Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
  • Born: April 27, 1822
  • Died: July 23, 1885
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Soldier, Politician









Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States (1869–77). As Commanding General of the United States Army (1864–69), Grant worked closely with President Abraham Lincoln to lead the Union Army to victory over the Confederacy in the American Civil War. He implemented Congressional Reconstruction, often at odds with Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson. Twice elected president, Grant led the Republicans in their effort to remove the vestiges of Confederate nationalism and slavery, protect African-American citizenship, and support economic prosperity nationwide. His presidency has often come under criticism for protecting corrupt associates and in his second term leading the nation into a severe economic depression.

Quote Topics Cited
... one of the most unjust wars ever waged by a stronger nation against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
[Jefferson] Davis and the whole gang of them ought to be hung. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
[Referring to Mexican officers:] I do not think a more incompetent set of officers ever existed ... With an able general the Mexicans would make a good fight, for they are a courageous people. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
… an anomalous, not to say scandalous, condition. Families, Children & Parenting
By arming the Negro we have added a powerful ally. They will make good soldiers. Minorities & Women
Charles Sumner didn’t believe in the Bible because he didn’t write it. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Early on the morning of the 8th the pursuit was resumed. General Meade followed north of the Appomattox, and General Sheridan, with all the cavalry, pushed straight ahead for Appomattox Station, followed by General Ord’s command and the 5th corps. During the day General Meade’s advance had considerable fighting with the enemy’s rear-guard, but was unable to bring on a general engagement. Late in the evening General Sheridan struck the railroad at Appomattox Station, drove the enemy from there, and captured twenty-five pieces of artillery, a hospital train, and four trains of cars loaded with supplies for Lee’s army. War & Peace ;Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
England and the United States are natural allies, and should be the best of friends. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Failures have been errors of judgment, not of intent Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
From here on there will be two kinds of men—traitors and patriots. I prefer to be associated with the latter. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Garfield has shown that he is not possessed of the backbone of an angleworm. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
GENERAL:–Your note of yesterday is received. I have no authority to treat on the subject of peace; the meeting proposed for ten A.M. to-day could lead to no good. I will state, however, general, that I am equally anxious for peace with yourself, and the whole North entertains the same feeling. The terms upon which peace can be had are well understood. By the South laying down their arms they will hasten that most desirable event, save thousands of human lives, and hundreds of millions of property not yet destroyed. Seriously hoping that all our difficulties may be settled without the loss of another life, War & Peace ;Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
How could I? I only know two tunes. One of them is Yankee Doodle. The other isn't. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I am not hurt. Guns & Gun Control
I believe that our Great Maker is preparing the world, in his own good time, to become one nation ... United Nations
I felt sorry I enlisted. War & Peace
I have come among you, not as an enemy, but as your fellow citizen. Not to maltreat or annoy you, but to respect and enforce the rights of all loyal citizens. An enemy in rebellion against our common government has taken possession of and planted its guns on the soil of Kentucky and fired upon you… I am here to defend you against this enemy, to assist the authority and sovereignty of your government. I have nothing to do with opinions, and shall deal only with armed rebellion and its aiders and abettors. You can pursue your normal avocations without fear. The strong arm of the Government is here to protect its friends, and punish its enemies. Whenever it is manifest that you are able to defend yourselves and maintain the authority of the Government and protect the rights of loyal citizens, I shall withdraw the forces under my command. War & Peace
I have never been so tired of anything before as I have been with the political speeches of Mr. Johnson.... I look upon them as a national disgrace. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I know of no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
I never was an Abolitionist, not even what could be called anti slavery, but I try to judge fairly & honestly and it become patent to my mind early in the rebellion that the North & South could never live at peace with each other except as one nation, and that without Slavery. Freedom & Liberty ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
I shall on all subjects have a policy to recommend, but none to enforce against the will of the people. Policy & Policy Making
I voted for [James] Buchanan because I didn't know him and voted against [John C.] Fremont because I did know him. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I voted for Buchanan because I didn’t know him and voted against Fremont because I did know him. Voters, Voting & Elections
I was assailed so bitterly that I hardly knew whether I was running for the Presidency or the penitentiary. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
I would never stultify my opinion for the sake of a little security. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
I would suggest the taxation of all property equally, whether church or corporation. Taxes
If I saw Greeley, I would tell him that when I wanted the advice of a political editor in selecting generals I would call on him. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other. Religion & God
If we exchange more prisoners, they will again fight us immediately and we will have to exterminate the entire South. War & Peace
In 200 years when the United States will get all that it can from protectionism, it too will adopt free trade. Foreign Trade
Is that so? Well, that's the man I will reappoint, for he knows how to do his duty, irrespective of the man or station.
