet discovered himself on his admission entered as Ulysses Sidney Grant. He endeavored, however in useless, to have it modified on the information of the Academy, and when he graduated, he substituted Simpson for the Sidney which he had all the time repudiated, and thenceforth wrote the title U.S. Grant.”

With out entry to West Level’s information, and taking in his father’s account and the 1868 abstract, the longer term president by no means thought of Simpson his center title. That didn’t stop quite a few newspapers from calling the president Ulysses Sidney Grant or Ulysses Simpson Grant. I might summarize the a number of up to date information that don’t present a center title, however most information of this time solely listed somebody by their center preliminary. Nonetheless, the state of affairs takes an fascinating flip in how the briefly-mistaken center title that became Grant’s center preliminary was utilized by his namesake descendants.

President Grant had a son named Ulysses in addition to two grandsons of the identical title, all recognized by suffixes in a contemporary sense:

President Grant’s sons and grandsons have been concerned in a couple of hereditary societies regarding Normal Grant’s service within the Civil Conflict in addition to their revolutionary and colonial ancestors. Maj. Gen. Frederick Dent Grant was the primary governor basic of The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America 1896-98 and once more 1910-12, a place his son Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant III held 1933-35, and Ulysses S. Grant IV was an affiliate of this order. Publications of this society differ in whether or not “Simpson” or “S.” is the center title, though many of the earlier directories go away it as merely “S.” Frederick Dent Grant and Ulysses S. Grant III have been each members of the Mayflower Society via their descent from Mayflower passenger Richard Warren. Frederick’s application in 1903 and Ulysses’ in 1950 each give the president the center title of Simpson (the latter citing the Delano family tree), and though the applying of the youthful Ulysses is typed “Ulysses Simpson Grant III,” it’s signed “Ulysses S. Grant third.”

Nonetheless, I believe essentially the most telling indication of the household’s desire is the annual studies from Harvard School for Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., who graduated in 1874. I reviewed the category studies for the Class of 1874 up via 1914, and the president’s son is all the time listed as “Ulysses Simpson Grant, Jr.” Then, starting within the 1915 Quinquennial Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of Harvard University is the next entry for the category of 1874:

The identical goes for his subsequent class studies. What occurred in 1915? Ulysses’ son, Ulysses S Grant IV additionally graduated from Harvard, and his class studies and alumni directories by no means repeat the misattributed center title, and curiously these Harvard studies additionally omit the interval after S, whereas most different information nonetheless included the interval.[1]

It is a misattribution that can by no means go away, nor ought to it. As a lot as Normal Grant tried to right this error himself, that is one case that actually caught and was repeated infinitely in studies on the president, his son, and grandsons. As I famous in a earlier submit on presidential namesakes, there have been fifteen males named Ulysses S. Grant enumerated within the 1900 census, and definitely the vast majority of these males actually did have the center title Simpson!


[1] Using the interval after the S within the single letter center title of Harry S. Truman was additionally mentioned within the feedback of my earlier submit on Presidents in the 1950 census. Whereas the President Truman steadily signed his title with a interval after the S., Truman, doubtless in jest, apparently initiated the “period controversy” in a 1962 interview with a journalist. Whereas the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum maintains the interval after the S., the Harry S Truman Birthplace State Historic Site doesn’t. The Harry S. Truman Little White House in Key West largely maintains the interval, apart from one graphic on the principle homepage.