First General, then President Ulysses S. Grant had a lifelong love of horses, but these weren’t the only pets to ever reside with the Grant family. Grant’s son Jesse was at one point the owner of a pair of gamecocks.
Gamecocks are roosters that have the characteristics needed to succeed at cockfighting. While today this practice is (rightfully) outlawed in all and a felony in 40 states, in Grant’s time cockfighting was a gentleman’s game. Men from all walks of life would participate in betting on these brutal matches.
The gamecocks resided at the White House with the family. It is unknown how often Jesse Grant participated in cockfighting, or if his birds lived a relative life of leisure. One hopes it was the latter.