Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant: Selected Letters - Library of America Edition

Grant, Ulysses S., Grant: Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant Selected Letters 1839-1865. New York: Library of America, 1990. Library of America Edition.

Presented is the Library of America edition of volume one of U.S. Grant's personal memoirs. The book has been printed from the original papers of Ulysses S. Grant from The Ulysses S. Grant Association. Mary Drake McFeely and William S. McFeely wrote the notes and selected the letters for this volume. The book features a facsimile signature and inscription from Grant on the page adjacent to the copyright page. The inscription reads, “These volumes are dedicated to the American soldier and sailor...,New York City, May 23rd 1885.” This volume reprint of the original books produces a selected look at Grant's letters from 1839-1865.

Grant’s memoirs recount his own childhood and personal history, his military career during the Mexican-American War, and historical perspective to his role in the American Civil War. Mark Twain is partially accredited with encouraging Grant’s memoirs, as he predicted the work to be a source of future financial success that would support Grant’s family after his death. The original work was published posthumously in 1885, after Grant died in July of the same year.

The general public became aware of Grant’s worsening illness in the early part of 1885. His attempt to finish the written work before his death drew even more attention to the book. It received universal praise upon its release. Twain wrote in his personal autobiography of 1924: “I had been comparing the memoirs with Caesar's Commentaries… I placed the two books side by side on the same level.” Similarly, the book was applauded by individuals such as Gertrude Stein and Matthew Arnold during its time. “No Union list of personal narratives could possibly begin without the story of the victorious general. A truly remarkable work” (New York Times). “Grant’s memoirs comprise one of the most valuable writings by a military commander in history” (Eicher 492).

Grant’s memoirs never went out of print, and were originally sold door-to-door by former Union soldiers. The books became a common household staple in support of Grant and his family, who received 75% of the net royalties from the work and managed to re-establish their fortune.


Very good condition with original dust jacket. Pages are clean with no signs of significant wear. Book features selected letters and black and white maps throughout.

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