Grant Memorial

Grant Memorial

Taken in early 1897, this New York City view shows bicyclists on Riverside Drive with the soon to be opened General Grant National Memorial in the background. Known more commonly as Grant’s Tomb, it is located in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan.

The massive domed mausoleum in the Neoclassical style is the final resting place for American Civil War General and 18th President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant. (1822-1885) Grant led the Union Army as Commanding General of the United States Army in winning the American Civil War.

A close inspection of this photograph reveals ongoing work to the front stairwell area to the memorial, with large boards erected lengthwise against the base of the large columns. It was dedicated on April 27, 1897, the 75th-anniversary ceremony of Grant’s birth on April 27, 1822.

A known variant giving credit to John S. Johnston (c.1839-1899) is held privately, (1.) along with another more frontal view of the memorial and one example believed to be this very image at The Library of Congress. The library holds approximately 750 dry plate glass negatives of yachts and other marine craft views taken by Johnston when he was a contract photographer for the Detroit Publishing Company. A New York Times obituary for the Johnston noted he “made a specialty of scenic photography. He photographed most of the United States warships during the war with Spain. He also photographed all of the international yacht races during the past ten years.”

1. Private Collection: Antiqphoto commerce website: Photographic description: “General Grant’s Tomb”.: Reference SKU: 3us163-Maker: J.S. Johnston: Height: 8.75 in. (22.23 cm) : Width: 6.5 in. (16.51 cm) : Materials: Albumen photograph in archival mat (accessed April, 2020)

Grant Memorial

Image Dimensions10.6 x 14.8 | 14.5 x 17.4 cm Japan tissue (printed ca. 1897-1900)

Support Dimensions19.5 x 24.5 | 22.2 x 29.0 cm Cream colored paper/White Linen secondary support