The issue of Ulysses S. Grant's burial site
immediately arose upon his death. A figure of worldwide renown, Grant
was recognized as one of history's great captains and the pre-eminent
American of his time. It was widely understood that his final resting
place should reflect his stature.
Selection of Burial Site
Although inclined to choose West Point as a burial
site, Grant ruled out this option out of concern that his wife Julia
could not be buried beside him when her time came. While dying of
throat cancer, Grant indicated to his oldest son, Fred, several
possibilities for a burial site:
The one essential condition Grant established was
that a place be reserved for his wife at his side.
Grant had lived here for several years before the Civil War.
This was Grant's hometown from before the Civil War until after his presidency.
New York City
lived here the bulk of his last four years. He was grateful to the
people of New York for their kindness and generosity after a financial
disaster hit him and his family.
After struggling with throat cancer for months,
Grant died on July 23, 1885, in a cottage on Mount McGregor, New York,
Mayor William R. Grace (who would later serve as
president of the Grant Monument Association) offered to set aside land
in one of New York City's parks for burial, and the Grant family chose
Riverside Park after declining the possibility of Central Park.
The last photograph taken of Grant, four days before his death.
Riverside Park included one of the highest points of elevation in
Manhattan overlooking the Hudson River. The park was in its formative
years at the time, and it was believed that the tomb would stand as a
central theme for future park development.