Jesse Root Grant (politician)

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Jesse Root Grant II
Grant 3820614622 05901b339a o (cropped1).jpg
Personal details
Born(1858-02-06)February 6, 1858
near St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
DiedJune 8, 1934(1934-06-08) (aged 76)
Los Altos, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
ChildrenChapman Grant
Parent(s)Ulysses S. Grant
Julia Grant

Jesse Root Grant II (February 6, 1858 – June 8, 1934)[1][2] was an American politician. He was the youngest son of President Ulysses S. Grant and First Lady Julia Grant. He joined the Democratic Party and quixotically sought the party nomination for President, running against William Jennings Bryan in 1908. In 1925, he wrote a biography of his father.[3]


Grant was born near St. Louis, Missouri to Ulysses S. Grant and Julia Grant. He studied engineering at Cornell University and also attended Columbia Law School before settling in California. In addition to practicing law, he was involved in several mining ventures as an engineer, stockholder, board of directors member and corporate officer. For several years he managed his brother Ulysses Jr.'s U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego. In the 1890s, he helped to develop Tia Juana, now Tijuana, Mexico, as a gambling resort.

In 1880, he married Elizabeth Chapman (1858-1945), daughter of William Chapman, one of the founders of California Academy of Sciences.[4] They had two children: Chapman Grant and Nellie Grant.[5] In 1913, Grant sued for divorce while they were living in Goldfield, Nevada. Mrs. Grant strenuously fought his charges of desertion. She countersued, claiming he had deserted her and refused to support the family. The divorce was followed by the newspapers. When the divorce was finally granted in 1918, Grant married a widow, Lillian Burns Wilkins. [6] American internet celebrity, Caroline Calloway, is a descendant of Wilkins.[7]

Jesse Grant with his parents, 1872

Grant died in Los Altos, California in 1934 and was buried at the cemetery at the Presidio of San Francisco.[3] He was the last surviving child of Ulysses S. Grant.

Political and literary career[edit]

Julia Grant with daughter Nellie, son Jesse, and her father Frederick Dent

Grant joined the Democratic party and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1908, though he was not considered a viable contender. In 1925, he wrote a biography of his father, In the Days of My Father General Grant.


  1. ^ "Jesse Root Grant II". Retrieved July 25, 2014.[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ "Ulysses S. Grant Timeline". National Park Service. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Died". Time magazine. June 18, 1934. Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved August 19, 2009. Died. Jesse Root Grant, 76, mining engineer, youngest son of President Ulysses Simpson Grant; in Los Altos. Calif." A Democrat, he unsuccessfully tried to get his party's Presidential nomination against William Jennings Bryan in 1908.
  4. ^ "Widow of Ex-President's Son Dies in San Diego at 87". New York Times. March 2, 1945. Retrieved August 19, 2009. Elizabeth Grant, daughter-in-law of Ulysses S. Grant, Union general in the Civil War, ...
  5. ^ "Society Affairs". Los Angeles Times. April 18, 1913. Retrieved August 19, 2009. Miss Nell Grant, granddaughter of President Ulysses S. Grant and daughter of Mrs. Jesse Root Grant of San Francisco, is announcing her engagement to Lieut. Com. William Piggott Cronan ...
  6. ^ "Jesse R. Grant, Just Divorced, Marries. Youngest Son of Late President, Aged 60, Weds Mrs. Lillian B. Wilkins, Widow, 41. Began Nevada Suit In 1914. Lawyer Announced His Candidacy for Democratic Nomination for Presidency in 1908" (PDF). New York Times. August 27, 1918. Retrieved August 19, 2009. Jesse Root Grant, the youngest son of the late President Ulysses S. Grant, who obtained a Nevada divorce last week, and Mrs. Lillian Burns Wilkins of Inwood, N.Y., were married in this city yesterday afternoon after they had obtained a license from City Clerk Scully.
  7. ^ Calloway, Caroline (April 19, 2021). "Caroline Calloway Instagram". Instagram.