Birth of a Nation
The historic Grant Cottage Visitor Center will be the site of a discussion D.W. Griffith's film "Birth of a Nation". This is the 100th anniversary of the world's first feature-length film. Beginning at 7pm, the event includes comments by filmographer John McCarty and segments of this very controversial silent movie. The Board of Trustees of Grant Cottage has selected this film which portrays the racial violence President Grant fought against.
There will be a $5 admission price for this event which is expected to last about one hour with Q & A to follow. Historians have commented that the Union won the war but not the peace. Coffee and discussion will follow the film.
Cool Breeze on the Historic Porch
(9 mi. from Saratoga Springs Use Exit 16 Travel west up the mountain)
Sunday August 2
Tour the historic rooms of
Ulysses S. Grant’s 1885 summer residence
View a 30 minute film “Thirst”
The story of Young Union and Confederate Men
Enjoy Julia Grant’s punch
The Soldier who Gave his Life for Grant
Twenty years after the Civil War, a soldier's fate was linked to Saratoga Springs. As the 18th president's funeral train descended Mount McGregor and approached the city's Saratoga Battery H. . a misfired canon salute mortally wounded a 33 year old German immigrant and member of the 4th U.S. Artillery. Private Timothy Allman who had been only 13 when the war ended, died tragically. His service is remembered at Grant Cottage.
Flags at Half Mast
The cottage flags at half mast commemorate the Funeral of Ulysses S. Grant in New York City on August 8, 1885. Author and presidential scholar, David Pietrusza will speak and present President Coolidge's address given at the 1922 dedication of the Grant Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Coffee, cake and images of the New York City funeral procession will be provided on the historic porch following the program.
Grant & the American Indian
President Grant did something revolutionary with respect to the American Indians. He decided to treat them like human beings. He saw that the reservations had become places of despair because corrupt Indian Agents were pocketing the money meant to feed and shelter the Indians. So Grant fired the Indian Agents and replaced them with men he knew were moral and incorruptible: Quakers.
Quakers did not believe in violence and war and had sent none of their sons into the Union army during the Civil War. Grant didn't share the Quakers' religious perspectives, but he did recognize the Quakers' rock-solid integrity. Learn about this improbable alliance between the warrior and the pacifists, how President Grant's Quaker Policy almost succeeded and why it didn't. And be ready to learn about a forgotten Native American hero, the Southern Arapaho peace chief Little Raven. The program will be presented by Grant Cottage tour guide Steve Trimm.
Richest Nun in America
Katharine Drexel, daughter of Francis Drexel and niece of Joseph Drexel (owner of the Cottage at time Grant spent his final days there), was raised in a family of wealth but also a family who always tried to help others. This led Katharine to seek help for many using her family wealth.
Katharine chose to live a life of service to her religion by becoming a nun and developing a group known as the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. Using money she inherited from her family, Katharine made it her life’s work to build and fund Schools and Community Centers throughout the United State for disadvantaged African-American and American Indian children.
Her efforts earned her Sainthood in the Catholic Church. Saint Katharine is one of only three American-born Saints.
Dave Hubbard, Grant Cottage Site Manager, will make a presentation on Katharine Drexel.
Grant and His Saratoga Connections, 1865 to 1885
Ulysses S. Grant was America’s most famous horseman and soldier at the close of the Civil War in April 1865. Acclaimed as the “Savior of the Union,” the four-star general made his first visit to Saratoga in July of that year. He returned as the eighteenth U.S. president in 1869 and 1874 as Saratoga entered the Gilded Age as the “Queen of Spas.” Grant visited again in 1882 following his world tour. In March of 1885, the world learned of his loss of fortune, terminal illness and struggle to complete his memoirs. The General’s final trip brought him to Mount McGregor in the summer of 1885.
The Saratoga people and places connected with Grant’s visits are brought to life through pictures and stories in this PowerPoint program presented by the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation in collaboration with the Friends of Grant Cottage.
Refreshments, including a Grant family pudding recipe, will be served following the program.
Art Show: Local Artists Exhibit
Local artists are encouraged to display their artwork on the historic porch and grounds as part of a two day exhibition. Some 130 years ago, the historic site was the location of a summer hotel, restaurant and art gallery. The Balmoral Hotel provided meals for members of the Grant family who resided in a cottage close by.
The creation of an annual exhibition will return the historic vacationing site to one of its original purposes while continuing to provide tours of three rooms occupied by Ulysses S. Grant.
Women in John Brown's Family
The abolitionist activities of John Brown and some of his twenty children create the unusual story of women whose actions went far beyond the petitioning and pamphleteering of the era.
Grant Cottage volunteer, Diana O'Brien, will use music, Brown family images, and detailed information to describe the commitment and devotion of the Brown family to each other and the antislavery cause. The program is based upon the research of Bonnie Laughlin Schultz, author of The Tie That Bound Us, and includes Negro spirituals sung by a local tenor, and photographs from the Library of Congress.
Heading Home: The Uneasy Peace
Soldiers' stories describe the events following the surrender at Appomattox. The army of Northern Virginia and Union forces underwent significant changes when peace was at hand. Four years of war had taken its toll. Research by volunteer Pat Smith describes the soldiers' experiences, North and South. Images help us visualize Lee, Grant, Joshua Chamberlain and others heading home to peace.
Grant Cottage Encampment
An opportunity to meet the Union Generals & members of the 125th NY Regimental Association. More than 30 historic figures will be portrayed.