When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome

When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome

By Jacob Miller
When the Presidents of the United States Were Young and Handsome

1) George Washington was raised by his mother and half-brother Lawrence after his father suddenly passed away. Washington had little education, but with Lawrence’s help was able to earn decent pay surveying land in the Shenandoah Valley. allthatisinteresting
2) John Adams joined with the Sons of Liberty in objection to what he believed was unfair taxation by the British government, the principled attorney believed in the primacy of the rule of law. After the killing of five colonists in the March 1770 Boston Massacre, Adams volunteered to represent the nine British soldiers charged with manslaughter to ensure they received a fair trial. Adams argued that the soldiers fired in self-defense against “a motley rabble” and won a surprising acquittal for seven of the defendants, including the British officer in charge, Captain Thomas Preston. The two soldiers convicted of manslaughter were branded on their thumbs but avoided prison sentences. History
3) Thomas Jefferson entered Virginia’s prestigious College of William and Mary at age 16 and completed his comprehensive studies within just two years. allthatisinteresting
4) During his strange childhood marred by sickness, James Madison suffered from psychosomatic seizures. allthatisinteresting
5) In 1776 James Monroe left his studies at William & Mary to enlist in the 3rd Virginia Regiment. During the Revolutionary War, he served under General George Washington, fought in several major battles in the northeast, was wounded at the Battle of Trenton—from which he carried shrapnel in his shoulder for the rest of his life—and wintered at Valley Forge, eventually reaching the rank of Colonel in the Virginia service. Monroe did not return to William & Mary, but finished his legal training with then Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson. hottestheadsofstate
6) John Quincy Adams had to study dance as a boy in Europe. He liked it, though, and called dancing ‘one of the most innocent and rational amusements that was ever invented.’ He attended dances from college through his 80th birthday. As a mark of his character, he thought it petty to make fun of bad dancers. allthatisinteresting
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) was a posthumous boy; his father died only weeks before Andy was born. Raised in the remote Waxhaw area between North and South Carolina (both states are still battling for claiming rights), he was brought up by his mother, two older brothers and a few assorted relatives. Always an indifferent student, he much preferred hunting and games to schoolwork. featherfoster
8) A delegate to a political convention at age 18, he quickly moved from local to state politics, gaining fame both as a political organizer and an accomplished lawyer. ameriangallery
9) America’s ninth president, William Henry Harrison, served just one month in office before dying of pneumonia. His tenure, from March 4, 1841, to April 4, 1841, is the shortest of any U.S. president. Harrison, who was born into a prominent Virginia family, joined the Army as a young man and fought American Indians on the U.S. frontier. He then became the first congressional delegate from the Northwest Territory, a region encompassing much of the present-day Midwest. History
10) After John Tyler’s tumultuous presidency ended, his political career was pretty much shot. His 1862 obituary in The New York Times described Tyler as “the most unpopular public man that had ever held any office in the United States,” and even that depiction might have been a bit charitable. Tyler did manage to maintain some popularity throughout the South, though, so when the Confederacy broke away at the start of the Civil War, Tyler found himself elected to the Congress of the Confederate States of America. Mentalfloss
11) Though James K. Polk seemed to rise from relative obscurity to become president, he was quite competent in the job. He was known to work hard in the White House, and his administration’s great accomplishment was in extending the United States to the Pacific Coast through the use of diplomacy as well as armed conflict. Polk’s administration has always been closely linked to the concept of Manifest Destiny. allthatisinteresting
12) In 1848, the Whig Party nominated Zachary Taylor to be president without his knowledge or presence at the nominating convention. They sent him notification of the nomination without postage paid so he had to pay for the letter that told him that he was their nominee. He refused to pay the postage and did not find out about the nomination for weeks. mentalfloss
13) Millard Fillmore was born in a log cabin. He spent much of his youth clearing land and raising crops on the 130-acre farm that his father leased in New York’s Finger Lakes region. At age 14, his father, hoping to steer him away from farm life, apprenticed him to a cloth dresser. But he soon returned home after allegedly suffering severe mistreatment. Fillmore next apprenticed with the owners of a textile mill. Despite receiving only minimal formal schooling, he worked hard to educate himself and eventually became a schoolteacher. He also took an interest in the law, spurred on by his father’s landlord, a local judge. Following a couple of clerkships, Fillmore was admitted to the bar at age 23 and opened a practice near Buffalo, New York, where he made a good living and began to meet the area’s political leaders. hottestheadsofstate
14) Franklin Pierce married Jane Means Appleton in 1834. She had to suffer through his bouts of alcoholism. In fact, he was criticized during the campaign and his presidency for his alcoholism. During the used election of 1852, the Whigs mocked Pierce as the “Hero of Many a Well-Fought Bottle.” thehottestheadsofstate
15) James Buchanan entered Congress in 1821, became a senator in 1834, and during this time struck up a friendship with Alabama Senator William Rufus King. The two lived together at Mrs. Ironsides’ Boarding House on Tenth and F Streets in Washington, D.C. This kind of roommate arrangement wasn’t uncommon for young congressional newcomers, but since Buchanan and King were both older and were independently wealthy, the fact that they roomed together for more than 10 years and remained inseparable the remainder of their lives incited vicious gossip. Andrew Jackson referred to King and Buchanan, respectively, as “Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy,” and a newspaper described the relationship as a “conspicuous intimacy.” mentalfloss
16) Abraham Lincoln, who worked on a riverboat as a young man, invented an inflatable navigation system for steam-powered vessels, making him the only US president to hold a patent. allthatisinteresting
17) When Andrew Johnson was only three his father Jacob died. His mother, Mary McDonough Johnson, remarried and later sent him and his brother out as indentured servants to a tailor named James Selby. The brothers ran away from their bond after two years. On June 24, 1824, Selby advertised in a newspaper a reward of $10 for anyone who would return the brothers to him. However, they were never captured. Thoughtco
18) As a young man, Ulysses S. Grant’s quiet demeanor was mistaken for stupidity and his peers gave him the nickname Useless. Emaze
19) Rutherford B. Hayes was the first president actually graduate law school. He attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio and was valedictorian of the class of 1842. Hayes then put in a “vexatious and tedious” 10 months at a Columbus, Ohio firm, after which he earned a degree from Harvard Law School in 1845. His wife, Lucy Webb Hayes, was the first first lady to be a college graduate; she received a degree in liberal arts from Cincinnati Wesleyan Female College in 1850 at the age of 18.
20) James Garfield grew up rather poor. He spent his childhood helping his widowed mother on her farm, wishing instead to become a sailor. At 16, he ran away to work on the commerce canal boats between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. He fell overboard 14 times and returned home with a fever, vowing from that day forward to live his life with brains over brawn.
21) Chester A. Arthur grew up in Vermont but had the heart of a New Yorker. While in New York, Arthur worked as a lawyer, winning a number of civil rights cases. His extravagant taste in clothes caused him to be labeled a “dandy” and a “peacock” by his peers. allthatisinteresting

Advertisement