Ami's SOA Julia Dent Grant - The Things You May Not Know

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Another great share @DBF . Thanks for the image. Curious to know if she fled with her husband, or without him.

Due to her father’s leave from the military in June of 1876, he was not involved in the disaster that would be remembered as “Custer’s Last Stand”.
Incredible good fortune again! My goodness ...

Apparently she went on to write memoirs about the Russian revolution.
Honestly had no idea there was this connection so that could be an interesting read.
 

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Princess Julia Grant Cantacuzene, granddaughter of President Ulysses S. Grant, and long a leader in Washington society, died Sunday at her home in the Dresden Apartment House Washington. She was 99 years old.
She was some woman! Living to 99 (shame she didn't make it to 100 after living that long) and divorcing her Russian Prince due to 'his failure to show interest in matrimonial duties' :laugh: Sounds to me like the Prince had his work cut out for him and this is delightful to read:

At a luncheon party of descendants of American Presidents in 1970, an invitation to which Alice Roosevelt Longworth declined, saying, “I'm cutting down on going out,” Princess Cantacuzene remarked, “Cutting down? Well, think of that. Why, she's only 86.” The Princess was almost 94.
LOL ... she's only 86! Julia Grant Cantacuzene obviously had energy to burn ... all kinds of energy :smoke:

Surviving are two daughters. Lady Hanbury ‐ Williams of County Meath, Ireland, and Bertha Siebern of Louisville, Ky.
How marvellous, she has two daughters living in two of my favourite places :smile:

Another great share @DBF. Thanks so much!
 
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Her obituary as it appeared in the New York Times - October October 7, 1975 - Lots of little interesting tidbits in this article - I highlighted some of my favorites.

“Princess Julia Cantacuzene, 99, Grant's Granddaughter, Dead”

Princess Julia Grant Cantacuzene, granddaughter of President Ulysses S. Grant, and long a leader in Washington society, died Sunday at her home in the Dresden Apartment House Washington. She was 99 years old.

Princess Cantacuzene was the former wife of the late Prince Michael Cantacuzene, who commanded the last regiment at Kiev during the Russian Revolution.

A founder of the Sulgrave Club, she lunched there often until 1970, and frequently held court at her home for Washington's large White Russian colony.

At a luncheon party of descendants of American Presidents in 1970, an invitation to which Alice Roosevelt Longworth declined, saying, “I'm cutting down on going out,” Princess Cantacuzene remarked, “Cutting down? Well, think of that. Why, she's only 86.” The Princess was almost 94.

As she had neared her 70th birthday, her eyes had begun to fail. She underwent five operations but at the age of 80 became blind. Two weeks before her 90th birthday, Princess Cantacuzene awoke and suddenly saw the canopy on her bed. There was sunlight, and she saw color, shadows, a chair, pictures on the wall. An unexplained medical phenomenon had dropped the retina in one eye, enabling her to partly recover her sight.

In extensive memoirs Princess Cantacuzene recalled her life in the White House and at the imperial courts of Vienna and St. Petersburg before World War 1. She was the wife of a Russian prince for 35 years, and when she returned to her native United States she was active in Republican politics.

She was a daughter of Maj. Gen. Frederick Dent Grant, son of President Grant. Her mother was the former Ida Honore, a sister of the wealthy, socially prominent Mrs. Potter Palmer of Chicago.

Julia Dent Grant was born in the White House on June 7, 1876. She remembered the taciturn, brown-bearded President Grant teaching her to make a cat’s cradle with a piece of string. When she grew up, her dark good looks, dancing ability, wit and linguistic aptitude helped her to enjoy the waltzes and gay military uniforms of imperial Vienna when her father was Minister to the Court of Emperor Francis Joseph in the eighteen-nineties.

While at Cannes with Mrs. Palmer, Miss Grant met Prince Michael Cantacuzene, a lieutenant in the Russian guards cavalry. They were married in Newport, R.I., on Sept. 25, 1899, and sailed on a private yacht for a Paris wedding trip.The Cantacuzene estates included 80,000 acres around the castle of Bouromka in the central Ukraine.

In World War I, Prince Michael became a major general and was wounded at the battle of Gumbinnen. Forced to flee during the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, the couple came to the United States.

They returned to Russia briefly when General Cantacuzene joined the staff of the White Russian Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak, but came once more to the United States before Admiral Kolchak's defeat.

Wrote Three Books

Princess Cantacuzene wrote extensively for magazines and newspapers, sometimes on general topics, but usually about her life abroad and in Washington and the distinguished persons she had known. She wrote three books, “Revolutionary Days,” “Russian People” and “My Life—Here and There.”

