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All The Presidents; U.S. Presidents List of the First 15

Updated on April 26, 2015

George Washington, Father of the Country

President George Washionton 1732- 1799

1) George Washington was president from 1789-1797, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He also served as the commander-in-chief during the Revolutionary War, and participated in the drafting of the Constitution, which thereby established President of the Republic, and his position.

Washington was elected President in 1788, and served two terms, winning unanimously due to his reputation, military experience, prestige, charisma and high level of integrity. He oversaw the creation of a balanced, and well-financed national government that remained neutral while wars raged in Europe.

Washington was born in Virginia on February 22, 1732 to a wealthy planter family who owned tobacco plantations. There are very few known facts about George's early life, before he became a senior officer in the colonial forces during the French war.

Washington showed natural leadership and was chosen as commander-in-chief of the American Revolution of 1775, where he forced the British out of Boston, but was defeated and nearly killed when he lost New York. After crossing the Delaware River during the most horrendous and bitter winter, he defeated the British in two separate battles, and re-claimed New Jersey.

Washington made excellent selections of his generals and was a good supervisor. He gave encouragement and boosted the morale of his army which he managed to hold together through the toughest battles.

After the victory of 1783 Washington resigned, proving his opposition to dictatorship and his commitment to American Republicanism.

In December of 1799 George Washington had been overseeing his plantation on horseback in severe weather, the next morning he awoke with a severe sore throat, that caused loss of speech as the day moved on. He began to feel sick and was bled in effort to drain the diseased blood from his system. He died hours later at the age of 67.

John Adams 1735-1826

President John Adams 1789-1707

Of the two 18th century presidents, John Adams was the second.

2) John Adams was a founding father who had served as the first Vice President of the United States while George Washington was president. He was a very well educated political theorist who promoted Republicanism.

Adams wrote most of the Massachusetts constitution in 1880.

Although he served as vice president under George Washington for two terms he only served one term as President of the United States.

3rd President-Thomas Jefferson. First President of the 19th Centruy

Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826

Moving on with the 19th century presidents. Thomas Jefferson was the first.

3) Thomas Jefferson was president from 1801-1809. He was also one of the founding fathers, and one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence.

He died at the age of 83 from pneumonia and a combination of uremia and toxemia.

4th- James Madison 1751-1836

President James Madison 1809-1817

4) Often referred to as "The Father of the constitution" for being instrumental to its drafting. He was is also known for being an author to the United States Bill of Rights.

In 1789 Madison became the leader in the new house of Representatives, devising many new laws. He had worked with George Washington to organize the federal government. Madison broke with the Federalist party in 1791, and collaborated with Thomas Jefferson to create the Republican Party. Many modern historians refer to the party of this era as the Democratic-Republican Party.

5th -James Monroe 1758-1831

John Quincy Adams 1767-1848

President James Monroe 1817-1825

5) Monroe was easily elected in 1816 by winning over 80% of the electoral votes. His administration was dubbed "the Era of Good Feelings".

He died on the 4th of July 1831 at the age of 73 from heart failure and tuberculosis. He was the third president to die on Independence Day.

President John Quincy Adams 1825-1829.

6) John Quincy Adams personality and political beliefs were much like that of his father, former President John Adams. Throughout his life, he preferred seclusion to social gatherings.

Much like Abraham Lincoln later on, John Quincy Adams suffered from depression throughout most of his life. He sought treatment for his depression and believed his problems came from his upbringing. His father placed tremendous stress on him to be successful.

.Adams is the oldest president ever to be photographed. He sat for a photographer in 1843.

Andrew Jackson 1767-1845

President Andrew Jackson 1829-1832

7) Considered to be the first president to represent the democratic party,although he also supported a small and limited government. One of his most controversial stances was his avocation of Indian removal. Jackson was an extremely wealthy slave owner who participated in many duels and had a reputation for being as tough and rugged as his physical appearance.

From the time he was elected until 1850 was dubbed as the "Jackson Democracy."

