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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Julia Dent Grant



Photo taken by Matthew Brady Studios
Julia Boggs Dent Grant (1826-1902) = Army wife and First Lady of US President, Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885). Daughter of Col. Frederick and Ellen Wrenshall Dent, she grew up on a plantation called White Haven near St. Louis and attended the Misses Mauros' boarding school there. She wrote in her memoirs that her childhood was idyllic: "one long summer of sunshine, flowers, and smiles."

She met her future husband "Ulys" at her home. He, son of Jesse Root and Hanna Simpson Grant, was a West Point classmate of her brother Fred, Jr. She fell for him, dreamed about him, and felt lonely without him. They became engaged in 1844, but the Mexican war interrupted their plans to marry for four long years. Finally, on August 22, 1848, she was swept off her feet and carried over the threshold into the life of a army wife. "Dearest Julia" lived with her handsome husband wherever he was stationed except in the remote west and near Civil War battlesites . After many years of adversity and anxiety, she, the encourager, rejoiced in his fame as a victorious general.

Meantime, several precious children were born to Julia and Ulysses-- in 1850, Frederick Dent Grant; in 1852, Ulysses (Buck), Jr.; in 1857, Ellen "Nellie"; and Jesse.

On the arm of the new President (1869-1877), she entered the White House and entertained on a presidential scale, dressed in the  finery of the day -- jewels, silks, and lace. Upon leaving Washington, D.C., the Grants made a trip around the world and were welcomed warmly wherever they went.

Considered a business failure by some, Ulysses, dying of cancer and yearning to provide for his family beyond the grave, was barely able to complete and have published a two-volume autobiography. Julia, his ever devoted and loving wife, died seventeen years later.

More to Read:
1. Mathew Brady Photograph, Library of Congress.
2. Bufton's Universal Cyclopaedia. Edited by Wm. Colledge, Paul Neergaard, Samuel MacClintock, Earl Jeffery, Ulysses G. Alexander, Elmer RUSH, Charles Higgins, & C.W. Crampton. Illustrated by Mr. & Mrs. Walter Bailey. Mutual Pub, KC; 1925. Vol. 2. 3. Our First Ladies: Martha Washington to Pat Ryan Nixon. Jane & Burt McConnell. Thomas Y. Crowell Co, NY; 1969.
4. Julia Dent Grant's Memoirs, unpublished until1975.
5. The Presidents in American History. By Charles A. & William Beard. Julian Messner, NY; 1977.
6. The First Ladies. Margaret Brown Klapthor and The White House Historical Association. Washington, DC.; 1979.
7. Heart & Soul of the Nation: How the Spirituality of Our First Ladies Changed America. Cheryl Heckler-Feltz. Doubleday. 1997.
8. Memoirs and Selected Letters, Ulysses S. Grant, New York; The Library of America, 1990.
9. US GrantTrail: Missouri's Civil War Official Trail Guide. Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation, 2012.
10. Homes and Libraries of the Presidents. By William G. Clotworthy. McDonald & Woodward, 2008.
11. Missouri: Day by Day. By Floyd C. Shoemaker, Editor. Mo State Historical Society, 1942.

Places to Visit in MO.
1. Ulysses S. Grant Monument. 350 S. Main St. Ironton.
2. Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site (White Haven). 7400 Grant Road, St. Louis.
3. Anheuser-Busch's Grant's Farm (Hardscrabble), 10501 Gravois Road, St. Louis

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Abner H. Dean(e)

Rev. Abner Holton Dean(e) (1828-1912) = Baptist minister. Major in Union Army. Best known for his refusal to take the Oath of Allegiance. He was born in Bracken County, Kentucky and died in Harrisonville, MO.

Perhaps providence prevented his leaving for the gold fields in 1849, for a horse fell on him and crushed his ankle before he could go. Instead, he received his license to preach in 1850; emigrating to Austin, Missouri in 1856 to pastor a circuit of four churches, two in Cass County (Austin; Dayton) and two in Bates County (Crescent Hill; Knob Creek).  When the Civil War broke out, these same churches recruited four companies of men for the Cass County Home Guards (Union).

After the war, he refused to take the Oath of Allegiance (1865-1889) and was consequently jailed for it. First, he was confined in the jail at Harrisonville, Missouri and then moved to Independence in Jackson County. He stated in his refusal that: “I have proved my allegiance to my government by fighting for it; I received my license to preach from a higher power.” George Caleb Bingham was so moved by his dissention that he decided to paint a picture of Dean in jail. So in July of 1866, Bingham took his paints to the jail to fashion two pictures of Dean. One showed him sitting in the lobby of the jail with a Bible across his knees. The second, in the cell, reveals a noble man on a cot by a small barred window reading the Bible. Nearby was a copy of the Baptist Journal on the floor. The saying “one picture is worth a thousand words” brought about the intended effect and Deane was released.


Historical Note: Rev. A. H. Deane was first listed in the Blue River Baptist Association, MO. minutes in 1856. In the 1860 Blue River Association meeting, he was appointed to serve as an evangelist. In the 1877 meeting, he preached an introductory sermon from Psalm 6:4 and in 1885, he preached on "The Atonement." These are the churches he organized or served within that association.
Antioch Baptist Church (f. 1889), changed to Buckner Church in 1883, 5 mi. NW of Harrisonville, MO.
Hopewell Baptist (f. 1835), aka Harrisonville Baptist Church (1849), Harrisonville, MO.
First Baptist Church (f. 1860), Paola, KS.
First Baptist Church (f. 1872), Belton, MO.
Freeman Baptist Church (f. 1872), Freeman, MO.
Peculiar Baptist Church (f. bef. 1883), Peculiar, MO.
Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church (f. 1868), 6 mi. south of Harrisonville, MO.
Pleasant Valley (f. 1883), present Cleveland Baptist Church, Cleveland, MO.
United Baptist Church of Blue Ridge (f. 1848), present First Baptist Church, Grandview, MO. (Former member: Harry S. Truman)


More to Read:
1. Bingham: Fighting Artist. The Story of Missouri’s Immortal Painter, Patriot, Soldier and Statesman. By Lew Larkin. Burton Pub., KCMO., 1954. (Reprinted School of the Ozarks Press, Point Lookout, MO.; 1971)
2. Caught Between Three Fires. By Tom A. Rafiner. Xlibris Corporation, 2010.
3. Jackson County Pioneers. By Pearl Wilcox. Independence, MO. 1975.
4. Reminiscences of Half a Century. A.H. Deane. Nos. 1. 3. 1903. Jackson County Historical Society.
5. The Missouri Statesman, July 6, 1866.
6. The History of Cass and Bates Counties, Missouri. St. Joseph, MO; National Historical Company, 1883. P. 138, 206, 366.
7. History of Cass County, Missouri. By A. L. Webber. 1908.
8. Blue River Baptist Association Missouri. By Marshall Louis Mertens & O.P. Joyce. Brown-White-Lowell Press. Kansas City, MO.; 1947.
9. Missouri Roadsides: The Traveler's Companion. By Bill Earngey. University of MO Press, 1995.
10. Findagrave  #7681720

Places to Visit in MO and KS;
1. William Jewell University, (Deane’s portrait), Liberty, MO.
2. Abner Dean's Home (Built 1867), 702 W. Wall St., Harrisonville, MO. (private home)
3. Cass County Historical Society, 400 E. Mechanic St., Harrisonville, MO. 816-380-4396