Speakers Bureau
Grant Cottage volunteers and staff offer off-site programs throughout the year spanning a variety of topics related to the Cottage, Ulysses S. Grant, and the Civil War.

Steve Trimm
 (gctourguide [at] gmail.com)

  • History of Grant Cottage
  • Harrison Terrell—Grant's African American Valet who remained within arm's reach to provide care when physicians were not available to the ailing Civil War hero and former president.
  • Sam Willett—former Union soldier from Argyle, N.Y. who served as Grant's bodyguard at the cottage in 1885.
  • Oliver Clarke—the cottage's first caretaker, Civil War veteran and POW at the infamous Anderonville.
  • Suye Narita Gambino—the cottage's 2nd caretaker and a citizen of Japan. She was interned during WWII at Mt McGregor and obtained American citizenship after the war.
  • Charles Wood—Troy businessman who sent Grant $1,500 upon hearing about his bankruptcy. Wood's note to Grant read, "I owe you this for Appomattox."
  • Princess Cantacuzene—Grant's first grandchild, Julia, who married a Russian nobleman and published her recollections of her grandfather.

Steve Trimm also provides historic interpretations of:

  • Ulysses S. Grant
  • Colonel Frederick Grant, Grant's oldest son
  • Lt. Lawrence Van Alstyne—NY 128th Regiment and officer of the U.S.C.T.

David Hubbard
(Davehub [at] aol.com)

  • Virtual Tour of Grant Cottage. A brief history of Mt. McGregor and the cottage in which Grant completed his memoirs in 1885.
  • Baseball and the Civil War. Baseball's development and value during the Civil War.
  • Mountain History:  The Sanatorium.  Prior to it becoming the Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility, Metropolitan Life Insurance ran a hospital for patients suffering from tuberculosis.  It has a rich history with many personal stories researched by Mr. Hubbard.
  • Life of a Public Building:  History and Architecture of Mt. McGregor
  • Secret Agents in Hoop Skirts:  Women Spies of the Civil War.  Hundreds of women served as spies during the Civil War, just as they had in earlier conflicts like the American Revolution. Women served on both sides of the war.  Especially early in the war they went unnoticed as men did not think women would be involved in such a dangerous position. We will examine six different spies who served during the Civil War – 3 for the Union and 3 for the Confederacy.
  • The Richest Nun in America: Katharine Drexel, daughter of Francis Drexel and niece of Joseph Drexel, was raised in a family of wealth but also a family who always tried to help others.  This led Katharine to seek help for many using her family wealth.  Katharine chose to live a life of service to her religion by becoming a nun and developing a group known as the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.  Using money she inherited from her family, Katharine made it her life’s work to build and fund Schools and Community Centers throughout the United State for disadvantaged African-American and American Indian children. 

Tom Smith
(tsmith2 (at) nycap.rr.com)

"Ulysses S. Grant:  His Life, His Work, His Death": Tom's 50-minute presentation covers the life of Grant beginning in 1822 focusing on his later years.  It touches on themes such has his bankruptcy, writing of his memoirs, his disease, and finally his death and funeral services at Grant Cottage.  Accompanied by items from his personal collection including portraits and photos, it is an effective presentation for civic or fraternal organizations and history groups.

Ben Kemp
(benk123rd (at) hotmail.com)

An educational portrayal of a Union soldier in the American Civil War. This program is appropriate for schools or organizations looking to bring history to life and engage the curiosity of the audience. The equipment and clothing will be displayed and discussed as well as the life and experiences of the common soldier, complete with live musket firing demonstrations if permitted. Program can be tailored according to time and/or age."