2/22/1732 – 12/14/1799
Party: None / Independent
There is a rumor that in the Battle of Monongahela, during the French-Indian war, General Braddock (Sitting on the horse pictured below) was shot off his horse and soldiers started fleeing, George Washington took over the rear guard to protect troops as they fled, during this, he had two horses shot out from under him, once they got away it was noted that Washington had four bullet holes in his coat, but no wounds. He sent a letter to his mother indicating everything, but how accurate is it? You decide. While I, personally, have found multiple sites putting the bullet holes off as pure myth, I have found others, Encyclopaedia Britannica for one, to state it as truth.
1752-1758; George Washington held ranks of Major and Colonial with the British Militia during the French and Indian Wars.
1759-1765; Washington stayed away from the military life, running his plantation off the Kanawha River.
1765; The Stamp Act was announced, which was the first direct tax on the colonies.
1767; The Townshend Acts were announced which were a series of tax acts throughout that year.
1770; The Townshend Acts were repealed after Washington called for a ban on English goods until so. The only tax the colonies were paying after that were for tea.
1773; The Tea Act was announced which then brought the Colonists of the Thirteen Colonies, merchants, smugglers and artisans to stop the tea distribution and defy the taxes levied, referred to as The Boston Tea Party.
BOSTON TEA PARTY
1774; The Continental Congress was formed after the punitive taxes that came from the Boston Tea Party were levied. Washington was one of the first delegated.
1775; After The Battles of Lexington and Concord the colonies went to war. Washington appeared at the Second Continental Congress in military uniform signaling he was prepared for war. Washington founded the Continental Army as Congress unanimously declared him Full General and Commander in Chief.
BATTLES OF LEXINGTON AND CONCORD
- France starts to provide covert aid to the Americans
- Popular belief is Washington and a few others visited Betsy Ross to create a flag for the new colony. Originally the colors did not have a significant meaning but eventually it was labeled that white signifies purity and innocence, red signifies hardiness & valour, and blue, also known as the color of the Chief, signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice.
- The Continental Congress releases the declaration of Independence
- The Battle of Long Island takes place
- The Siege of Bostontakes place
- Washingtonand company crosses the icy Delaware river for the Battle in Trenton
WASHINGTON CROSSES DELAWARE RIVER
1777; The Battles of Saratoga takes place where Britain surrenders almost 6,000 troops
1778; France recognizes U.S. independence
1780; Washington finds out that General Benedict Arnold had changed sides.
1781; The Victory at Yorktown ends major fighting in the Continental North America.
LORD CORN WALLACE SURRENDER AT YORKTOWN
While there were still British soldiers occupying northern territories from 1781-1784, they finally vacated late 1784, after the Treaty of Paris (1783) broke and Great Britain started to recognize the independence of the United States. Shortly after, General Washington disbanded the Army and resigned as Commander in Chief.
1787; Delaware (slave), Pennsylvania (free) and New Jersey (slave til 1804) become states.
1788; Georgia (slave), Connecticut (free), Massachusetts (free), Maryland (slave), South Carolina (slave), New Hampshire (free), Virginia (slave), and New York (slave until 1799) become states
- Congressional delegates designed the Presidency with Washington in mind. After convincing him to run, they voted unanimously that he be the First President at the age of 57, John Adams came in second and was named Vice President.
- North Carolina (slave) becomes a state in the union
- First naturalization law which established terms of citizenship
- Permanent home of the Nation’s capital to be moved to along the Potomac River and called the District of Columbia. While in building mode, the Capital moved from New York to Philadelphia.
- Rhode Island (free) becomes the 13th of the original colonies to become a state.
- Washington signs bill for First bank of the United States.
- The first internal revenue law was created; tax on distilled spirits.
- Commissioners name the territory of D.C., Washington D.C. in honor of their first President.
- States officially ratify the first ten amendments, known as The Bill of Rights.
