President Ulysses S. Grant
(April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885)

A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and a veteran of the Mexican War, Ulysses S. Grant became commander of all Union Armies during the American Civil War. Grant commanded the Army during the occupation of the Confederate states and the initial phases of Reconstruction. As the Republican nominee, he was elected President of the United States in 1868. As President, Grant battled rising violence by the Ku Klux Klan and pushed for political and civil rights for newly-freed African-Americans.

President Ulysses S. Grant died on July 23, 1885 at Mount McGregor, a few miles north of Saratoga Springs, New York. On August 4, 1885 a special train transported his remains to Albany, where an elaborate funeral procession climbed State Street Hill to the Capitol. The dignitaries were led by Governor David Hill and included General William T. Sherman and members of the New York State legislature. The Capitol’s entrances had been draped with black bunting and other symbols of mourning. President Grant’s body was borne into the State Street lobby and placed on an elaborate bier. From 6:45 p.m. until 10:00 a.m. the following morning, more than 80,000 mourners filed through the Capitol to pay their respects. Grant’s remains were then taken to New York City, for funeral ceremonies and burial in Riverside Park.

This bust, presented to the 71st Regiment of the New York National Guard, was cast from a sculpture by Munich-born artist, Rupert Schmid. A copy of this bust resides in the General Grant National Memorial in New York City

The Grant Funeral Procession going up State Street Hill to the Capitol

From Harpers Weekly, August 1885 and shows pall bearers bringing Grant’s coffin into the State Street Lobby

The funeral bier set up in State Street lobby in preparation for the coffin

Courtesy of the New York State Library

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