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Interpreting the Evidence

Ulysses S. Grant Portrait, n.d.

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Civil War and Reconstruction (1850 - 1877)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Lower Elementary
    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:

    Civil War

  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:

    United States

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Ulysses S. Grant Portrait, n.d. in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Portrait of General Ulysses S. Grant 1822-1885.
Historical Context
Ulysses S. Grant gained fame as a leading Union general in the Civil War. He was later elected the eighteenth president of the United States and served from 1869 to 1877.  Grant was an honest person, but he tolerated corruption by many of the people he hired to help and advise him as president. Grant pushed for civil rights for African Americans while president. 
Essential Question
How do individuals influence national and global events?
Check for Understanding
Describe the individual in the photograph and evaluate the influence of Ulysses S. Grant on American society.
Historical Challenges
When was photography invented? What was it like to have your photograph taken in the 1800s? Why are people in old photographs usually not smiling?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Science: Learn about photographic techniques used in the 1800s. Compare them to processes used today.
Art: Have students take "presidential" photographs of each other using a digital camera. Discuss the composition of a formal portrait.
English Language Arts: Write a campaign ad encouraging Americans to vote for Ulysses S. Grant for president.