In 1934 she obtained a divorce in Sarasota, Fla., on the grounds that the Prince “failed to show interest in matrimonial duties.” He died in 1955 at the age of 79.

Surviving are two daughters. Lady Hanbury ‐ Williams of County Meath, Ireland, and Bertha Siebern of Louisville, Ky.; 6 grandchildren, 22 greatgrandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren. A son, Michael, died in 1973.

There will be a memorial service Monday at 11 A.M. in the Bethlehem Chapel of the Washington National Cathedral.”
A very great share indeed.

The family came a long way from the humble tannery in three generations.
 
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@DBF Thank you for the wealth of information about the family. Fascinating.

I once saw a video of a panel discussion given by several living descendants of the Grants. One man who spoke was Ulysses S Grant the 5th or 6th. He said that when he was growing up in the 1950s and 60s he could never use his first name, since the original US Grant was at the nadir of his historical reputation. He used Grant as a first time because it was neutral enough.
 

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Here's a small addendum to what has been added earlier about the Lincoln assassination and Julia's relationship with Mary Todd Lincoln:

The Lincoln Assassination

"Julia Grant influenced her husband to decline Mary Lincoln’s invitation to join her and the President for the Ford’s Theater production of Our American Cousins, the night Lincoln was assassinated.

Given her unpleasant history with Mrs. Lincoln, Julia Grant was loathe to be with her again, especially at large events where the public would observe their interactions.

Another insult came when the Lincolns invited General Grant to a grand White House celebration of the war’s end on April 13, 1865, but not Mrs. Grant. He refused to attend. The following day, Mrs. Lincoln did invite Mrs. Grant with her husband to join her and the President for a Ford’s Theater performance of Our American Cousins.

Julia Grant gave her husband the right to accept but otherwise told him, “I will not sit without you in the box with Mrs. Lincoln." The couple used the honest excuse of wanting to be reunited with their children, then staying in their Burlington, New Jersey home.

29grant.jpg

The Burlington, New Jersey home where Julia Grant retreated in the period following the Lincoln assassination. (libguides.css.edu)

However, several other factors seem likely to have contributed to their refusal to join the Lincolns at the theater. Mrs. Grant recounted that an ominous-looking man on horseback had apparently been following her open carriage and stared in on her earlier that day, leaving her frightened. According to her sister, she had also had one of her premonitory dream about danger that night.

While Julia Grant has often been credited with saving the life of her husband, whose name had appeared on the hit list of the assassination conspirators, General Grant essentially suggested that her decision may have unwittingly cost the life of Lincoln, for had they attended his strong cordon of military guards would have been in attendance and prevented Lincoln’s death. The Grants left Washington that evening by railroad, learning at the stop in Philadelphia that the President had been shot."

(Taken from link in OP)
 

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Regarding Mary Lincoln and Julia Grant’s relationship, I recalled this story that happened in the immediate days following the war - when the Grant’s had returned to Washington and in Julia’s word “the city was illuminated that night”. Secretary Stanton had told told Mrs. Grant - - -

“They are going to illuminate at the Navy Department, I know, for they sent and borrowed two or three boxes of candles from my department.”

Mr. Stanton had invited Julia and the General to accompany him to see the festivities. Julia continues the narrative in her memoirs - - -

“Shortly after I returned to the hotel, young Stanton called to say Mr. and Mrs. Stanton would call for the General and me to ride out to see the city that night, and afterwards we were to go to their residence, where we would receive any friends who were in the city. As soon as the General {he had been visiting at the Executive Mansion} returned, I hastened to inform him of this pleasant arrangement. The General said: ‘I am so glad. You will, of course, go with the Stantons and, as the President has asked me to do, I will accompany Mrs. Lincoln.’ To this plan, I protested and said I would not go at all unless he accompanied me. The General at once said, with a shadow of surprise, ‘I can first go out with you and the Stantons and, leaving you at their house, return and escort the wife of our President to see the illumination.’ This was all satisfactory to me, as it was the honor of being with him when he first viewed the illumination in honor of peace restored to the nation, in which he had so great a share - it was this I coveted.”

Of course, it is possible Mary Lincoln had no knowledge of her husband asking this favor of the General. I think there are several ways to study this turn of events especially the relationship between the 2 women - however - I will leave the interpretation all up to you, although I find it interesting that Julia, when she protested to her husband in protest of Lincoln's request - she wants us to know - General Grant showed a shadow of surprise. (Where did I read - Men are from Mars/Women are from Venus?)
 

