Tuesday, April 27, 2010
So, the Erie Canal was still being dug; I'm thinking that James Monroe was the U.S. President. Artist and inventor Samuel F. B. Morse was celebrating his 31st birthday and Abraham Lincoln was a gangly 13-year-old when, on an April 27th 178 years ago, Ulysses S. Grant was born. Ulysses is and was a mighty heavy name to carry so just about everybody called him Sam. Hardly anyone who knew him would have imagined that soft-spoken, stubborn Sam would wind up being the 18th President of the United States. In his 63 years of life, not so much went well for him except for love (in the person of his steadfast wife Julia) and war. He had a rough start at that, but before the Civil War was over, "Unconditional Surrender" Grant was a dusty, ruthless success, so much so that the public saw to it that he got elected to the White House. Some have done a lot worse at the job than General Grant, but quite a few have done better. Still, in the end, when friends had betrayed and disgraced him, stole money from him and his family; what did he do? Wrote a book - not an easy thing for anyone to do at any time. But, for the sake of his family and though he was suffering from the cancer that was killing him, brave, stubborn Sam wrote a splendid book about his improbable life which began on this day in history, 1822.