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Ulysses S. Grant Portrait, n.d.

President. Portrait of General Ulysses S. Grant
New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_15183
 
Document Description
Portrait of General Ulysses S. Grant 1822-1885.
 
Questions
Name two reasons that Grant is famous.
How old was Grant when he became president?
Was he elected president before or after he served in the army?
Do you think this photograph was taken before, during, or after the Civil War?  Explain.
Why do you think someone took this photograph of Grant?
 
Historical Challenges
When was photography invented? What was it like to have your photograph taken in the 1800s? Why are people in old photographs usually not smiling?
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
Science: Learn about photographic techniques used in the 1800s. Compare them to processes used today.
Art: Have students take "presidential" photographs of each other using a digital camera. Discuss the composition of a formal portrait.
English Language Arts: Write a campaign ad encouraging Americans to vote for Ulysses S. Grant for president.
 
Resources
Marrin, Albert. Unconditional Surrender: U. S. Grant and the Civil War. New York: Atheneum, 1994. ISBN: 0689318375
Riehecky, Janet. Ulysses S. Grant: America's 18th President. New York: Children's Press, 2004. ISBN: 0516228684
 
Venezia, Mike. Ulysses S. Grant. New York: Children's Press, 2005. ISBN: 0516226231
 

About this Activity

 

Lesson Topic:

 

Historical Context
Ulysses S. Grant gained fame as a leading Union general in the Civil War. He was later elected the eighteenth president of the United States and served from 1869 to 1877.  Grant was an honest person, but he tolerated corruption by many of the people he hired to help and advise him as president. Grant pushed for civil rights for African Americans while president. 
 
Essential Question
How do individuals influence national and global events?
 
Check for Understanding
Describe the individual in the photograph and evaluate the influence of Ulysses S. Grant on American society.