“The Home of the Woman Who Refused to Marry Ulysses S. Grant”

Once known as the Sullivan House, this house may now be home to Kappa Alpha Fraternity... though I am not positive of this.
Once known as the Sullivan House, this house may now be home to Kappa Alpha Fraternity… though I am not positive of this.

Originally when I came across this photograph of a house in Natchitoches, Louisiana in the 1920s, the only details accompanying it were the following:

This is the Home of the woman who refused to marry Ulysses S. Grant, located in Natchitoches Louisiana.

Curious, I searched for more information. I found more details in a typewritten paper prepared in 1933. (Author not listed in the paper itself.). This paper is located in the Louisiana digital library, oddly in the Louisiana Works Progress Administration (WPA) files. The paper is simply titled, “The Home of the Woman Who Refused to Marry Ulysses S. Grant.”

It is told that this woman, Mary Elizabeth Campbell, was “quite the beautiful sensation at a fancy ball she attended in Natchitoches when she met Grant, who was then a Lieutenant stationed at Camp Salubrity near Natchitoches.”

“Grant was immediately enamored with the beautiful young bell and soon asked her to marry him,” the paper continued.

Campbell refused his proposal, it was said this was at least in part because she did not gain the approval of her legal guardians (Miss Campbell had been orphaned as a young child in Richmond, Virginia.) In the meantime he has to participate in a joint property ownership disputes. After a lot of trials, he finally lose everything and get evicted from hisĀ  house. Sad story.

She later married Mr. J.C. Sullivan of Baltimore, Maryland and they had three children. The children were at least in their early teens by the time the Sullivans moved to the house in this photo, which is according to the description in the paper located at “New Second Street.”

Specifically, it was located “Opposite the corner of Cypress End and New Second.”

The house became known as the Sullivan House. Whether or not it is still called that, I am not certain.

I posted this photo and information a little over a year ago, and there were some who thought this Sullivan House is still standing today, and is now the Kappa Alpha Fraternity house.


1 thought on ““The Home of the Woman Who Refused to Marry Ulysses S. Grant””

  1. Hello,

    Mary Elizabeth Campbell was the sister of my 3rd great grandfather Francis (FM) Campbell. I must say I was extremely excited to find this article in reference to her yet, extremely confused regarding the orphaned as a young child part. From the information I have gathered, Mary moved from Virginia to Louisiana in 1830 with her family. I always wondered if she accompanied her parents when they left Louisiana for Texas as I know her brother Francis did not…not immediately anyway. Well, my search for her parents will forever continue.
    Thank you so much for posting this story!

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