Sunlight and Shadows: Slavery at Ulysses S. Grant’s White Haven

The Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis recently created a video about slavery at White Haven, a historic home being protected by the National Park Service today. Grant lived at White Haven with his wife Julia and their growing family from 1854-1859 before moving to Galena, Illinois, right before the outbreak of the Civil War. Although the video is titled “Slavery at Ulysses S. Grant’s White Haven,” the house and adjoining property was owned by Grant’s father-in-law Frederick F. Dent while Grant lived there (Grant later bought the property after war). Between White Haven and another property in downtown St. Louis, Frederick Dent owned roughly thirty slaves at the peak of his prosperity. While living in St. Louis, Grant owned one slave named William Jones, who he freed in 1859 (also look here for further discussion on Grant’s views on slavery).

Here’s the video below. I think it was nicely done, especially the commentary from Chiffontae Ross. Chiffontae is an excellent interpreter and several visitors mentioned to me when I worked at the site that she was the best park ranger they had ever worked with. The National Park Service is privileged to have her in their ranks.

What do you think of the video? If you’ve ever been to ULSG, what did you think of your experience?