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I find it interesting that Julia, when she protested to her husband in protest of Lincoln's request - she wants us to know - General Grant showed a shadow of surprise. (Where did I read - Men are from Mars/Women are from Venus?)
:bounce: Men. They just don't get it sometimes :nah disagree:

Ulysses obviously saw no harm in the request, though why Lincoln could not accompany his own wife I don't know. I guess there are a lot of loose ends to tie up at the end of the war. But, in my opinion, Julia was right and should have come first in her husband's estimations, though I'm not sure how you turn down the request of a President. It appears he was willing to compromise in favour of Julia, but I would say Mary Todd Lincoln would have had the exact same take on such a circumstance if the roles were reversed.

No woman wants her husband to accompany another woman when it is her moment to shine with him as well.

I may offer a slight criticism of Lincoln here and say he should not have made the request of Grant in the first place. I'm sure Grant was not the only official he could have asked to accompany his wife.

Of course, we could theorize about this forever, but
I will leave the interpretation all up to you,
I am always open to the interpretation of others. This is all new to me and fascinating stuff. If other folks have something to offer it just adds to the flavour of the experience and ultimately is more fodder for the conspiracy theorists :nerd: (of which I am one!)

Thanks @DBF
 

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General Grant essentially suggested that her decision may have unwittingly cost the life of Lincoln, for had they attended his strong cordon of military guards would have been in attendance and prevented Lincoln’s death.
This I also had never heard before. That Grant felt their decision to leave may have cost Lincoln his life, which going by his reasoning may have some legitimacy. What I don't understand about that is why Lincoln did not have his own cordon of military guards. Why would Grant have them and not Lincoln? Surely the President was more to be protected? (As a conspiracy theorist) this part really jumped out at me. I believe Lincoln had one man who wasn't even on hand as regards protection when the assassination took place, but these things such has been taken up in whole other threads ...
 

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This I also had never heard before. That Grant felt their decision to leave may have cost Lincoln his life, which going by his reasoning may have some legitimacy. What I don't understand about that is why Lincoln did not have his own cordon of military guards.
I was always under the impression that President Lincoln did not believe he needed protection or was extremely naive in realizing the danger he could be in (regardless of his dream he had of his own death prior to his assassination). It may had been the nation as a whole had never experienced a presidential killing, so believed it would not happen. As far as his “protection”, I found the following - - -

“On that fateful night in 1865 at Ford's Theatre, Abraham Lincoln's sole bodyguard, Washington policeman John Frederick Parker, was supposed to be sitting outside the presidential box in a passageway behind the door. Trouble was, Parker couldn't see the stage from there, so he left his post to get a better view. This was after he was three hours late to relieve the previous bodyguard earlier in the afternoon.

Even worse, during the intermission Parker went out for drinks with the coachman and footman of Lincoln's carriage. He was not at his post when John Wilkes Booth entered the president's box.’


It seems ludicrous today to think security was so lax, and there is no way of knowing if General and Mrs. Grant were with the Lincoln’s, if Grant’s staff would have been close by or watching the production. Another “what-if”, that becomes a tragic - “we will never know”.
 

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A very great share indeed.

The family came a long way from the humble tannery in three generations.
There certainly was an upswing in their standard of living as their lives went on. I think of Julia Grant’s memoirs among her very last thoughts - - -

“As I write the above, my thoughts go back again to Apsley House, where General Grant and I dined with the Duke of Wellington, its magnificent halls all decked with war trophies, to the three million pounds sterling and the great title conferred by a grateful government, and I cannot help wondering what England would have done for Grant had he been an Englishman.”

I guess being President wasn’t enough??

fullsizeoutput_4c8.jpeg


however, when you look at the wedding photograph can’t help but wonder if Mrs. Grant finally thought “she made it”.
 
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This seems to be quite an angry or impatient image of the granddaughter ... or is that just my imagination :unsure: ?

I wouldn't be surprised if her upbrining created expectations in Julia with regards to society and her place in it, as well as the aspirations that go along with that. She may well have thought she'd 'made it' at this stage. No doubt family marriage into royalty is a feather in one's cap :laugh:
 
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I found this article and podcast from the Washington Post about her unsuccessful attempts to find a publisher for her memories. I actually listened to the podcast (I downloaded it on itunes) because I love to listen to podcasts. I thought that the podcast did a good job.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/hist...ns-hers/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.dcf75947095e
Thanks so much for sharing! I am going to give it a listen as soon as I can ... fascinating title.
 
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:bounce: Men. They just don't get it sometimes :nah disagree:

Ulysses obviously saw no harm in the request, though why Lincoln could not accompany his own wife I don't know. I guess there are a lot of loose ends to tie up at the end of the war. But, in my opinion, Julia was right and should have come first in her husband's estimations, though I'm not sure how you turn down the request of a President. It appears he was willing to compromise in favour of Julia, but I would say Mary Todd Lincoln would have had the exact same take on such a circumstance if the roles were reversed.

