Hard Cover. New York: Charles L. Webster and Company, 1885-1886. First Edition. Near Fine.
Two volumes. First edition, first printing. Publisher's dark green cloth, with Congressional Medallion of 1863 stamped in gilt to the front boards, medallion verso stamped in gilt to the rear boards, lettered in gilt, band of military stars in gilt to the spines. Extremities lightly rubbed with very minor wear, a few small spots; rear hinge of volume I cracked and holding, else a near fine set. A bright and attractive example, free of repairs or restoration. Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant is an autobiographical memoir by Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States, written during the last year of his life and completed only weeks before his death. While small portion cover Grant's childhood, education at West Point, his marriage to Julia Dent, and interwar peacetime years, the majority of Personal Memoirs is devoted to the two wars that shaped Grant's life: Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. Hailed as one of the best presidential autobiographies, Personal Memoirs is lauded not only for its gripping and insightful descriptions of the 19the century American wars but also for Grant's powerful writing style. With Grant on his deathbed, contemporary author and friend of the president Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) offered to publish the book, claiming he could offer Grant and his wife a higher percentage of royalties than Century. Because of the memoir's high-quality writing and his friendship with Twain, many scholars argue that Grant was not the sole author of his Personal Memoirs, although this opinion has not been proven. Both volumes of Personal Memoirs are illustrated with plates containing maps, facsimile autograph letters by Grant, and etchings of photographs of Grant and important locations. While both contain frontispieces, Volume I includes a portrait of a young Grant during the Mexican-American War, while Volume II shows and older Grant during the Civil War.