On July 19th, 1869, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, after just months in office, visited Long Branch with his family for the first time, and found it to his liking. He and his family left Washington, D.C., on July 15th, aboard the USS Tallapoosa, a storied navy ship that was used occasionally by the president for recreational travel.
Grant spent all eight summers of his presidency in Long Branch, and beyond. His celebrity presence made Long Branch a popular vacation destination. He was famous for racing his team of horses at breakneck speed up and down the beach.
Grant spoke to guests at his hotel as he prepared to depart at the end of his first Jersey Shore summer: “I made this visit to Long Branch as a recreation from official duty. The visit has been made pleasant by you all. I have purchased a cottage by the seaside, where I shall make my summer home of myself and my family, or, at least, for my family, and such portion of the summer for myself as my public duties will permit.”
Washington Facts and Impressions. (1869). National Republican, Washington, D.C., July 19, 1869, P. 1.
President Grant and family will leave for Long Branch, this evening. (1869). Monmouth Democrat, Freehold, N.J., P. 2.
Grant has made another great speech. (1869). The South-Western, Shreveport, La., August 25, 1869, P. 4.
Cunningham, John T. (1964). Ulysses S. Grant at Long Branch. Red Bank Register, Thursday, May 14, 1964.
Shore Vignettes. (1968). Grant Had Common Touch. Asbury Park Press, February 18, 1968, P. 15.
Radel, Dan. (2018). Seeking a Reprieve. Asbury Park Press, December 7, 2018, P. 2.