No woman wants her husband to accompany another woman when it is her moment to shine with him as well.

I may offer a slight criticism of Lincoln here and say he should not have made the request of Grant in the first place. I'm sure Grant was not the only official he could have asked to accompany his wife.

Of course, we could theorize about this forever, but

I am always open to the interpretation of others. This is all new to me and fascinating stuff. If other folks have something to offer it just adds to the flavour of the experience and ultimately is more fodder for the conspiracy theorists :nerd: (of which I am one!)

Thanks @DBF
I’d never thought before about what an odd request this was and how it was actually quite disrespectful to both women. Both Mary Lincoln and Julia Grant would have been reasonable to expect to accompany their own husbands.

I suppose a president is going to be busy at a like this, but you’d think that having the General and the president both go out with their wives and wave to the celebratory crowds would be the thing to do. As it was Grant had to figure out how not to hurt his wife or rub Mary Lincoln the wrong way.

It strikes me that the difficult person in this situation was actually Lincoln, tossing this out for Grant to solve. I think it speaks well for Julia that she decided to stand up for herself and for Grant for clueing in, albeit a hair later than Julia.

It makes me wonder whether Lincoln was an easy man to live with. My guess is that he wasn’t, and this would go a long way towards explaining Mary’s over sensitivity.
 

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I’d never thought before about what an odd request this was and how it was actually quite disrespectful to both women. Both Mary Lincoln and Julia Grant would have been reasonable to expect to accompany their own husbands.

I suppose a president is going to be busy at a like this, but you’d think that having the General and the president both go out with their wives and wave to the celebratory crowds would be the thing to do. As it was Grant had to figure out how not to hurt his wife or rub Mary Lincoln the wrong way.

It strikes me that the difficult person in this situation was actually Lincoln, tossing this out for Grant to solve. I think it speaks well for Julia that she decided to stand up for herself and for Grant for clueing in, albeit a hair later than Julia.

It makes me wonder whether Lincoln was an easy man to live with. My guess is that he wasn’t, and this would go a long way towards explaining Mary’s over sensitivity.
Oohh ... I like where this is going :smoke:
 

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It makes me wonder whether Lincoln was an easy man to live with. My guess is that he wasn’t, and this would go a long way towards explaining Mary’s over sensitivity.
I would imagine any brilliant man would be hard to live with. My sister, who is into astrology, would say that because Lincoln is an Aquarian, he lives inside his head, thinking deep thoughts and making plans without consulting the people who are directly involved in those plans, often changing them again with out consultation. It can cause much confusion and "annoyance" to those who live with them.
My husband is an Aquarian...:rolleyes::confused:
 

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Just to offer another view - we have already discussed the "tension" that existed between Mary Lincoln and Julia Grant. My first thought was perhaps this was Mary Lincoln's idea and she asked her husband for this favor, just to make Julia's life difficult and to prove to her that in the end Mary was powerful than she was. We know the two ladies had some words less than a month to this.

I found this interesting "tidbit" from Carl Sandburg's "Abraham Lincoln" - regarding the evening of April 14th and perhaps why the Grant's did not want to attend (of Julia) - - -

"But Mrs. Lincoln had set her heart (on attending the theater), and she invited General and Mrs. Grant. And General Grant accepted, the newspapers were announcing.

Grant however had changed his mind. Mrs. Grant, in all probability, had told the General that the more she thought about it, the more it seemed impossible that she could endure an evening with the unfortunate woman she had last seen in such outbursts of temper and rages of jealousy at City Point. The General himself, anyone who knew him would testify, could see no fun in such a social evening."

Clearly - two women that did not particularly care for each other.
 
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There certainly was an upswing in their standard of living as their lives went on. I think of Julia Grant’s memoirs among her very last thoughts - - -

“As I write the above, my thoughts go back again to Apsley House, where General Grant and I dined with the Duke of Wellington, its magnificent halls all decked with war trophies, to the three million pounds sterling and the great title conferred by a grateful government, and I cannot help wondering what England would have done for Grant had he been an Englishman.”

I guess being President wasn’t enough??
On the other hand preoccupation about money and poverty was a running theme in the life of the Grants. When Grant became president he gave up his army pension, and although they had plenty of money during those years they were going to run out of money unless he came up with another way to make some. Although being First Lady had been very enjoyable and fulfilling for Julia, while visiting the Duke of Wellington she couldn’t help but cast an envious eye on the way a victorious General was given a fortune in England. In the back of her mind Julia was probably worried about ending up back in Hardscrabble, income-wise.
 

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