Interesting Facts About the Presidents of the United States of America
Each president in American history has had a unique impact on the nation. Here is a handy list of our first ten presidents that includes the years that they served and a few interesting facts about each of them.
Let's get started with numero uno: His Excellency, George Washington.
The First Ten Presidents
|President||Party||Years in Office|
1789-1797 (8 years)
1797-1801 (4 years)
1801-1809 (8 years)
1809-1817 (8 years)
1817-1825 (8 years)
John Quincy Adams
1825-1829 (4 years)
1829-1837 (8 years)
Martin Van Buren
1837-1841 (4 years)
William Henry Harrison
1841 (1 month)
1841-1845 (4 years)
The Federalist Presidents
George Washington, Federalist, served as president from 1789-1797. President Washington, in addition to being first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, avoided getting smallpox during the American Revolution because he got a mild case on his only trip outside the American colonies/United States. He went to Barbados with his brother early in life. Contrary to popular belief, he did not cut down his father's cherry tree.
John Adams, Federalist, served as president from 1797 to 1801. Adams was known as "His Rotundity" for his portly physique. Probably lost any chance at re-election by not going to war against France. He was the first president to live in the White House but did not stick around to see his successor inaugurated.
The Jeffersonian Virginia Dynasty
3. Thomas Jefferson, Democratic-Republican, served as president from 1801-1809. Jefferson's major achievement was the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon. Jefferson actually felt the purchase was unconstitutional, but went through with it anyway. Almost lost his first election to his Vice Presidential candidate, Aaron Burr. Jefferson is widely believed to have fathered children by his slave, Sally Hemmings.
4. James Madison, Democratic-Republican, served as president from 1809-1817. Madison as the shortest president in history, with a height of only 5'4". He is also known as the Father of the Constitution because of his impact on this founding document.
5. James Monroe, Democratic-Republican, served as president from 1817-1825. Was the last of the Virginia Dynasty to serve as president. Came closest to George Washington's record of being elected unanimously. Only one elector refused to vote for him in 1820.
Presidents of the Jacksonian Era
6. John Quincy Adams, Democratic-Republican, served as president from 1825-1829. Many believed that Adams only won the presidency because of a "corrupt bargain" with Speaker of the House Henry Clay. Followed his father as the second one-termer in American history. Served as a Representative for Massachusetts after leaving the White House and died on the floor of the House. Won the 1824 election, which was the first to count the popular vote in a few states.
7. Andrew Jackson, Democrat, served as president from 1829-1837. Jackson rode into Washington, DC, on a horse and left on a train. He lived an interesting life. Jackson killed a man in a duel and was the first president to survive an assassination attempt after his assailant's two handguns misfired. He was the only president to oversee the paying off of the national debt. Jackson's membership in the Masonic Lodge led to the creation of the first third party in American history.
8. Martin van Buren, Democrat, served as president from 1837-1840. Van Buren is widely acknowledged as the first political campaign strategist, who led Jackson to victory. Van Buren had the misfortune of being on the receiving end of a massive depression caused largely by his predecessor's banking policies. The depression basically covered his entire presidency, and the voters blamed him for the economic downturn after the Panic of '37.
9. William Henry Harrison, Whig, served as president for a month in 1841. Old Tippecanoe won one of the first campaigns to focus upon soundbites. The popular song Tippecanoe and Tyler Too endeared the Log Cabin Campaign into the hearts of the voters. Harrison probably accomplished the least of any president. His inaugural address was the longest, however. He gave it in a cold rain, caught a cold, and died of pneumonia about a month later. Harrison had the shortest term of any president and was the first to die in office.
10. John Tyler, Whig, served as president from 1841 to 1845. Tyler was a supporter of states' rights, which did not endear him to the Whigs, who basically kicked him out of the party. As a man without a party, Tyler was one of the most hopeless lame ducks in American history. Tyler had more children than any president in history with 15--eight with his first wife (she did NOT die in childbirth) and seven with his second. Tyler became known as "His Accidency" after taking over the duties of president after Harrison's death
Well, there are a few of the more interesting facts about our first ten presidents. The facts are by no means comprehensive, but they show that each was unique in his own way.
Who is your favorite?
Chris Price (author) from USA on July 25, 2012:
You are quite welcome, Jo. I'm glad you enjoyed the article. I plan to make it a series and talk about all of the presidents.
Jo Miller from Tennessee on July 25, 2012:
Thanks for this informative article. I started a project about a year ago to read biographies of all the Presidents I wanted to know more about. I'm still working on the list.