The Sunset Hills Historical Society played host Monday to the historian of the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site—distinct from InBev-owned Grant’s Farm next door, on the border of Crestwood.
Historian Pam Sanfilippo hinted that White Haven (the family home) is significant for its influence on the future First Lady Julia Dent and her husband, the 18th U.S. president. Grant came to be known as the “Civil Rights President.”
SanFilippo’s hour-long talk included a description of the restoration of the White Haven house to its former 1870’s appearance. It’s located in Grantwood Village.
So, Grant’s wife grew up at White Haven, daughter of Col. Frederick Dent. According to her memoirs she has fond memories of “sunlight and happiness,” fishing in Gravois Creek, bird watching and horseback riding. Her father owned about thirty slaves at the time, and considered himself a southern gentleman.
Interestingly, Grant was dubbed “Uncle Sam” at West Point, due to a mistake when he was appointed to West Point. His real name, Hiram Ulysses Grant, was submitted as Ulysses Simpson (his mother’s maiden name) Grant and somehow he spent the rest of his days as U. S. Grant, or “Sam” as his buddies called him.
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