Last updated on: 2/6/2013 5:48:13 PM PST | Author: ProCon.org

Ulysses S. Grant Biography

Title:
18th President of the United States
Position:
Con to the question "Should Churches (Defined as Churches, Temples, Mosques, Synagogues, etc.) Remain Tax-Exempt?"
Reasoning:

“I would also call your attention to the importance of correcting an evil that, if permitted to continue, will probably lead to great trouble in our land before the close of the nineteenth century. It is the accumulation of vast amounts of untaxed church property.

In 1850, I believe, the church property of the United States which paid no tax, municipal or State, amounted to about $83,000,000. In 1860 the amount had doubled; in 1875 it is about $1,000,000,000. By 1900, without check, it is safe to say this property will reach a sum exceeding $3,000,000,000. So vast a sum, receiving all the protection and benefits of Government without bearing its proportion of the burdens and expenses of the same, will not be looked upon acquiescently by those who have to pay the taxes. In a growing country, where real estate enhances so rapidly with time, as in the United States, there is scarcely a limit to the wealth that may be acquired by corporations, religious or otherwise, if allowed to retain real estate without taxation. The contemplation of so vast a property as here alluded to, without taxation, may lead to sequestration without constitutional authority and through blood.

I would suggest the taxation of all property equally, whether church or corporation, exempting only the last resting place of the dead and possibly, with proper restrictions, church edifices.”

Seventh Annual Message to Congress on Dec. 7, 1875, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Volume VII: Ulysses S. Grant, Ed. James D. Richardson, 1911

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Experts
Individuals with JDs, PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to churches and taxes. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to the churches and taxes issue.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • 18th President of the United States, Mar. 4, 1869-Mar. 4, 1877
  • Appointed General of the Armies of the United States, July 25, 1866
  • Commissioned by President Abraham Lincoln as Lieutenant General of All Union Armies, Mar. 9, 1864
  • Promoted to Major General (regular army), 1863
  • Promoted to Major General of Volunteers, Feb. 17, 1862
  • Appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers, July 31, 1861
  • Appointed Colonel of the Seventh District Regiment (later became the Twenty-First Illinois), Springfield, IL, 1861
  • Mustering Officer, 1861 (two weeks only)
  • Clerk, Adjutant’s Office, Springfield, IL, Apr. 1861
  • Entered real estate business, St. Louis, MO, 1858
  • Received offical commission as Captain and resigned from the US Army on the same day, Apr. 11, 1854
  • Promoted to Captain, Aug. 5, 1853
  • Regimental Quartermaster, Mexican-American War, 1846-1848
  • Promoted to Full Second Lieutenant, 1845
  • Ranked Brevet Second Lieutenant and assigned to the 4th infantry, Jefferson Barracks, South St. Louis County, MO, 1843 (later based in Natchitoches, LA)
  • Education:
  • Graduated, United States Military Academy at West Point, 1843
  • Attended Presbyterian Academy, Ripley, OH, 1838-1839
  • Attended Richeson and Rand Academy, Maysville, KY, 1836-1838
  • Contact Info:
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    Other:
  • Died in New York, NY on July 23, 1885
  • Diagnosed with throat cancer, 1884
  • Signed act returning the US to a gold standard, Jan. 14, 1875
  • Signed the 15th Amendment to the US Constitution, granting African American males the right to vote, Feb. 3, 1870
  • Accepted surrender from Confederate General Robert E. Lee, ending the American Civil War, Apr. 9, 1865
  • Nicknamed “Unconditional Surrender Grant” following the Confederate surrender of Fort Donelson, TN, 1862
  • Built his own home in Missouri and named it “Hardscrabble,” 1856
  • Had four children: Frederick Dent Grant (born May 30, 1850), Ulysses S. Grant Jr. (“Buck,” born July 22, 1852), Ellen Wrenshall Grant (“Nellie,” born July 4, 1855), and Jesse Root Grant II (born Feb. 6, 1858)
  • Married Julia Dent on Aug. 22, 1848
  • Born Hiram Ulysses Grant in Pt. Pleasant, Clermont County, OH, on April 27, 1822
  • “During two terms in office [as US President], Grant worked hard to bring the North and the South together again, contending with an emerging white supremacist group called the Ku Klux Klan, and violent uprisings against blacks and Republicans. He met with Native American leaders, including Red Cloud, trying to develop a peace policy in the West. He also took steps to repair the damaged economy. But his two terms as president are best remembered for financial scandals among members of his party and his administration.”
    “Biography: Ulysses S. Grant,” PBS.org (accessed Jan. 10, 2013)
  • “Ulysses arrives at West Point on May 29 [1839] and discovers that the congressman who appointed him, in doubt about his name, has used his middle name first and has used his mother’s maiden name (Simpson) for a middle name. In time, Ulysses will accept U. S. Grant as his true name, insisting that his middle initial stands for ‘nothing.'”
    “Timeline: Ulysses S. Grant,” PBS.org (accessed Jan. 10, 2013)
  • Quoted in:
    Should Churches (Defined as Churches, Temples, Mosques, Synagogues, etc.) Remain Tax-Exempt? – Pro & Con Quotes