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Hannah Grant (Simpson)

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Montgomery, Lycoming, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: Died in Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey, United States
Place of Burial: Spring Grove Cemetery, Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John David Simpson, Jr. and Rebecca Weir
Wife of Jesse Root Grant and Jesse Root Grant
Mother of Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States; Samuel Simpson Grant; Clara Rachel Grant; Virginia Paine "Jennie" Grant; Orvil Lynch Grant and 1 other
Sister of May C. Simpson; Samuel Simpson; Ann Simpson and Sarah Simpson

Occupation: Homemaker
Managed by: Arik Vladimir Russell
Last Updated:

About Hannah Grant (Simpson)

If Jesse Grant loved talking to the press, his wife, Hannah Simpson Grant, hardly talked to anyone. Relatively little is known about Hannah. She was born in 1798 to John and Rebecca Simpson, a prosperous couple who owned 600 acres of land in the Ohio Valley. Hannah spoke seldom, even to her children, and certainly not to reporters, as one found out when he unsuccessfully tried to interview her.

Hannah gave Ulysses his quiet nature. A pious woman, she was on guard against pride, and chose to stay silent rather than risk saying something prideful. When Ulysses accomplished something, she said nothing. She never visited Washington during her son's presidency -- not even for his inauguration.

After the death of her husband, Hannah moved in with her daughter Virginia. Hannah kept her silence until she died in 1883.

http://faculty.css.edu/mkelsey/usgrant/hann.html

Hannah Simpson Grant

November 23, 1798-May 11, 1883.

For well over a century, Hannah Simpson Grant, mother of U. S. Grant has been portrayed as cold and unfeeling; an uncaring woman and mother. However, a recent search of several of the major Grant biographies and several works of his closest friends raise the question of how Hannah Grant got this reputation. The great majority of books and papers show a different version of the mysterious mother of U. S. Grant.

           Neighbors of the Grant family testified that she was a warm and pious woman, devoted to her husband and family. Her family members speak of her in terms of strength, determination and calmness. Julia Grant describes Hannah as "...the most self-sacrificing, the sweetest, kindest woman I ever met, except my own dear mother." High praise certainly, for her mother-in-law. Ulysses' boyhood friend, Daniel Ammen, remembering his childhood, described Hannah as a "cheerful woman, always kind and gracious to children." To be in such high standing with little boys is a compliment on a plane of its own.
           The ultimate compliment of course came from her famous son. A conversation with his brother-in-law, the Reverend Michael Cramer, revealed Grant's feelings about his mother. Of her he said that "she was the best woman he had ever known; unselfish, devoted to her family, thorougly good, conscientious, intelligent, never meddling with other person's affairs, genuinely pious without any cant, with a strong sense of right and justice; unobtrusive, kindhearted, and attached to her church and country." Rev. Cramer said, "General, you have most of your mother's characteristics," to which Grant simply replied, "yes, I think so."
           How then, did Hannah get such an undeserved reputation of being cold and unfeeling? If not from her family or community, then where? Perhaps from a reporter sent to interview her after her son's rise to fame? Perhaps he misunderstood her modesty as aloofness. Certainly he shouldn't have been surprised. After all, the modesty and reticence of General Grant was nothing new to the press. Although Hannah enjoyed reading about her famous son, whenever he was praised in her presence, she would blush and leave the room. The compliments were too close to self-praise, which her upbringing had taught her to recoil from. On many occasions when Ulysses invited his mother to the White House, she declined, but not from lack of feeling. The throngs which would have surrounded her would have been too much for her sensitive constitution. Indeed, all the adulation seemed at times to overwhelm Ulysses himself.

Like her son, Hannah was a victim of gossip and the press. But time has shed a new light on Hannah Grant. The works and deeds of Ulysses S. Grant are a shining tribute to the mother whose examples he followed.

Quotes About U.S. Grant and His Mother

Letter from the Executive Mansion, December 13th, 1876.

My Dear Mr. Corbin [Grant's brother in law]:

I wish you and Jennie [Grant's sister] would come down and make us a visit. We now have room, and will have until Fred returns with his family, which will probably be in a few days before Christmas. Sometime before my term of office expires [March 1877] I want Mother to make me a visit. If she would like to come down during the holidays we could make room by sending one of the boys out o'nights. The children will all be at home during that week; possibly the last time we will have them all at home together. At all events it may be the last opportunity mother may have of seeing them together.

From Life of U.S. Grant by Ben Perley Poore.

On the 11th of May, 1883, General Grant's mother died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Corbin, at Jersey City Heights. She had reached the age of eighty-four years, and had been permitted to live long enough to see honors showered on her son such as no mother had ever witnessed before. In the arrangement for the funeral services, a beautiful trait of General Grant's character was made apparent. He said to the Rev. Dr. Howard Henderson, his mother's pastor: "Make such disposition of the services as in your judgment seems appropriate, but in the remarks which you make, speak of her only as a pure-minded, simple-hearted, earnest Methodist Christian; make no allusions to me; she gains nothing by any position I have filled or honors that may have been paid me. I owe all these and all that I am to her earnest, modest, and sincere piety."