- Vermont (free) becomes the 14th state
BILL OF RIGHTS
Washington unified the new nation and shaped the chief executive’s duties. After convincing him to run a second term, he unanimously won again in 1792.
1792; Kentucky (slave) becomes the 15th state
From 1792 to 1794, his administration dealt with trying to play neutral in the Britain and France feud but hosting the France minister deteriorated relations with Britain which caused them to make a new Treaty, dubbed Jay Treaty, late 1794.
1795; Treaty of San Lorenzo passed, which gave Americans the right to ship goods through the port of New Orleans, without paying duties to the Spanish government.
1796; Tennessee (slave) becomes the 16th state of the Union.
Washington refused to run a third term, which set the precedent for two terms. He gave his farewell address late 1796 and early 1797 and retired to his home in Mount Vernon. He died two years later from illness.
WASHINGTON FAREWELL ADDRESS
Not only is he one of the (if not the biggest) Founding Fathers of the United States of America, in his lifetime he was regarded as the “Father of his country” and to this day, he is the face of the one-dollar bill, the 25 cent piece, and as well as a face on Mount Rushmore
“If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter”
“Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all”
“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”
10/20/1735 – 7/4/1826
Adams was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a leader of the American Independence from Great Britain. He played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare Independence and assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776. During the Revolutionary War he was one of the first members of the Continental Congress (1774-1778) as well as Envoy to France (1778-1779). As the new colony, he served as Minister to the Netherlands (1782-1788), Minister to the court of St. James (1785-1788) and was the first Vice President under the United States (1789-1796). He was the first President to live in the White House.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
1797; At the age of 61, John Adams became the second President of the United States. Thomas Jefferson wins his Vice President position. His first order of business was making a three party peace committee to ease tensions with France. The circumstances of those men having to bribe their way to see the French prime minister became known as the XYZ Affair.
- The Eleventh Amendment was declared, which stipulated federal court will not have jurisdiction when it comes to litigation between individuals from one state against individuals of another.
- Alien and Sedition acts were adopted.
- Tensions grew with France, Congress approved finances for an army in case war was inevitable.
- Washington was brought back on as the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Army.
- Built up the U.S. Army and Navy in the face of an undeclared naval Quasi-war with France.
- George Washington is laid to rest in Mt. Vernon, VA
GEORGE WASHINGTON’S TOMB
- New York ends slavery, becomes free state
- Adams signs into law the Federal Bankruptcy act to protect merchants and traders from debtors.
- Washington D.C. is finished, becomes the new capital and Adams becomes the first President to live in the Presidential mansion (What is now referred to as the White House).
- The quasi-naval war with France ends.
Adams signing the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts may have silenced some of his critics in trying to fill Washington’s shoes, but it also made him very unpopular and is most likely the reason he only served one term. Given his work building up the Army and Navy in his only term, he is still often regarded as the Father of the American Navy.
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
“Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.”
4/13/1743 – 7/4/1826
Jefferson is considered the most brilliant President and he is also another one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He was a great architect, farmer, and scientist that founded the University of Virginia. He was the first Secretary of State under Washington, and the second Vice President, serving under John Adams before he was elected the third President. As a proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights, he motivated American colonists to break from Great Britain and form a new nation. He, along with James Madison, organized the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalist Party during the formation of the first party system. Along with Madison, he wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which was to strengthen states rights in opposition to the National Government by nullifying unconstitutional laws, such as they deemed Adams’s Alien and Sedition Acts.
- John Adams passes one last law to help Federalists remain in power of Congress; Judiciary Act of 1801
- At the age of 57, Jefferson became the third President of the United States with Aaron Burr winning the Vice Presidency.
- Tripoli declares war on the U.S. by cutting down the flagpole at the U.S. consulate.
- Congress recognized the war with Tripoli and authorized the arming of merchant ships going into what was to be, The First Barbary Wars.