It [Mexico] is truly a great country. No country was ever so blessed by nature. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
It is a national humiliation that we are now compelled to pay from twenty to thirty million dollars annually to foreigners for doing the work which should be done by American vessels, American built, American owned, and American manned. This is a direct drain upon the resources of the country of just so much money; equal to casting it into the sea, so far as this nation is concerned. Foreign Trade
It is really my opinion that the whole race would be harmless and peaceable if they were not put upon by the whites. Minorities & Women
It looks like a very interesting exercise, but what is the little white ball for. Parks & Recreation
Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately you occasionally find men disgrace labor. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Laws are to govern all alike—those opposed as well as those who favor them. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Leave the matter of religion to the family alter, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the State for ever separate. Religion & God
Let no guilty man escape, if it can be avoided. No personal considerations should stand in the way of performing a public duty. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Let us have peace. War & Peace
No personal consideration should stand in the way of performing a public duty. Scandals
No political party can or ought to exist when one of its corner-stones is opposition to freedom of thought and to the right to worship God. Political Parties & Machines
No sectarian tenets shall ever be taught in any school supported in whole or in part by the State, nations, or by the proceeds of any tax levied upon any community. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately on your works. Negotiating & Negotiations
No terms except immediate and unconditional surrender will be accepted. I mean to move immediately upon your works … War & Peace
No, I am a military man, not a statesman. I would just like to be mayor of Galena long enough to build a sidewalk from my house to the station. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Resolve that neither the state nor nation, nor both combined, shall support institutions of learning other than those sufficient to afford every child growing up in the land of opportunity of a good common school education, unmixed with sectarian, pagan, or atheistical dogmas. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
That cause was one of the worst for which men have ever fought.. War & Peace
The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike at him as hard as you can, and keep moving on. Military & Veterans
The cause that the South fought for was one of the worst for which people ever fought. War & Peace ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
The condition of the colored man within our borders may become a source of anxiety, to say the least .... It was looking to a settlement of this question that led me to urge the annexation of San Domingo during the time I was President of the United States. San Domingo was freely offered to us, not only by the administration but by all the people, almost without price. The island is upon our shores, is very fertile, and is capable of supporting fifteen million people. The products of the soil are so valuable that labor in her fields would be so compensated as to enable those who wished to go there to quickly repay the cost of their passage. I took it that the colored people would go there in great numbers, so as to have independent states governed by their own race. They would still be states of the Union, and under the protection of the general government, but the citizens would be almost wholly colored. Immigration & Emigration
The enemy usually makes your plans for you. Military & Veterans
The enemy would not have been in danger if Mr. Stanton had been in the field. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The extension of suffrage will not forbid the supremacy of intelligence. Voters, Voting & Elections
The great defect in the past custom is that executive patronage has come to be regarded as the property of the party in power. Corruption
The Mexican war was a political war, and the administration conducting it desired to make party capital out of it. War & Peace
The Mexican War was one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. We were sent to provoke a fight, but it was essential that Mexico should commence it. War & Peace ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The national troops acquired a confidence … at Belmont, that did not desert them throughout the war. War & Peace
The proper treatment of the original occupants of this land—the Indians is one deserving of careful study. I will favor any course toward them which tends to their civilization and ultimate citizenship. Minorities & Women
The war is over and the rebels are our countrymen again. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
The war is over and these are our countrymen again. War & Peace
The whole public are tired out with these annual autumnal outbreaks in the South. Discrimination & Prejudice
There are but two parties now—traitors and patriots. Political Parties & Machines
There would never have been secession if demagogues had not swayed non-slaveholding voters and naïve young soldiers to believe that the North was filled with cowards, poltroons, and negro-worshippers. War & Peace
They can't do it. They can't compel me to do it. It is as important for the cause that Lincoln should be elected as that the army should be successful in the field. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
To protect the national honor, every dollar of Government indebtedness should be paid in gold, unless otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract. Let it be understood that no repudiator of one farthing of our public debt will be trusted in public place, and it will go far toward strengthening a credit which ought to be the best in the world. Budgets & Budgeting
Under no circumstances will I allow expenditures upon works not clearly national. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Wars of extermination are demoralizing and wicked. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest ;War & Peace
We ... ought not to be rigidly bound by the rules laid down under circumstances so different for emergencies so utterly unanticipated. Management & Managing Government
We have now ended the 6th day of very hard fighting. The result at this time is very much in our favor. But our losses have been heavy as well as those of the enemy. I think the loss of the enemy must be greater; we have taken over 4,000 prisoners in battle, whilst he has taken from us but few except stragglers. I am now sending back to Belle Plaine all my wagons for a fresh supply of provisions and ammunition, and propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer. Military & Veterans
Well, he didn't write it. Religion & God
Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace. War & Peace
Everyone has his superstitions. One of mine has always been when I started to go anywhere, accomplished.
Hold fast to the Bible. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future. Future
I appreciate the fact, and am proud of it, that the attentions I am receiving are intended more for our country than for me personally.
I have made it a rule of my life to trust a man long after other people gave him up, but I don't see how I can ever trust any human being again. Life ;Trust
I have never advocated war except as a means of peace. War & Peace
I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.
I know only two tunes: one of them is 'Yankee Doodle', and the other isn't.
I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.
If men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail. War & Peace
If you see the President, tell him from me that whatever happens there will be no turning back.
In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins. Time
It was my fortune, or misfortune, to be called to the office of Chief Executive without any previous political training.
Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.
My failures have been errors in judgment, not of intent.
Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions.
No other terms than unconditional and immediate surrender. I propose to move immediately upon your works.
The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on. Moving On ;War & Peace ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity. Trust ;Friendship
There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword. Time