In 1879, Ulysses S. Grant arrived in Japan on the penultimate leg of a tour around the world. On June 22, he wrote, "At the request of Governor Utsumi Tadakatsu Mrs. Grant and I each planted a tree in the Nagasaki park I hope that both trees may prosper, grow large, live long, and in their growth, prosperity and long life be emblematic of the future of Japan." He visited several cities throughout Japan, then sailed across the Pacific to San Francisco. There, he reminisced about his early days in the military, when he was stationed in the west. On his journey home to Illinois, he allowed rumors to circulate that he would run for a third presidential term.
Later that year, Gov. Utsumi updated Grant on affairs of state since his visit. His letter also included a mention of that tree: "It gives me the greatest pleasure to inform you that the Banyan tree planted by Mrs Grant and yourself, is growing fast and is in a most flourishing condition. The monument is erected near the middle of the group of trees, with the inscription engraved, after your autograph, and especial care will be taken that the monument may endure for myriads of years. I beg to enclose herewith, a lithographic copy of the inscription on the monument."
The tree survived for sixty six years, one month, and two and a half weeks.
* "Back in Nagasaki"