To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Ulysses Underground: the Unexplored Roots of U. S. Grant and the Underground Railroad Paperback – May 13, 2015
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
Eighteen years ago, G. L. Corum began hunting for the earliest organized resistance to slavery; a few footnotes pointed to southwestern Ohio. Corum moved there, kept researching, and stumbled across the Grant family name. Accumulating more and more information on families committed to ending slavery, the Grant family connected in key places. Corum turned to focus on young Ulysses. A whole new dimension to America's 18th president and victorious Civil War general came into view.
Top customer reviews
I'm glad to say that Corum includes many of my ancestors by the names of Williamson, Gilliland, Hopkins, Poage and Wilson as well as many other relatives that were a part of this network including one distant cousin by the name of Ulysses S. Grant.
Thank you G. L. Corum for writing this wonderful book.
Many people think of Grant as a mediocre president with a drinking problem (it is difficult to image living through, letting alone being responsible for much of the lives lost in, the bloody Civil War without grasping for some crutch). That may be, but Corum casts no judgements on his adult life, instead focusing on his background, starting with the close ties his parents had with the anti-slavery activists of Southwestern Ohio and environs in the early 1800s. For one, Grant’s father was a tanner and was close friends with fellow tanner Owen Brown, father of John.
Much speculation has been given to Grant’s personal attitude towards slavery. Corum sneaks open the door toward revealing the essence of Grant’s youthful years by casting a spotlight on his family, close friends, and neighbors, many of whom were activists involved directly with the Underground Railroad (UGRR). Was Grant himself involved?
Although Ulysses Underground is liberally sprinkled with information on some well-known anti-slavery advocates of the times, e. g. William Lloyd Garrison, John Parker, and John Brown, Corum introduces us to many lesser known, and unknown, freedom advocates who were of equal and, in many cases, of greater influence. And the connections between Grant and his family and the anti-slavery clique populating the homesteads along a line leading North from the Ohio River towards freedom from slavery in Canada, the UGRR. Much speculation must be involved in recreating Grant’s youth due to the self-protective secrecy harbored by the activists and Grant’s own relative silence on this time, but Corum’s uses careful wording when making intelligent extrapolations in the exhaustive and well-documented research into the anti-slavery movement.
This book is more than a chronicle of Grant’s early years. It is a vivid account of many individuals and families intimately linked to the UGRR and much of the conflicts among the slavery advocates, abolitionists, colonization proponents, and pro-slavers. It is also loaded with actual correspondence by those, on all sides of the spectrum, who made history; and exposes much of the violence and recriminations heaped upon the people of color and the abolitionists.
Corum has done a marvelous job of recording Grant’s youth interwoven with the history of the UGRR in this eminently readable book. Ulysses Underground is a must read for history buffs and anyone with a passing interest in riveting history.
-- why it was important that we know so little about these people,
-- how some of their actions were designed to throw runaway slave hunters off the scent (and how that has thrown many historians off the scent as well)
-- the internal struggle within the movement regarding best strategies, especially as the decades worn on with no end in sight to the institution of slavery itself despite thousands of successful passages
An amazing amount of research is documented here. A historical novelist dream!