ERIC Number: ED380377
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
A Primary Source to Supplement High School History Textbooks in a Character Study of Ulysses S. Grant.
Beardsley, Donna A.
This paper discusses the use of General Horace Porter, President Ulysses S. Grant's personal friend and closest adviser through the latter stages of the U.S. Civil War and into Grant's presidency. During the Civil War, Porter made field observations, suggested strategy, and relayed orders among commanders. As adviser to the president, Porter wrote draft copies of official papers and speeches on domestic and foreign policy, and on occasion, made public appearances and speeches on behalf of the president. In all of his associations with Grant, Porter took careful and elaborate notes. When Grant died in July 1885, Porter used his notes to write his memoirs of Grant. Porter's memoir of Grant is a character study and well known classic among historians. It is an intimate record of Grant's actions, his personal traits and habits, and his motives for conducting himself in a certain manner in certain situations. Porter writes about Grant's family, his religion, his personal hygiene, smoking, and his attitudes toward women, war, suffering, dying, leadership, lying, swearing, and other matters of human and personal interest to the reader. The paper discusses Horace Porter and summarizes material from his memoirs of Grant. Because high school history textbooks cover Civil War battles and strategy, and the successes and failures of Grant's presidency, but usually fail to do an adequate job with Grant as a personality, teachers and students can use Porter's classic study of Grant's personal characteristics to supplement their high school history textbooks. (DK)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A