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Archive for April, 2010

Who the heck is WL Grant?

This page of the 1860 Census lists WL Grant, better known as Ulysses S Grant

This page of the 1860 Census lists "WL Grant", better known as "Ulysses S. Grant."

Today at the National Archives in Washington, DC, thousands of visitors will be asking that very question.  Just who the heck is WL Grant?

As it turns out, WL Grant is someone we’ve all heard of.  He led the Union Army to victory during the Civil War, and later led the country as its 18th President.  Yes, this is Ulysses S. Grant.

No one is quite sure where the “W” or the “L” came from, but like so many census searches, the context clues confirm that “WL” is better known as “U.S.”:  we know Grant’s wife was Julia, that the age fits, and that in between the Mexican-American war and the Civil War Grant worked at his father’s leather shop in Galena, Illinois.

As Fate would have it, this wasn’t the only time Grant experienced a typo in his paperwork.  As a 17-year old arriving at West Point, a young Hiram Grant discovered his name wasn’t listed as a new cadet, but a U.S. Grant was.  Rather than risk refusal, Grant took the name U.S.  The rest is history.

This page of the 1860 census, and plenty of other little-known artifacts relating to the Civil War, are on display at the “Discovering Civil War” exhibit at the National … [ Read all ]

Five ways we’ve changed Prologue to better suit you

Prologues spring issue is on the shelves!

Our latest issue of Prologue just hit the shelves, but you might not recognize it when you first see it. We’ve kept the same great articles by Pulitzer-Prize winning authors like James McPherson that you’ve come to expect, but we’ve also updated how we deliver that content to you. To make sure you’re up to snuff on the latest National Archives offering, here are five things we’re doing differently:

  1. More Prologue in each issue: With a Civil War-themed issue 150 years in the making, we’ve got more than a few archived articles we think would enhance your reading experience. So, we’ve hand-picked some Prologue articles from previous issues and put them on our Scribd site for free. Now when you’re done reading the latest article by award-winning author Robert Remini, log on and read an article from award-winning author Thavolia Glymph (we’re proud of our contributors!).
  2. More graphics, better images: We cut our graphic design team loose on the latest issue and let them overhaul our look and feel. Now when you open Prologue, you’ll see larger graphics and a more interactive design.
  3. New ways to read: If you’ve got an iPad or iPhone, you can download Prologue from our partner site and get the latest issue streamed straight to your device. Just interested in downloading a single article? Then check out the
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