GRANT'S TOMB, on Riverside Drive at 123d street, occupies a commanding site overlooking the Hudson, and is itself a conspicuous object in the river views. It was designed by John H. Duncan, and is constructed of white granite from Maine, with white marble interior. The proportions are imposing. The square structure is 90 feet on the side and 72 feet in height; the circular cupola with Ionic columns is 70 feet in diameter, and the dome rises 150 feet from the ground. The apex of the monument is 28o feet above the river. From the plaza on the south side steps 7o feet wide ascend to the portico, which has double lines of Doric columns before the entrance, with its massive bronze doors.
Above the portico two sculptured figures by J. Massey Rhind, emblematic of Peace and War, flank a panel, on which are inscribed the words: LET US HAVE PEACE.* The decorative scheme provides for bronze statues and groups on the portico, parapet and dome.
The interior plan of Grant's Tomb is cruciform, 76 feet between the walls. The four great piers of the rotunda carry arches whose crowns are 50 feet from the floor; the circular gallery, supported by the arches, is 40 feet in diameter; the dome rises 105 feet above the floor. In the pendentives sculptured reliefs by Rhind symbolize Youth, Military Life, Civil Life and Death. In small rooms surrounding the rotunda stands of battle flags lend a touch of color. The hush of the vast chamber, the mellowed light and the simplicity and dignity of all combine to give solemnity to the place.
Through a circular opening in the floor the sarcophagus is seen in the crypt directly beneath the center of the dome. It is of polished red porphyry from Wisconsin, and is supported upon a pedestal of granite from Massachusetts. Upon the lid is the name Ulysses S. Grant. The companion sarcophagus, a counterpart in material and design, is here in compliance with an expressed wish of General Grant that Mrs. Grant should lie by his side.
This was the concluding sentence of General Grant's letter of May 29, 1868, accepting the nomination for the Presidency. It was the expression of his earnest desire for reconciliation between the North and the South. The historic phrase was well chosen for perpetuation here. The Civil War was a conflict between brothers; its termination meant the restoration of their union. It is fitting, then, that this monument to the General, who commanded the victorious Union armies, should have in-scribed upon it not a record of his triumphs over the enemy, but the sentiment which he himself uttered, significant of the end for which the battle had been fought—the "peace" of reconciled and reunited brothers—a peace the realization of which has made Grant's achievements and fame the heritage of a common country.
General Grant died at Mount McGregor, July 23, 1885. The remains lay in state in the New York City Hall, and were viewed by 300,000 people before being conveyed to the Grant's Tomb at Riverside. The funeral was the grandest pageant New York has seen. The procession was eight miles in length, and it was estimated that an assemblage of a million people lined the route.