- Judiciary Act of 1801 repealed, Judiciary Act of 1802 passed
- Whiskey and Naturalization laws repealed.
- Jefferson signs the Enabling Act.
- Ohio (free) becomes the seventeenth state.
- Case of Marbury v Madison was decided, where the basis for judicial review of congressional and executive actions on the grounds of their constitutionality.
- The Louisiana Purchase treaty was signed.
- Aaron Burr is brought up on treason charges for killing Alexander Hamilton and is on the run.
- Twelfth amendment ratified, changing the rules of elections that Vice Presidents are voted separately, not just the runner up since Jefferson and Burr tied creating chaos in the first election.
- Jefferson dispatches Lewis and Clark for an expedition to explore the Louisiana Territory
- New Jersey ends slavery, becomes free state
AARON BURR – ANDREW HAMILTON DUEL
- Jefferson wins re-election with George Clinton as his Vice President.
- Midway through the year, the U.S. and Tripoli finally reached a treaty of peace, ending the Tripolitan war (also known as Barbary war).
- The Lewis and Clark Expedition ends where it began; St. Louis.
- Legislation was also passed providing military organizational structure.
- Jefferson asks for ban on slave trade.
- Congress passes law prohibiting the Importation of Slaves, effective 1/1/1808.
- Jefferson modifies, authorizes and signs the Embargo Act.
- Burr is caught and eventually acquitted.
1808; Second Embargo Act (1807) comes into force
- Congress repeals Embargo Acts.
- Jefferson signs Non-Intercourse act closing U.S. ports to France and England until they agreed to respect rights of U.S. citizens.
Historians generally rank Jefferson as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents. He is on the face of the $2 bill as well as Mount Rushmore.
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”
“I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”
3/16/1751 – 6/28/1836
Madison was hailed as the Father of the Constitution as well as the Father of the Bill of Rights for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting each, respectively. He became a leader in the new House of Representatives, drafting many basic laws and working closely with George Washington to organize the new Federal Government, as well as organizing the Democratic-Republican party, and drafting the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions with Jefferson, he supervised the Louisiana Purchase as Jefferson’s Secretary of State.
- Madison is awarded Presidency at the age of 57, with George Clinton as his Vice President.
- Madison issues a proclamation known as the Erskine agreement, revoking the embargo on Britain.
- Tensions escalated with Spain prompting Madison and Congress to build the military and fleet back up.
- Madison proclaims authorizing occupation of West Florida, also claimed by Spain.
- Tensions build with Britain and harden later that year due to the Orders in Council.
- Madison requests declaration of war with Britain.
- House passes bill to enlarge the U.S. Army but denies enlarging the Navy.
- France sinks Naval ships and Congress declares war.
- Louisiana (slave) is admitted as the eighteenth state of the Union.
- Madison wins second term, loses George Clinton as V.P. and then requested declaration of war on Britain again over the Orders in Council, this time Congress approves.
- The nation divides as Madison wins again and declares the War of 1812.
- The Battles of Lake Erie and Battle of Thames become victories while Madison calls for total embargo on Britain.
- The Battle of the Burnt Corn in the Mississippi Territory starts the Creek War with the Native Creek Indians.
BATTLE OF THAMES
- Victory at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend eliminated the Confederation as an obstacle to American expansion toward the Gulf Coast. The engagement is one of the most significant American victories in the War of 1812, providing the United States with two-thirds of Creek land in the Treaty of Fort Jackson.
- Napolean’s empire collapses causing Madison to repeal the trade embargo.
- British set blaze to White House and Washington D.C.
- Star-spangled banner is penned by Francis Scott Keys
- Britain signs the Treaty of Ghent in Europe.
WAR OF 1812
- Battle of new Orleans is victorious
- News gets back home about the treaty, ending the War of 1812 in a draw.
BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS
- Madison signs a bill re-chartering a new national bank in Philadelphia
- Madison signs bill admitting Indiana to statehood.
