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‘The tragedy at mount McGregor’—Grant and his family, July 19, 1885 On July 16th, three days before this photograph was taken, the general was removed to a summer cottage on Mount McGregor, near Saratoga Springs. Exactly a week later, July 23, 1885, he breathed his last amid the family here assembled. No period of Ulysses S. Grant's life was more heroic than its closing months. He had remained in excellent health up to Christmas of 1883. In the summer of 1884 he was annoyed by unpleasant sensations in his throat. He paid little attention to the symptoms until autumn. A physician, calling one day in October, made an examination that alarmed him. He advised that a specialist be called at once. Cancer of the throat had set in. The annoying sensations at length became painful, and in December the disease had so far advanced that to drink even liquid food was torture. General Badeau says: ‘He was in no way dismayed, but the sight was to me the most appalling I had ever witnessed—the conqueror looking at his own inevitable conqueror; the stern soldier to whom so many armies had surrendered, watching the approach of that enemy before whom even he must yield.’ Yet the stricken chief continued work upon his Memoirs. He could not now dictate to an amanuensis, so he wrote with a hand quivering with pain upon pads placed in his lap. There is something peculiarly noble in this determination to provide by his own efforts a competence for his family. What effect his departure had on the country is told in the Introduction to this volume, but the demonstrations were not confined to America. On August 4th a memorial service was held in the English temple of fame, Westminster Abbey. No less a dignitary than Canon Farrar delivered the funeral address. The civilized world joined in the mourning. Tributes to his memory extended over many years. In 1896, the Chinese statesman, LI Hung Chang, left a memorial at his tomb on Riverside Drive, New York City. Grant's fame is a secure American possession.


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