Frederick Dent Grant and his wife, Ida Honoré Grant, in 1905 (Courtesy the Library of Congress)
Col. Frederick Dent Grant, eldest son of Ulysses S. Grant and Julia Dent Grant, was appointed to the court of Franz Joseph I by President Benjamin Harrison in March 1889. Fred, his wife, Ida Honoré Grant, and their two children, Julia Dent Grant and Ulysses S. Grant III, set out from New York a month later and arrived in Vienna in early May. There they lived for the next four years.
The Ida Honoré Grant Correspondence, 1889–1893, is a collection of 130 letters written largely by Ida herself and sent to her mother, sister, and other relatives back in the United States. Ida instructed her relatives to save the letters that she wrote to them so that she might have them to remember her stay in Europe after her return home. As she explained in a note that she scrawled at the head of one letter to her mother, “I wish you would just keep my letters, they will serve as [a] sort of ‘journal’ to me afterwards. I write so much to you all there is nothing left for me to put in a diary” (Ida H. Grant to Ma, May 19, 1889).
Ida’s letters were donated to the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library by Ulysses Grant Dietz, the great-grandson of Fred and Ida Grant.
This online edition consists of digital images of the original manuscript pages. It will be expanded to include searchable transcriptions of the texts, a biographical dictionary, and a timeline of events.
Robert Karachuk and David S. Nolen, editors.