First Lady: Julia Boggs Dent Grant
Grant married Julia Boggs Dent, the daughter of a St. Louis merchant and slaveholder. He had been roommates at West Point with Julia's brother Fred. They were married on August 22, 1848.
Grant's father and mother were both strict abolitionists. Therefore, the fact that Julia Dent's family owned slaves was very upsetting to them — in fact, they would not attend the wedding for this reason. They did not meet their new daughter-in-law until the couple's honeymoon in Kentucky.
Together, the Grants had three sons and one daughter: Frederick Dent, Ulysses S. Jr., Ellen Wrenshall, and Jesse Root. His son Frederick was appointed the U.S. minister to Austria-Hungary by Benjamin Harrison. He was also assistant secretary of war under William McKinley.
Julia was devoted to her husband and was often at his side even while he was serving in the military during the Civil War. While first lady, she refurbished the White House with new rugs and furnishings. She was a gracious hostess and held Tuesday afternoon receptions where anyone could come meet and talk to her. Their daughter, Nellie, got married while Grant was president and had an elaborate White House wedding. Julia truly relished her role as first lady and was very saddened when their time in the White House ended. She died on December 14, 1902, in Washington, D.C.