Ulysses S. Grant led the Union Army to victory over the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, and later became the 18th President of the United States.

Grant passed away on July 23, 1885 in Wilton, New York. The following letter, written two weeks before his death, was found tucked away in his robe, in a sealed envelope, addressed to his wife:

“Look after our dear children and direct them in the paths of rectitude. It would distress me far more to think that one of them could depart from an honorable, upright and virtuous life than it would to know that they were prostrated on a bed of sickness, from which they were never to arise alive. They have never given us any cause for alarm on their account, and I earnestly pray they never will.

With these few injunctions and the knowledge I have of your love and affection, and of the dutiful affection of all our children, I bid you a final farewell, until we meet in another and, I trust, a better world. You will find this on my person after my demise.”

Mount McGregor, July 9, 1885.

Source: The Friend, August 22, 1885 (pp. 22), 1885.