Ulysses S. Grant
This large bronze equestrian statue by William Ordway Partridge (1861-1930) depicts Civil War General and 18th United States President Ulysses Simpson Grant (1822-1885). Though Grant’s reputation was tarnished after serving as President amidst one of the most corrupt administrations in the nation’s history, he is revered for his decisive action in bringing about the end of the Civil War.
Born on April 27, 1822 in Point Pleasant, Ohio, Grant distinguished himself as a frontier soldier and commanding officer in Missouri after the Civil War erupted in 1861. Selected by President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) in 1864 to succeed a series of failed Union generals, Grant deftly orchestrated the removal of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s (1807–1870) forces from Union soil and forced their surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia on April 9, 1865. After serving two terms as U.S. President (1868-76), Grant retired to New York City in 1884 and lived at 3 East 66th Street until his death in 1885.
The sculpture of Grant was commissioned by the Union Club of Brooklyn and unveiled on April 27, 1896, the 74th anniversary of his birth. Partridge depicts a determined Grant in his military outfit, including his signature wide-brimmed hat. The work is one of the first large-scale bronzes cast in the United States. Well known in his day, Partridge also sculpted statues of New York Governor Samuel Tilden on Riverside Drive, American Revolutionary Alexander Hamilton in Washington Heights, and a Pieta in the south ambulatory of Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The monument was conserved by the City in 1991. Grant is also depicted in relief on the eastern pier of Brooklyn’s Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch, and is interred in Grant’s Tomb, located in Riverside Park at 122nd Street and Riverside Drive.