--------------------

http://faculty.css.edu/mkelsey/usgrant/hann.html

Hannah Simpson Grant

November 23, 1798-May 11, 1883.

           For well over a century, Hannah Simpson Grant, mother of U. S. Grant has been portrayed as cold and unfeeling; an uncaring woman and mother. However, a recent search of several of the major Grant biographies and several works of his closest friends raise the question of how Hannah Grant got this reputation. The great majority of books and papers show a different version of the mysterious mother of U. S. Grant.
           Neighbors of the Grant family testified that she was a warm and pious woman, devoted to her husband and family. Her family members speak of her in terms of strength, determination and calmness. Julia Grant describes Hannah as "...the most self-sacrificing, the sweetest, kindest woman I ever met, except my own dear mother." High praise certainly, for her mother-in-law. Ulysses' boyhood friend, Daniel Ammen, remembering his childhood, described Hannah as a "cheerful woman, always kind and gracious to children." To be in such high standing with little boys is a compliment on a plane of its own.
           The ultimate compliment of course came from her famous son. A conversation with his brother-in-law, the Reverend Michael Cramer, revealed Grant's feelings about his mother. Of her he said that "she was the best woman he had ever known; unselfish, devoted to her family, thorougly good, conscientious, intelligent, never meddling with other person's affairs, genuinely pious without any cant, with a strong sense of right and justice; unobtrusive, kindhearted, and attached to her church and country." Rev. Cramer said, "General, you have most of your mother's characteristics," to which Grant simply replied, "yes, I think so."
           How then, did Hannah get such an undeserved reputation of being cold and unfeeling? If not from her family or community, then where? Perhaps from a reporter sent to interview her after her son's rise to fame? Perhaps he misunderstood her modesty as aloofness. Certainly he shouldn't have been surprised. After all, the modesty and reticence of General Grant was nothing new to the press. Although Hannah enjoyed reading about her famous son, whenever he was praised in her presence, she would blush and leave the room. The compliments were too close to self-praise, which her upbringing had taught her to recoil from. On many occasions when Ulysses invited his mother to the White House, she declined, but not from lack of feeling. The throngs which would have surrounded her would have been too much for her sensitive constitution. Indeed, all the adulation seemed at times to overwhelm Ulysses himself.

Like her son, Hannah was a victim of gossip and the press. But time has shed a new light on Hannah Grant. The works and deeds of Ulysses S. Grant are a shining tribute to the mother whose examples he followed.

Quotes About U.S. Grant and His Mother

Letter from the Executive Mansion, December 13th, 1876.

My Dear Mr. Corbin [Grant's brother in law]:

I wish you and Jennie [Grant's sister] would come down and make us a visit. We now have room, and will have until Fred returns with his family, which will probably be in a few days before Christmas. Sometime before my term of office expires [March 1877] I want Mother to make me a visit. If she would like to come down during the holidays we could make room by sending one of the boys out o'nights. The children will all be at home during that week; possibly the last time we will have them all at home together. At all events it may be the last opportunity mother may have of seeing them together.

From Life of U.S. Grant by Ben Perley Poore.

On the 11th of May, 1883, General Grant's mother died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Corbin, at Jersey City Heights. She had reached the age of eighty-four years, and had been permitted to live long enough to see honors showered on her son such as no mother had ever witnessed before. In the arrangement for the funeral services, a beautiful trait of General Grant's character was made apparent. He said to the Rev. Dr. Howard Henderson, his mother's pastor: "Make such disposition of the services as in your judgment seems appropriate, but in the remarks which you make, speak of her only as a pure-minded, simple-hearted, earnest Methodist Christian; make no allusions to me; she gains nothing by any position I have filled or honors that may have been paid me. I owe all these and all that I am to her earnest, modest, and sincere piety."

view all 15

Hannah Grant's Timeline

1798
November 23, 1798
Montgomery, Lycoming, Pennsylvania, United States
1821
June 25, 1821
Age 22
Point Pleasant, Clermont, Ohio

married Jesse Root Grant on June 25, 1821 in Point Pleasant, Clermont County, Ohio

1822
April 27, 1822
Age 23
Point Pleasant, Clermont, Ohio, United States
1825
September 23, 1825
Age 26
Georgetown, Brown, Ohio, United States
1828
December 11, 1828
Age 30
Georgetown, Brown, Ohio, United States
1832
February 20, 1832
Age 33
Georgetown, Brown, Ohio, United States
1835
May 15, 1835
Age 36
Georgetown, Brown, Ohio, United States
1839
July 29, 1839
Age 40
Either in Georgetown, Brown Co., OH, or Bethel, Clermont Co., OH
1850
1850
Age 51
Tate, Clermont, Ohio
1860
1860
Age 61
Covington Ward 1, Kenton, Kentucky