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A Thousand Kisses: The Love Story of President Ulysses S. Grant and Julia Dent Grant
Most people know Ulysses S. Grant as a victorious Civil War general and the 18th President of the United States, but many don't know that he was deeply in love with his wife, Julia. This is their love story, now told at the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis, Missouri. cc version - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQd6wRBDsBk
- 4 minutes, 9 seconds
- Credit / Author:
- V9 Studios and Jefferson National Parks Association
- Date created:
00:00 ARLENE: This love story is a hidden part of Ulysses’ Grant’s life.
00:12 Most people focus on his Civil War time and not realize that the strongest support and foundation for his life is his family and his love for his wife.
00:26 woman humming in background
00:28 PAM: A house to me is, you know, a structure – the physical architecture – whereas a home has those emotional connections.
00:36 This is where Ulysses and Julia met, where three of their four kids were born. It was that emotional touchstone for them.
00:44 Musical notes
00:48 KAREN: What we have are the rooms – the physical, tangible connection to the living that went on here.
00:54 But to have something even more personal -- personal thoughts being put down, someone receiving it, reading it, keeping it. I think gets you more directly to the individual, both Ulysses and Julia.
01:13 Voice of Grant- “Kiss our little boys for me, and a thousand kisses for yourself Dear Julia”
01:18 Musical notes
01:20 KAREN: I mean, when a man writes to you – “the last thing I thought of at night was you Julia, um and I dreamed about you!” – it gives you a real sense of an individual’s personality and character.
01:33 musical notes
01:35 Voice of Grant – “without you, no place, no home, can be very pleasant to me”
01:37 musical notes of tension and drums
01:42 PAM: They were separated so often, especially when Grant was on the west coast for two years
01:47 ARLENE: To be that far apart and the mail doesn’t get there very often
01:52 PAM: To think you wouldn’t know for four and a half months that your wife had survived and that you have another child
01:58 KAREN: The unknown can become unbearable.
02:01 Voice of Grant – “I have been separated from you and Fred long enough. And as to Ulysses, I’ve never even seen him!”
02:09 PAM: It’s through those letters that you really get insight into why he was willing to resign in 1854 to come back here to be reunited with his family.
02:18 Musical notes of construction and hammering
02:21 KAREN: In the process of doing the preservation of the home here, a window in the upstairs hall was sagging. They decided to pull the entire window frame, and sash, and everything out. And a portion of a letter came out with it! To have an actual artifact from Grant kept here in the home was pretty, pretty special.
02:43 Musical notes of snare drums
02:46 ARLENE: The family aspect of Grant gave him this foundation…this stability that allowed him to handle some really challenging and difficult times.
02:56 Musical notes of trumpets
02:58 KAREN: It certainly gave him the ability to go and do what he thought was his duty by re-joining the Union Army and stay with that cause
03:08 ARLENE: This place…White Haven…allows us a great opportunity to look into the personal lives of one of this countries’ presidents that was under the greatest of strains and see who he was as a person.
03:27 KAREN: Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan can understand how hard it is to be away from the little things in life that make the day-to-day living good, especially when you have small children and a place you’d rather be.
03:44 Musical notes