- Indiana (free) becomes the 19th state
After the failure of diplomatic protests and the trade embargo against the United Kingdom, he led the U.S. into the War of 1812 which was a muddy situation for the administration since they neither had a strong army, or solid financial system. As a result of that, Madison supported stronger National Government, a strong military, and the National banking system, which he long opposed. Early on he favored a strong National Government but as time passed he preferred stronger State Government, eventually settling between the two extremes. He is also one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. His face is on the $5,000 bill.
4/28/1758 – 7/4/1831
Monroe held roles early on as diplomat to France (1794-1796) and to United Kingdom (1803-1808) as well as Governor of Virginia (1799-1802, 1811). During the War of 1812 he held critical roles as the Secretary of State (1811-1817) and Secretary of War (1814-1815) under Madison. He also helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
- Monroe is sworn in at the age of 58 with Daniel D. Tompkins as his V.P.
- Britain agrees to Rush-Bagot agreement
- Monroe takes a 16 week tour of New England making appearances for a sense of National unity
- Mississippi (slave) becomes the twentieth state
- Erie Canal begins construction
- Ratification of the Treaty of 1818
- Rush-Bagot agreement signed
- Illinois (free) becomes 21st state of the union
- Alabama (slave) becomes the 22nd state of the union
- The Panic of 1819 starts
- Adams-Onis Treaty resolved
- Supreme Court rules against Maryland in McCulloch v Maryland where states cannot tax federal agencies.
- Monroe signs Missouri Compromise
- Maine (free) becomes the 23rd state of the union
- Monroe wins a second term
- Monroe signs the Military Establishment Act
- Missouri (slave) becomes the 24th state of the Union
- Monroe supported the founding of colonies in Africa for free African Americans that became the nation Liberia
1822; Liberia’s capital is named Monrovia in honor of President Monroe
1823; Monroe announces the Monroe Doctrine
MONROE DOCTRINE COMIC SKETCH
1825; Monroe’s last piece of business was vetoing the Cumberland Road Bill
Monroe’s term was called the “Era of Good Feeling“ because there was little partisan fighting. With the ratification of the Treaty of 1818 and with the successful diplomacy of his Secretary of State John Q. Adams, the United States extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific, giving America harbor and fishing rights in the Pacific Northwest. The Treaty of 1819 secured the border of the U.S. along the 42nd parallel to the Pacific ocean and represented America’s first attempt at creating a global empire. Along with the previous Presidents, he was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America as well and the last President to be a founding father.
“A little flattery will support a man through great fatigue.”
“Preparation for war is a constant stimulus to suspicion and ill will.”
7/11/1767 – 2/23/1848
John Q. Adams was the son of the second President; John Adams. They became the first father and son duo to have served as Presidents. Historians believe he was one of the greatest diplomats and Secretaries of State in American History due to the Treaty of Ghent which ended the War of 1812, the annexation of Florida, the negotiation with Britain over the northern border with Canada and his drafting of the Monroe Doctrine. His successful diplomacy as Secretary of State helped extend United States from Atlantic to Pacific coasts.
- John Q Adams wins the controversial Presidency over Jackson at the age of 57, John C. Calhoun becomes his V.P.
- Erie Canal is completed
- Military training manuals created
- Founding Fathers Jefferson and Adams both die on Independence Day.
JOHN AND ABIGAIL ADAMS TOMB IN QUINCY, MA
THOMAS JEFFERSON TOMB IN CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA
- Adams finalized restitution settlement with Britain through the Treaty of Ghent.
- Adams proclaims ports closed to British, suspending trades.
- European states incorporated into MFN Trade System
- Mexican Boundary Settlement agreed upon
- Adams signs the Tariff of Abominations, Calhoun does nothing expecting it to fail and make the North look bad, but it passes.
