Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ulysses S. Grant - Bill Collector

On our collection agency website BCA Financial Services, we previously told you that Abraham Lincoln was a collection agent. Recently we learned that President/General Ulysses S. Grant was a bill collector as well*.

Ulysses S. Grant
(born Hiram Ulysses Grant) (April 27, 1822 - July 23, 1885) was the eighteenth President of the United States of America from 1869 to 1877.


Between The Wars
The Mexican-American War concluded on February 2, 1848. On August 22, 1848, Grant married Julia Boggs Dent (1826-1902), the daughter of a slave owner, and together, they had four children. Grant remained in the army and was moved to several different posts. He was sent to Fort Vancouver in the Washington Territory in 1853, where he served as quartermaster of the 4th Infantry Regiment. . In 1854, Grant was promoted to captain, one of only 50 still on active duty, and assigned to command Company F, 4th Infantry, at Fort Humboldt, California. Grant abruptly resigned from the Army with little advance notice on July 31, 1854, offering no explanation for his decision. Rumors persisted in the Army for years that his commanding officer, Bvt. Lt. Col. Robert C. Buchanan, found him drunk on duty as a pay officer and offered him the choice between resignation or court-martial. However, the War Department stated, "Nothing stands against his good name."

At age 32, Grant struggled through seven lean years. From 1854 to 1858, he labored on a family farm near St. Louis, Missouri, using slaves owned by his father-in-law, but it did not prosper. Grant owned one slave, whom he set free in 1859, and his wife owned four slaves. From 1858-1859 he was a bill collector in St. Louis. Failing at everything, he asked his father for a job, and in 1860 was made an assistant in the leather shop owned by his father in Galena, Illinois. Grant & Perkins sold harnesses, saddles, and other leather goods and purchased hides from farmers in the prosperous Galena area.


* numerous sources, noteworthy: Ken Burns Civil War, PBS 1990.

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