In 1788 Jackson met Rachel Donelson Robards. Rachel was in an unhappy marriage to an overly jealous man. According to Jackson, he married Rachel after hearing that she was divorced. However, the divorce had never been completed, and therefore Jackson's marriage was invalid. After the divorce was officially completed, Rachel and Jackson remarried.

Gossip regarding Jackson's marriage remained a sore point for Jackson who deeply resented attacks on his wife’s virtue. Due to his anger over the relentless attacks on his wife, and his participation in violent confrontations, Jackson received a reputation as being violent and aggressive.

When a writer named Charles Dickensin published an attack on Jackson in the local newspaper, it resulted in Jackson challenging Dickensin to a duel using pistols.

In the duel, Dickinson shot Jackson in the ribs first, and Jackson, although wounded, returned the fatal shot to his opponent. Dickinson was a well known expert shot, and Jackson decided it would be best to allow his opponent to turn and fire first, with the probability that his aim would be faulty in his eagerness to to quick; Jackson waited, took the bullet to the ribs, and then took careful aim, killing Dickinson instantly. Dueling etiquette says that if someone fires first, the other person is supposed to have the next shot. So, after firing, Dickinson had to stand still while Jackson took his time planning the final shot.

The bullet that struck Jackson was so close to his heart that it could never be removed. The duel hurt Jackson's reputation further and he had now been injured in so many duels that he was practically pasted together.

Jackson was over 6 foot and only approximately 130-140 pounds with a shock of white hair standing up all over. He and was 61 years old at the time he took office, and sickly due to his injuries. One such injury consisted of a musket ball logged in his left lung.

He died at the age of 78 from tuberculosis.

His wife Rachel died of a heart attack two months before her husband took office as President of the United States.

Martin Van Buren 1782-1862

President Martin Van Buren 1837- 1841

8) Organizer of the Democratic party. He was largely criticized by the public because Jackson had so pushed Van Buren through as his successor. There were cartoons in local papers of Jackson carrying Van Buren on his back to the white house. He also announced shortly after being elected that he intended to follow in Andrew Jackson's footsteps.

He died at age 82.

William Henry Harrison 1773-1841

William Henry Harrison March 1841- April 1841

9) He was 68 when he was inaugurated. He was the oldest president to take office until Ronald Reagan in 1981 at the age of 70. Sadly, Harrison died just one month after taking office due to pneumonia. He may have lost the title of the oldest president ever, but he still holds the record as serving the shortest term ever.

John Tyler 1790-1862

President John Tyler 1841-1845

10) The first president to go from vice president to president after the death of president.

Throughout Tyler's life, he suffered from weak health.. He suffered frequently from colds in the winder and contracted many diseases. In 1862, after complaining of a high fever, he became violently ill and collapsed. He was revived, yet the symptoms were still present. He was treated by a physician for one week before he passed away. It is believed that he had suffered a stroke.

James Polk 1795-1849

President James Polk 1845-1849

11) He is noted for foreign policy success. Polk led the country to victory in the Mexican American war, yet he only served one term. His years as president aged him and took a toll on his health. When he entered the presidency, he was full of enthusiasm and the picture of health, and at the end of his term he was twenty pounds lighter, with a gaunt face. He contracted cholera and passed away just 100 days after he left the presidency, making his retirement from office the shortest in presidential history. He was also the youngest former president to die. age 53.

Zachary Taylor 1784-1850

Zacjary Taylor 1849-1850

He died of cholera morbus or acute gastroenteritis. Possibly because Washington had open sewers making it easy for food to become contaminated. He died under a similar fashion to George Washington. Any recovery from his illness was eliminated by he being bled and drugged heavily.

Millard Fillmore 1800-1874

President Millard Fillmore 1850-1853

When Taylor suddenly died Fillmore became president. He was the last member of the Whig party to hold office.

He opposed keeping slavery out of annexed territories during the Mexican-American war in order to gain favor with the south.

