Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule
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From New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer Chiaverini, the first novel to chronicle the singular relationship between Julia Grant, beloved First Lady, and the courageous woman who was her slave and namesake.
In 1844, shy Missouri belle Julia Dent met Lieutenant Ulysses S. Grant, brilliant horseman and reluctant soldier. The two fell deeply in love, but Grant’s abolitionist family refused to attend their wedding. For despite her husband's objections, Julia kept as her slave another Julia, known as Jule.
Since childhood they had been companions and confidantes. Julia was gifted with prophetic dreams, which Jule helped her interpret; Julia secretly taught Jule to read, while Jule became her vision-impaired mistress’s eyes to the world. But as Grant rose through the ranks of the Union army during the Civil War, the stark distinctions between mistress and slave strained their unlikely friendship. Both women risked certain danger as they traveled to and from General Grant’s military headquarters—until the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation inspired Jule to make a daring bid for freedom.
Emma declared. “If you do happen to run into her, well, simply tell her what you just told me. You’ll probably feel much better afterward.” “She might not be my mistress anymore, but she’s still the wife of a very powerful man.” Jule shook her head. “No, even now I can’t risk offending her.” “Don’t let her chase you off,” Emma implored. “When the war’s over, she’ll likely go back to Missouri, too far away to trouble you anymore.” “Maybe. I expect it depends where General Grant’s posted. Oh,
her escort Congressman Elihu Washburne, a friend of Ulys’s from their Galena days. Aboard the River Queen, they were kindly received and introduced to one and all—Senator Charles Sumner; Secretary of the Interior James Harlan and his wife; their daughter Miss Mary Harlan, whom Robert Lincoln was courting; the Marquis de Chambrun, visiting from France; and an elegant, fashionably attired colored woman whom Mrs. Lincoln introduced as her friend Mrs. Elizabeth Keckley, a dressmaker. After Julia
years from now. He deserves that office, and he’ll serve me and the country loyally in it.” “When you explain it that way,” Julia remarked, “I’m not only thoroughly convinced; I’m embarrassed that I ever objected.” Ulys gave her a wry smile. “I hope all of my opponents will be as amenable as you when the facts are placed before them.” “Oh, my dear Ulys,” she said, shaking her head, profoundly sympathetic. “No president in the history of the country has ever been that fortunate, though I would
unanimously to secede from the Union. On the night of December 26, Union major Robert Anderson moved his troops from their vulnerable position at Fort Moultrie on the mainland to the more defensible Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. The next day, South Carolina militia seized Fort Moultrie and Castle Pinckney and demanded Major Anderson’s surrender. In response, Major Anderson ordered his men to reinforce their position. Whenever the people of Galena discovered that Ulys had been a captain in
would someday be known to all. Julia’s hands shook and the paper and vellum fell to the floor, but she quickly snatched them up again. She scanned the page and discovered that she held the commission of U. S. Grant as a colonel and commander of the Illinois Seventh Congressional District Regiment. Thrilled, she shared the letter first with the children and next with their bustling housemaid, and then she hurried across the street to tell her friend Emily Rawlins, who congratulated her with