- VP Calhoun anonymously pens South Carolina Exposition and Protest in objection to Tariff of Abominations
Although Adams was a leader in foreign-policy and played important roles of negotiating treaties, he was blocked by a Congress of his enemies time and time again, Some accused him of winning the White House through corruption so he was plagued by accusations of misdeeds throughout his presidency, which is why he only served one term. Calhoun’s deeds towards the end of the term helped seal it as well but Adams achieved far greater acclaim after his Presidency when he was elected a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts for nine terms, where his growing revulsion against slavery helped him become a leading opponent against slave power.
“Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.”
“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
3/15/1767 – 6/8/1845
Andrew Jackson gained national fame through his role in the War of 1812, where he won a decisive victory over the main British invasion army at the Battle of New Orleans. Years later he responded to conflict with the Seminole in Spanish Florida by invading the territory in 1818 which led to the First Seminole War and the Adams-Onis Treaty in 1819, which formally transferred Florida from Spain to the United States. After his surprising loss to John Q. Adams (allegedly by corruption) in 1824, his supporters founded what became the Democratic Party and pushed him to his election.
1829; Jackson becomes the 7th President of the United States, at the age of 61. Calhoun remains as his V.P.
1830; Jackson signs Indian Removal Act
- Jackson reshuffles his cabinet due to the Peggy Eaton affair
- James Monroe is laid to rest in Richmond, VA
JAMES MONROE TOMB
- Jackson vetoes bill that would extend the life of the Second Bank
- Jackson wins re-election
- South Carolina adopts the Ordinance of Nullification. Calhoun resigns from VP to be Senator of SC
- Jackson announce Nullification Proclamation in counter to South Carolina’s ordinance.
- Congress passes Force Bill, authorizing Jackson to use military power to bring South Carolina in compliance, if necessary.
- Martin Van Buren becomes V.P.
- Texas declares Independence from Mexico
- James Madison is laid to rest in Orange, VA
JAMES MADISON TOMB
- Arkansas (slave) becomes the 25th state of the union
- Deposit Act of 1836 signed
1837; Jackson recognizes Texas as an Independent but declines addressing annexation in light of threats by Mexico
Jackson dealt with the threat of secession from South Carolina over the Tariff of Abominations, which was passed in Adam’s congress. The tariff was eventually amended but even if it had not, Jackson refused to let any state nullify federal law, or secede and threatened the use of military force if South Carolina, or any other state, attempted to secede. During his time he was considered the common people’s friend and was dubbed “Old Hickory” because he was so tough and expanded the powers of the Presidency. He is the face of the $20 bill.
“Peace, above all things, is to be desired, but blood must sometimes be spilled to obtain it on equable and lasting terms.”
“The wisdom of man never yet contrived a system of taxation that would operate with perfect equality.”
12/5/1782 – 7/24/1862
Van Buren gained his fame as a political organizer and an accomplished lawyer as well as building the organizational structure for the Democratic Party, primarily in New York where he also held titles of Senator (1821-1828) and Governor (1829). He also held position of Secretary of State (1829-1831), prime minister to United Kingdom (1831-1832) and Vice President (1833-1937). He was the first President to be born an American citizen, rather than British subject.
- At the age of 54, Van Buren becomes 8th President of the United States. Richard M. Johnson is his V.P.
- The Panic of 1837 begins in New York
- Rebellion erupts in upper and lower Canada against British, Americans get involved
- Britain seizes American steamship Caroline supplying aid to Canadian militia
- Michigan (free) becomes the 26th state of the Union
PANIC OF 1837
- Aroostook War begins
- Van Buren criticizes Britain over the Caroline Affair but remains in a neutral stance with the Neutrality Law of 1838
DESTRUCTION OF CAROLINE
- Aroostook War ends
- Van Buren secures agreement with England over two slave ships, then seizes another mutinous one, Amistad
- Van Buren signs the Independent Treasury Act
- Hearings of the Amistad determined the right to send the ship back to its owner, but the slaves were freed to Africa
Van Buren lost re-election, where he was dubbed by newspapers as “Martin Van Ruin” over his inability to deal with the economic chaos that was the Depression of 1837 and for his stance against the annexation of Texas.
