Images of Grant’s Last Days

On ECW’s YouTube page today, I spent a little time pondering two images of Ulysses S. Grant taken during his time atop Mt. McGregor in the last weeks of his life. Because the images in the video might be hard for viewers to fully appreciate, I wanted to present them here in a more static, easier-to-study format.

I’ll spare you a repetition of my ponderings here, but I do invite you to join me at ECW’s YouTube page if you’d like to reflect on these photos further!

June 27, 1885


July 20, 1885


4 Responses to Images of Grant’s Last Days

  1. It is possible that the date of the photo of Grant in a top hat is slightly off. Here is a second shot taken what appears to be minutes apart that is dated July 22, 1885. If you compare his attire in this photo with the family photo from a national parks service page ( or a better quality version ( it is marked as the last family photo it seems likely that it was taken on the same day as the July 22, 1885 photo. This is the day before he died on July 23, 1885. I find those two photos when examined together very interesting.

    1. I think the date on the July 22 image is actually off. On the 20th, after finishing, Grant and his entourage took a trip down to the Overlook–a short but exhausting trip that sent Grant to bed immediately afterward. From there, his condition deteriorated so quickly that doctors thought he was going to die on the 22nd. From all accounts I’ve read, once he went back into the house after that trip, he never made it back out–or even onto his feet again. It’s possible the photo was taken on the 20th and not developed until the 22nd after the photographer made it back to the studio. I need to do more research on that.

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