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Ulysses Sherman Grant (1867-1932) Papers

Identifier: 11/3/14/2

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Scope and Contents

The Ulysses Sherman Grant Papers are arranged in three main categories: biographical material; correspondence; and publications.

The biographical material includes a number of obituaries, clippings, and articles. The Grant family is represented by obituaries of Mrs. U.S. Grant (Avis Winchell), who died in 1964, and Lois Grant Fowler, who died in 1976; and a substantial amount of material concerning General Lewis Addison Grant (1829-1918), the father of Ulysses. A reprint of Charles Keyes' "Biographical Sketch" of General Grant, presented to Addison Grant, contains telegrams of condolence to Colfax Grant (Ulysses' brother) from William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt. There is also a folder of lists, tables, and planting plans of Ulysses' flowers, mainly iris and peonies. Ulysses' love for his flowers was indicated by the fact that his ashes were spread over the garden.

The bulk of the correspondence is from Ulysses to Avis before and after their marriage. The letters before their marriage (1886-Sept., 1891) deal with the relationship between the two, family news, and school incidents. Later, especially after Ulysses received his Ph.D. (1893) the letters contain some information and descriptions of his geological work in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois. Of special interest are Grant's long and detailed letters (1905) describing his investigations of glaciers and mineral resources in Alaska. Many of the other letters are from and to various members of the Grant and Winchell families.

Also of interest are letters concerning the Geological Survey in Alaska and correspondence between Grant and Thomas Holgate, A. W. Harris, and others about administrative and academic matters at Northwestern. Among Grant's general correspondence is a letter from Harold L. Ickes thanking Grant for the help and advice he gave to Ickes' son, Wilmarth, a student at Northwestern.

The publications consist of four reprints of articles written by Grant.

Addition, Box 5 (1891-1977):

The material in the addition is arranged in four main categories: biographical material; correspondence; autographs; and miscellany. The biographical material includes wedding announcements for Avis Winchell and Ulysses Sherman Grant (October 1, 1891); a memorial pamphlet on Mrs. Charlotte S. Winchell, 1836-1926 (mother of Avis Winchell Grant); and a 21-page manuscript, entitled "Just an Old Fashioned Love Story," written by H. Foster Bain about Avis Winchell and Ulysses Sherman Grant for Lois Grant.

The correspondence is arranged in four sections, each arranged chronologically by day. The first section is comprised of letters to Avis Winchell Grant, most of which deal with missionaries and related religious activities in the Far East. The second and third sections include letters from Lois Grant (and some from her classmate at Northwestern, Helen Calkins) describing the young women's trip to the Far East in 1920-1921. The fourth section includes three letters from John Thomas Stark, 1887- , (Northwestern: B.S., 1921; M.A., 1922), who taught geology at Northwestern from 1922 to 1952 (Professor, 1939-1952; Chairman of the Department, 1939-1942). Two of these letters are to the Grants (Avis Winchell Grant, 1945; Lois Grant, 1974), and the third (October 15, 1977), a photocopy, which contains a considerable amount of biographical information, is to Rolf Erickson.

The autographs are from a small collection put together by Avis Winchell Grant and are comprised in the main of letters and other items from various religious figures and politicians.

The miscellany contains a brief autobiographical sketch (to 1890) by Ulysses Sherman Grant; a date book belonging to Avis Winchell Grant which provides birth, marriage, and death dates of many relatives; and other personal items.

One folder containing typescript copies of Grant's notes from field courses has been added to the series as Box 5, Folder 8. The notes, for field courses in 1916, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1924, 1925, and 1926, concern the geology of the Lake Superior region and include accounts of travel and mapping projects in the area. The notes also list field course participants. The notes are maintained in a chronological order.

Addition: Box 6 (1874-1956)

The material in this box consists of correspondence and clippings.

The major part contains letters of condolence for the death of Ulysses Sherman Grant to his widow, Avis Winchell Grant. These are from relatives, friends, and colleagues.

The smaller part consists of miscellaneous letters and a few clippings arranged chronologically by day. Included in the letters is a small hand-printed note (Dec. 2, 1874) by Uly Grant to Aunt Seanah (his mother's sister), and three letters of recommendation (1891) for U. S. Grant by George Williams, Christopher Hall, and N. H. Winchell. Two letters (Aug. 1958) from Lilla Grant Stone to Aunt Avis (Mrs. U. S. G.) contain biographical and genealogical information. Clippings include obituary notices of Mary Grant (d. Apr. 2, 1927), mother of U. S. G. and of H. Foster Bain (d. Mar 12, 1948), a close friend of the family.


  • 1874-1977
  • Majority of material found within 1886-1930


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


6.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



The papers of Ulysses Sherman Grant (professor and chair of the Department of Geology at Northwestern University) include biographical material, correspondence, publications, autographs and field course notes. The biographical material includes a number of obituaries, clippings, and articles. The bulk of the correspondence is from Ulysses to Avis Winchell Grant before and after their marriage. Of special interest are Grant's long and detailed letters (1905) describing his investigations of glaciers and mineral resources in Alaska. Also of interest are letters concerning the Geological Survey in Alaska.


The papers of Ulysses Sherman Grant are organized into: biographical material; correspondence (arranged by correspondent and date); publications; autographs; and field course notes. These main divisions are interspersed with additional materials, including materials from two additions.

Method of Acquisition

The bulk of the U. S. Grant Papers were donated to the University Archives by his daughter, Mrs. Avis Grant Swick, during the summer of 1977. A small amount of material from the University Archives biographical files was incorporated into this series.

Accessions #78-123, 79-9, 79-106 were added as additions.

Processing Information

William K. Beatty September 1977

Guide to the Ulysses Sherman Grant (1867-1932) Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US