Fact Check: Is General Grant’s great-grandson really a vampire fiction author?

A meme featuring the alleged great-grandson of Former President and Civil War Union General Ulysses S. Grant in a Tweet claims he is the author of “gay vampire fiction.”

The caption purports to take the voice of Grant, stating, “I must study war so my sons can study business, so their sons can study art, so their sons can write gay vampire fiction.”

Verdict: Mostly True

President Grant had three sons, Frederick Dent Grant, Jesse Root Grant II, and Ulysses S. Grant Jr.

While they were undoubtedly very well educated, they did not specifically study business.

Ulysses S. Grant Jr. -the second-born son of President Grant- was a successful businessman and attorney after attending Harvard and Columbia Law School.

Grant married the daughter of a U.S. Senator from Colorado and had five children, two of which were boys.

Jesse Root Grant II was the youngest son of President Grant and named after his grandfather who was a vocal abolitionist and left the Democratic Party over their support for slavery.

Ironically, Jesse II joined the Democratic Party to seek the party’s nomination for President but failed in 1908.

He studied engineering at Cornell University and also attended Columbia Law School before having two children with his wife in California.

He only had one son, Chapman, and was accused of deserting his family after divorcing his wife.

Chapman was a lifelong lover of science and did not study art as the meme suggests. As a child, he spent much time at the California Academy of Sciences (his mother was a founding member), and after graduating college, became the assistant curator of entomology at the Children’s Museum of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences.

Frederick Dent Grant -the oldest son of President Grant- was an officer in the US Army after attending West Point and went on to work as a civil engineer on the Union Pacific Railroad as well as business in New York City.

He even became the New York City police commissioner before volunteering to go back into the Army for the Spanish-American War.

Frederick only had one son, Ulysses, who had three girls. One of those daughters, Julia, is the mother of Ulysses Grant Dietz whose photo is featured in the tweet/meme.

While growing up in Syracuse, New York, Ulysses Grant Dietz had a fascination with vampires. He went on to study French at Yale and was trained to be a museum curator in the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. He pursued his passion for vampires through writing and authored his first novel, Desmond, in 1998. Vampire in Suburbia, the sequel, was published in 2012.

An online description of the sequel reads: “Desmond Beckwith is back. He’s handsome, he’s rich, he’s gay.”

“Every year on April 27 he gives a speech at Grant’s Tomb in New York City,” Dietz’s biography on the Society of Presidental Descendants states. “He is also on the board of the U.S. Grant Presidential Library and Museum at Mississippi State University.”

Ulysses lives in suburban New Jersey with his husband of 45 years and they have two grown children who they adopted in 1996.

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