Julia Dent Grant's slaves


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StephenColbert27

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#2
Julia Dent brought three servants to the marriage to U.S. Grant. Is there a record of what happened to them? I am reading White's bio and by 1862 this is not mentioned.
I assume she left them behind with her family in Missouri when they moved North to Galena, but I do not remember what their exact fate was.
 
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#5
Julia had the use of some of her father's slaves, but there is no documentation ownership was ever transferred to her.

In 1863 all the enslaved people owned by the Dents, including those with Julia, freed themselves.

The Grants hired the former slave Julia as a paid nurse in 1864.
Sources for statements like this are normally expected around here.

BTW, when you say Grant's family slaves, "freed themselves," that means they ran away, right?
 
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#9
Ulysses S. Grant was the head of his own family. There is no documentation ownership of those enslaved people ever transferred to Julia.
Grant was head of his own family, then. Julia must have been the neck that makes the head turn any way she wants.

That Grant/Dent family slaves were apparently involved in caring for the General's needs is quite ironic, or maybe not.

We still don't have sources refuting this, only the National Park Service cite at post #3 that says it happened.
 

cash

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#10
Grant was head of his own family, then. Julia must have been the neck that makes the head turn any way she wants.

That Grant/Dent family slaves were apparently involved in caring for the General's needs is quite ironic, or maybe not.

We still don't have sources refuting this, only the National Park Service cite at post #3 that says it happened.
That posting has no documentation showing transfer of ownership. There were no Grant family slaves. There is nothing in that post that even suggests "caring for the General's needs." That's simply a dishonest characterization.
 

major bill

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#11
Grant's wife's father did own slaves. It remains unclear if Julia Grant ever owned the slaves reported to be hers. Grant was anti slavery, but not radically so. Grant would have probably freed Julia's slaves if they became his property.

The fact that Grant owned a slave for one year before freeing his slave and the fact Grant's wife owned slaves is often used to try to show the Civil War could not be about slavery. This is truly a silly attempt to show the Civil War was not about slavery.
 
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#12
Julia had the use of some of her father's slaves, but there is no documentation ownership was ever transferred to her.
Sorry @cash, but Julia brought her slaves into the marriage (as would have been expected by a Southern Belle) and it was by no means illegal at that time:

During Grant’s management of the farm he worked side by side with Dan, one of the slaves given to Julia at birth.
http://usslave.blogspot.de/2011/06/ulysses-s-grant-slavery-at-white-haven.html?m=1
 

cash

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#13
Grant's wife's father did own slaves. It remains unclear if Julia Grant ever owned the slaves reported to be hers. Grant was anti slavery, but not radically so. Grant would have probably freed Julia's slaves if they became his property.

The fact that Grant owned a slave for one year before freeing his slave and the fact Grant's wife owned slaves is often used to try to show the Civil War could not be about slavery. This is truly a silly attempt to show the Civil War was not about slavery.
Brooks Simpson delves into this in his biography of Grant, p. 255. By 1863 all the Dent slaves had left White Haven, including the four slaves Julia had use of. We know this because Grant visited White Haven and wrote in a letter to Julia that all the slaves had left. In January of 1864, Grant's son Fred, living with his grandfather in Missouri at the time, became sick with typhoid. Grant and Julia made plans to go to him. One of the former slaves, also named Julia, had been hired as a paid nurse. Julia (the nurse) did not want to return to Missouri with the Grants because she feared she might be re-enslaved if she returned to a slave state. Grant had previously said if he ever got control of those four slaves he would free them. We have this from one of the other Dent slaves who heard him say it.

On May 16, 1862 Grant wrote to Julia saying, "Your father sent Emma [her sister] a bill of sale for the negroes he gave her. To avoid a possibility of any of them being sold he ought to do the same with all the balance. I would not give anything for you to have any of them as it is not probable we will ever live in a slave state again but would not like to see them sold under the hammer." If those four slaves belonged to Julia, this letter makes no sense. It only makes sense if they didn't belong to Julia.
 

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#14

Bee

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#15
Thus far, from Triumph Over Adversity, it appears that Julia Dent entered into married life without the benefits of slaves:

For Julia, marriage would be a great transition, with no slaves, no White Haven, no doting father to care for every need. Brooks Simpson, Triumph Over Adversity, [pg 49]

EDIT: @cash made it to page 255 before I did...the rest of the story
 
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#19
Whether Grant or his family owned slaves has nothing to do with the cause of the war.

However this became a popular question from the press near the turn of the century and the surviving Grants always responded that the Grant family owned slaves while in MO. There are interviews with Julia Dent Grant, her sister Emma Dent Casey and her son Jesse R. Grant. They all agree that the family were gifted slaves who served them during their time at their home "Hardscrabble" which was near White Haven, the Dent plantation. As noted above Grant owned at least one slave who he manumitted before the war. We don't know how long he owned him (although some guess one year from records of work at the time) and we don't know the exact circumstances of the emancipation. ( ....some speculate that the slave bought his own freedom since the manumission document states something about for valuable consideration but this could be legal boiler plate.) Here is that doc....

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#20
Julia Dent brought three servants to the marriage to U.S. Grant. Is there a record of what happened to them? I am reading White's bio and by 1862 this is not mentioned.
The nurse/servant named Julia refused to return to MO from Louisville because she feared losing her freedom. THis is according to Julia Dent Grant's bio. The former slave married shortly afterwards.

Another freed slave Mary Henry became a servant to a publisher named Kaiser in St Louis and died in 1900 when she was in her eighties.

William Jones was freed prior to the war so he was not one of the 3.
 

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