Grant and his family returned to Julia's family in St. Louis, where Grant got the use of a brother-in-law's farm and land. Grant set about building a house, which he named Hardscrabble. Hardscrabble was the only thing Grant ever built, and it stood as a giant disappointment to his wife. She much preferred a simple frame house to the masculine masterpiece Grant created of rough-hewn logs and giant timbers. As Julia tended house, raised the children, and tended to the barnyard, Grant raised potatoes and tried to develop a taste for farming. Despite initial promise, the farm began to suffer. While the Grants tried to display a picture of frontier independence, Grant and his wife had trouble escaping the fact that they were living on her father's land, working his fields, and tending crops he controlled.
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