In 1865 the Whig party died due to the divide on slavery issues. Fillmore refused to join the Republican party where Whigs who opposed slavery had joined, including Abraham Lincoln. Instead he joined the Know-Nothing movement.

He died in 1874 at the age of 74.

Franklin Pierce 1804-1869

President Franklin Pierce 1853-1857

14) Franklin Pierce suffered many personal tragedies in his life, all three of his children died in infancy. His first son died after living only a few days, the second son lived to be four years old, and the third son died at the age of 11. None of his children lived to see their father become president.

As president he made many partisan decisions that lead to he being widely criticized and given the reputation as one of the worst presidents ever. His party, Democratic, abandoned him and he did not seek reelection. He traveled to Europe and criticized the divide between the North and the South. He was highly critical of the North abolitionists and now many Democrats saw Pierce as a credible choice for president, but Pierce declined to run.

During Lincoln's presidency Pierce talked to journalists and criticized Abraham Lincoln, and the Republican party.

His name was again brought up as one of the political favorites for the 1864 for Democratic election, but Pierce again declined. When Lincoln was assassinated in 1865 an angry mob gathered outside his house and wanted to know why he did not have black draping around his house and American flags displayed. Pierce came out to talk to the crowd and said that he was saddened about Lincoln's death. The crowd demanded to know why there were not Flags, and an enraged Pierce shouted that his family had a long devotion to the country from his fathers military service to his own and he did not need a flag to prove it. The crowd dispersed, and some applauded.

He died in 1869 at the age of 64 of liver trouble.

James Buchanan, The 15th President

James Buchanan 1791-1868

15) The fifteenth President of the United States held office from 1857-1861, and was the only president who never married. He was also the last president to be born in the 18th century.

Born in Pennsylvania to a wealthy family in 1791, Buchanan, a graduate of Dickinson College, was a gifted debater. His talents and temperament may have earned him a place among the greatest presidents ever, but he was considered a compromise between the two sides of the slavery question, and the uprising times were no place for the quiet and refined gentleman.

Buchanan was president during a very difficult time when the nation was rapidly dividing. Buchanan was criticized for being out of touch on political issued of the time. He relied heavily on the constitution to close the widening oppositions over slavery. He failed to realize that the North would not accept constitutional arguments which favored the South. Nor could he realize how sectionalism had changed political parties. The Democrats were gaining ground; the Whig party seized to exist, giving rise to the Republicans who vehemently were opposed to slavery.

Buchanan was overshadowed by Abraham Lincoln who won the 1861 election.

In 1866 Buchanan published his memoir. The first published presidential memoir ever published. He died in 1868 from respiratory failure at the age of 77.

His legacy from historians is that he committed the worst Presidential mistake in history when he was unwilling to act in the heat of the secession. Today he is considered one of the least successful presidents ever.


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    • Skarlet profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from California

      @Kasman- Thank you for your comment. I love everything about presidential history too. I will look into the book you mentioned as George Washington is also one of my favorites. He is so fascinating, partly because he was the first president, and because there is not a lot of concrete information about him, but also when reading things that Washington wrote, or is believed to have been written by him, it is clear that this was a brilliant and deep thinking man.

    • Kasman profile image


      6 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      I love anything that has to do with our presidential history. I especially love George Washington. A great book to read on him is "The Real George Washington." It actually lets the man speak for himself through his own writings, speeches, and several other sources. Great hub, voting up!

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      6 years ago

      Love US political history (big surprise..) Learned a ton here, thank you! Jackson was a feisty one, eh? who knew...

      it's funny to think how the present might be sooo different - if THIS person were voted in over THAT one...etc..

      interesting to think - considering how much power they still wield..

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Excellent and interesting Hub -- wish I was gonna be here to see what history has to say about the creep just given a second term as president of these United States (what history says if the U.S. still exists, that is). Looking forward to more interesting info on the presidents. Best/Sis

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      I always enjoy reading about history and our POTUS.

      Very fun hub....


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