“The less government interferes with private pursuits, the better for general prosperity.”
“I cannot expect to perform the task with equal ability and success.”
Harrison served as the first territorial congressional delegate from the Northwest Territory (1799-1800), governor of the Indiana Territory (1801-1812), and later as a U.S. representative (1816-1819) and senator from Ohio (1825-1828). He originally gained national fame for leading U.S. forces against American Indians at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, where he earned the nickname “Tippecanoe” (or “Old Tippecanoe”). As a general in the subsequent War of 1812, his most notable action was in the Battle of the Thames in 1813, which brought an end to hostilities in Upper Canada. This battle resulted in the death of Tecumseh and the dissolution of the Indian coalition which he led.
BATTLE OF TIPPECANOE
- At the age of 68, Harrison became the ninth President of the United States and was the last President born as a British Subject. He delivered one of the longest inaugural speeches in the cold and fell ill.
- A month later Harrison died of pneumonia, bringing up the dilemma of who succeeds the President if he dies in office, it was determined then that the Vice President (John Tylor) takes over duties if the President passes in office.
HARRISON’S TOMB IN NORTH BEND, OH
3/29/1790 – 1/18/1862
Tyler served as a Virginia state legislator, governor (1825-1827), U.S. representative (1816-1821), and U.S. senator (1827-1836) before his election as vice president (1841). He was put on the ticket to attract states’ rights Southerners to what was then a Whig coalition to defeat Van Buren’s re-election bid. Tyler was known as a supporter of states’ rights, which endeared him to his fellow Virginians. A firm believer in manifest destiny, President Tyler sought to strengthen and preserve the Union through territorial expansion, most notably the annexation of the independent Republic of Texas in his last days in office.
- Tyler takes Presidency at the age of 51, after Harrison’s death.
- Tyler’s entire cabinet, besides Secretary of State, resigns after he vetoes bill for establishment of the National Bank.
- Supreme Court of Massachusetts establishes the legality of labor unions in the case of Commonwealth v Hunt
- Tyler signs Webster-Ashburton Treaty
- Tyler’s wife, the first lady Letitia dies.
- Texas annexation Treaty is signed but fails to gain two-thirds support in the Senate
- First telegraph line established between Washington D.C. and Baltimore
- Treaty of Wanghia signed with Chinese empire
- Tyler gets remarried which causes both parties to pummel him in politics
- Texas annexation is passed
- Andrew Jackson is laid to rest in Nashville, TN
ANDREW JACKSON TOMB
- Florida (slave) becomes the 27th state of the Union
The circumstances of his unexpected rise to the presidency and his possible threat to the ambitions of other potential presidential candidates left him estranged from both major parties in Washington. Tyler found much of the Whig platform unconstitutional, and vetoed several of his party’s bills. Believing that the president should set policy instead of deferring to Congress, he attempted to bypass them but most of Tyler’s Cabinet resigned soon into his term, dubbing his tenure as “His Accidency” and expelling him from the party. Though Tyler was not the first president to veto bills, he was the first to see his veto overridden by Congress. Although he faced a stalemate on domestic policy, he had several foreign-policy achievements, including the Webster–Ashburton Treaty with Britain and the Treaty of Wanghia with Qing China.
President Tyler dedicated his last two years in office to the annexation of Texas. He initially sought election to a full term, but after losing the support of both Whigs and Democrats, he withdrew. Although some have praised Tyler’s political resolve, his presidency is generally held in low standards by historians; today, he is considered with little presence in the American cultural memory. Tyler was expected to be a passive “acting President” while he finished Harrison’s term. But he refused to be passive. He made enemies in Congress and was the first President to be threatened with impeachment.