1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free!
Dismiss Notice
Join and Become a Patron at CivilWarTalk!
Support this site with a monthly or yearly subscription! Active Patrons get to browse the site Ad free!
START BY JOINING NOW!

Nellie Grant

Discussion in 'The Ladies Tea' started by JPK Huson 1863, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    12,766
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    Nellie with parents and family
    cw nellie grant w family.jpg

    Ullyses and Julia Grant had 4 children, but it was common knowledge that his 3rd child and only daughter was his favorite- no small thing to a man who doted on all of them to the point of worship. I bumped into a story on Ellen " Nellie's " short stint as The Old Lady Who Lived In A Shoe ", in an old newspaper, which of course sent me off on another search- Nellie Grant.

    June 16 1864
    "General Grant's daughter—who is said to be a miniature picture of the General—is observed with much interest by the visitors to the St. Louis Fair. She is to be seen in the Children's
    Department, dressed as a motherly spectacled matron, and personates Mother Goose's "old woman who lived in a shoe, and had so many children she didn't know what to do."

    " Everyone who knew Grant recognized that Nellie was his favorite child. His wife admitted it in her memoirs, as did his sons in interviews from later years. An example of Grant's affection for Nellie appears in the August 17, 1873 issue of the Portsmouth Ledger, as the Grants passed through New Hampshire. A reporter was onboard a train as the President traveled to Augusta. He wrote, "President Grant arrived on the new Pullman car "Mystic" with the usual dignitaries and his children. Miss Nellie Grant... who is 17 years old, held her father's hand throughout the journey. When a baggage handler became too inquisitive towards the fair daughter, the General showed positive annoyance and held Miss Grant ever-closer to the Presidential bosom."
    US Grant Homepage

    "It was perhaps the greatest American social event of the nineteenth century. Finally, a White House wedding was bursting forth in full glory. The walls and staircases and chandeliers were covered in a mass of lilies, tuberoses and spirea. Florida orange blossoms had been crated up and sent north.
    The bride, Nellie Grant, was the eighteen-year-old daughter of an American icon, a war hero and the sitting president. One historian described her as “probably the most attractive of all the young women who have ever lived in the White House.” The groom, Algernon Sartoris, was a twenty-three year old member of the English “minor gentry.” They had met on a cruise across the Atlantic, courting in the moonlight and stealing “away to the darkened decks for kisses,” while Nellie’s chaperones lay moaning in their cabins with sea sickness. To the public it was an irresistible, romantic story. One newspaper carried a twelve page pictorial insert of the wedding, its presses running non-stop, unable to keep up with the insatiable public demand.

    On May 21, 1874, “as the resplendent marine band played Mendelssohn’s Wedding March,” President Ulysses S. Grant escorted his daughter into the East Room. Nellie was radiant, wearing a white satin gown “trimmed in rare Brussels point lace” and reportedly worth thousands of dollars. The president “looked steadfastly at the floor” and wept. His new son-in-law would be taking Nellie to a life in England."
    White House Weddings

    Ellen Grant (Nellie), 1855-1922
    "The media adored Nellie Grant, Ulysses. S. Grant's only daughter. She was born on the Fourth of July 1855 at White Haven, her mother's family home near St. Louis, Missouri. Nellie spent her teenage years in the White House, where the newspapers made her out to be a kind of American princess. True, she did seem to live a princess' lifestyle. At age 16, she was sent to Europe, where she studied in London and even met Queen Victoria. On her return trip home, she met a dashing young Englishman, and immediately fell in love.

    Nellie married Algernon Sartoris, the son of famed opera singer Fanny Kemble, on May 21, 1874, in the White House. But after the couple moved back to England, Nellie discovered her husband was less dashing than he seemed. Some said Sartoris had problems with alcohol. Others said that he cheated on Nellie, or just plain ignored her. Nellie had four children by Sartoris. The oldest, a son, died in 1876. Nellie was never happy in her marriage. Eventually, she and Sartoris divorced.

    Nellie saw little of her parents during the time she lived in England. But when Ulysses S. Grant was dying, Nellie returned to the United States. After her father's death, Nellie and her three children settled in with her mother in Washington, D.C. In 1912, Nellie remarried to a man named Frank Hatch Jones. She died in 1922."
    PBS

    Nellie as " The Old Shoe Woman " !!!
    cw nellie grant shoe pic large.jpg


    Nellie as a young girl
    cw nellie grant.jpg

    Nellie, young woman
    cw nellie grant2.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2017

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    22,161
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Annie Really enjoyed this. I didn't know about her. I am always interested in the family of these prominent folks.
     
  4. SouthernRebel772

    SouthernRebel772 Sergeant

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    928
    Location:
    The great state of Florida
    Once again Ole we are incorrect, ugly was not pandemic among women of the period.....

    I like the picture of the family all together best, they look quite gentryfied.
     
  5. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    12,766
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    Ha! Too funny- I think what the period lacked was women's ability to re-take their photographs. Heck, even the DMV's allow us to approve our driver's liscence photo's now- which is very wise of them. I almost fell over the first time I went for my picture, they asked if I LIKED it, or did I want another one? DID I? Heck yes! We may have settled on the 3rd, can't remember. :smile: I found a theme in the mourning photos of the era, women sometimes had their photos taken from the back, quite understandable some days and maybe not all that mysterious.

