This John G. Gilman photo of U. S. Grant taken on July 19, 1885, just days before his death, is on display at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
Last photograph of Ulysses S. Grant
The last years of Ulysses S. Grant were trials of courage and character. In 1884, Grant lost his family's savings in a fraudulent business scheme. Writer and humorist Mark Twain offered to publish Grant's memoirs if only he would write them. He generously promised Grant seventy percent of the profits, and Grant agreed. Meanwhile, Grant was diagnosed with inoperable throat cancer. Under difficult and painful circumstances, he finished his writing just days before he died on July 23, 1885. His book, Personal Memoirs, became a bestseller, and in 1886, Twain presented Mrs. Grant with the first royalty check for $200,000. -- NPG