    I ended up liking Nellie quite a bit, looking into her. She had a swine for a first husband, which her father knew. For some reason the man who wore a crumpled slouch hat and dusty clothing while leading an entire army through a war did not intimidate this schmuck- he treated Nellie abysmally. She did not put up with it forever, divorced him, managed to end her days happy, thank goodness.

    You wonder if the son in law would have been as brave if there was not an entire ocean between he and Grant. Julia was no slouch, either- it took some gall to behave poorly to their daughter.Apparently he possesed it.
     
  6. kappclark

    kappclark Private

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
    Messages:
    91
  7. Bee

    Bee 1st Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,002
    From this letter to Nellie from her papa, until the end of the article...I could not stop crying. I was my papa's favourite, and I was lying on his chest as he took his last breath. This is a beautiful letter. Calling @KansasFreestater ..I need to cry on your shoulder :cry:

    Dear Nellie,
    Your letter of the second of February, to your mother, came two or three days ago. Algy arrived a few days before and came up and stayed with us until after dinner. All the family are well except me. The sore throat which you recollect I had all the time we were at Long Branch last summer has proven to be a very serious matter. I paid no attention to it until it had been four months. I found then the doctors considered it a very serious matter. Even now I have to see them twice a day.

    It has troubled me so much to swallow that I have fallen off nearly 30 pounds. It has only been within the last two days that the doctors have been willing to say that the ulcers in my throat are beginning to yield to treatment. It will be a long time yet before I can possibly recover.

    It be would be very hard for me to be confined to the house so long a time if it was not that I have become interested in the work which I have undertaken. It will take several months yet to complete the history of my campaigns [Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant]. The indication now are that the book will be in two volumes of about 450 pages each. I give a biography of my life up to the breaking out of the Rebellion. If you ever take the time to read it you will find out what sort of a boy and man I was before you knew me.

    I do not know whether my book will be interesting to other people or not, but all the publishers want to get it, and I have had larger offers than have ever been made for a book before. Fred [Grant's son] helps me greatly in my work. He does all the copying and looks up references for me. We have all been as happy as could be expected considering our great losses and my personal suffering. Philosophers profess to believe that what is for the best. I hope it may prove so with our family.

    All join me in sending love and kisses to you and all the children.

    Your affectionate Papa​
     
  8. JohnW.

    JohnW. First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Messages:
    1,606
    Location:
    Missoula, Montana
    Wow...no words
     
    amweiner, Bee and JPK Huson 1863 like this.
  9. JohnW.

    JohnW. First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Messages:
    1,606
    Location:
    Missoula, Montana
    Mr and Mrs. Nellie Grant for your perusal:

    Nellie and Algernon.jpg
     
  10. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    12,766
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    LoC's description is " Prairie Flower, Nellie Grant "

    nellie2.JPG
     
  11. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,348
    She looks like she might be 'expecting' in this photo. Her hands are resting on her belly, and her face seems to be fuller as well. What a shame she married such a swine...I think Ulysses Grant knew it when he gave her away, but like all parents was probably helpless to stop her, or found it too difficult to deny Nellie her heart's desire. Apparently after the ceremony he went upstairs to her bedroom, threw himself on her bed and wept inconsolably. These are the sides to people I enjoy discovering...the ones that show the real man/woman, not just the ones that portray them in all their mythical glory, or lowliness.
     
  12. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    22,161
    Location:
    Kentucky
  13. Brown-water Navy

    Brown-water Navy Cadet

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2017
    Messages:
    9
    Elena Porter, youngest child of Admiral D D Porter was a bridesmaid at Nellie Grant's wedding in the East room. The Porter's lived 2 blocks from the White House.
     
  14. amweiner

    amweiner First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner Member of the Month

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,244
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    I hate judging books by their covers, but he looks every bit the jerkface. It's good to read that Nellie lived a better life after ditching this [CENSORED]. :frown:
     
  15. LoyaltyOfDogs

    LoyaltyOfDogs Sergeant

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    850
    Location:
    Gettysburg area
    The public must have also been enchanted by Grant's affection for his daughter when she was very young. Here she is in not just one but two versions of a popular print showing her in her father's lap (with their family dog at their side, too).

    _20170320_163412.JPG
     
  16. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    22,161
    Location:
    Kentucky
    She almost doesn't look real, like a doll.
     
  17. LoyaltyOfDogs

    LoyaltyOfDogs Sergeant

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    850
    Location:
    Gettysburg area
    Yes, she does look like a doll. Grant looks much more life-like. I wonder if the artist was not quite as skilled at drawing children as he was at drawing adults. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the challenge in drawing children is that the proportions of their facial features are different from the proportions in adult faces. (@JPK Huson 1863 and the other artists among our CWT friends can confirm whether I remember that correctly.)
     
  18. 18thVirginia

    18thVirginia Captain Forum Host

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Messages:
    6,766
    She was very pretty.
     
    JPK Huson 1863 and JohnW. like this.
  19. JohnW.

    JohnW. First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Messages:
    1,606
    Location:
    Missoula, Montana
    Yes...he does fairly reek of yutz. :D
     
  20. amweiner

    amweiner First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner Member of the Month

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,244
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    PERFECT word choice!!
     
    JohnW. likes this.
  21. Bee

    Bee 1st Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,002
    You guys are killing me: my Bubbe used that word now and then!!
     

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Loading...

Share This Page


(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)