Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877): The 18th Retrospective
“Whatcha got ain’t nothin new. This country’s hard on people, you can’t stop what’s coming, it ain’t all waiting on you. That’s vanity.” – Ellis, No Country for Old Men (2007)
Truly the first celebrity candidate, US Grant was the youngest man ever elected President at the time at 46. The first President elected from West Point, and the first President to be elected without winning the majority of the white vote as, for the first time, blacks in the south were allowed to vote. 700,000 voted (12% of the electorate) overwhelmingly in Grant’s favor, whom blacks felt was just as important to their cause as Lincoln.
Slavery and Civil Rights
Ulysses Grant was the last U.S. president to own slaves, and his record on slavery was as mixed as many of the early presidents.
After the American Civil War, Grant said “it was a stain to the Union that men should be bought and sold like cattle.”
Sounding much like an abolitionist, Grant wrote in his personal memoir:
Southern slave-owners believed that, in some way, the ownership of slaves conferred a sort of patent of nobility …. They convinced themselves, first, of the divine origin of the institution and, next, that that particular institution was not safe in the hands of any body of legislators but themselves.”
Yet during the war, Grant confided in a letter to Elihu Washburne:
I never was an Abolitionist, not even what could be called anti slavery.” As Grant put it in a letter to his father on August 3, 1862, “I have no hobby of my own with regard to the negro, either to effect his freedom or to continue his bondage.”
In an earlier letter to his father on May 6, 1861, Grant’s disregard for Black people was even more apparent:
A few decisive victories in some of the southern ports will send the secession army howling and …. negroes will depreciate so rapidly in value that no body will want to own them …. The nigger will never disturb this country again.”
The Eutaw riot was an episode of white racial violence in Eutaw, Alabama, the county seat of Greene County, on October 25, 1870, during the Reconstruction Era in the United States. It was related to an extended period of campaign violence before the fall gubernatorial election, as white Democrats in the state used racial terrorism to suppress black Republican voting. White Klan members attacked a Republican rally of 2,000 black citizens in the courthouse square, killing as many as four and wounding 54.
Black Republicans feared for their safety, staying away from the polls or voting Democratic. The Democratic Party won the 1870 gubernatorial election, as similar intimidation was conducted against blacks in other heavily majority Republican counties.
The Kirk–Holden War was a struggle against the Ku Klux Klan in the state of North Carolina in 1870. The Klan was using murder and intimidation to prevent recently freed slaves from exercising their right to vote. Republican Governor William W. Holden hired Colonel George Washington Kirk to handle the matter. Holden also suspended the writ of habeas corpus, and imposed martial law in Caswell and Alamance counties in response.
The Orange Riots
The Orange Riots (1870-71) saw violent conflict between Ulster Scots Protestants, called “Orangemen”, and Irish Catholics, along with the New York City Police Department and the New York State National Guard in Manhattan. The riot caused the deaths of over 60 civilians — mostly Irish laborers — and three Guardsmen.
Meridian Race Riot of 1871
The Meridian race riot of 1871 was a race riot in Meridian, Mississippi in March 1871. It followed the arrest of freedmen accused of inciting riot in a downtown fire, and blacks’ organizing for self-defense. Although the local Ku Klux Klan (KKK) chapter had attacked freedmen since the end of the Civil War, generally without punishment, the first local arrest under the 1870 act to suppress the Klan was of a freedman angering the black community.
During the trial of black leaders, the presiding judge was shot in the courtroom, and a gunfight erupted that killed several people. In the ensuing mob violence, whites killed as many as 30 blacks over the next few days. Democrats drove the Republican mayor from office, and no person was charged or tried in the freedmen’s deaths.
The Meridian riot was related to widespread postwar violence by whites to drive Reconstruction Republicans from office and restore white supremacy. Although the Enforcement Acts helped suppress the Klan at this time, the Meridian riot marked a turning point in Mississippi violence.
By 1875 other white paramilitary groups arose; the Red Shirts suppressed black voting by intimidation, and their efforts led to a Democratic Party victory in state elections. Within two years a national political compromise was reached, and the federal government withdrew its military forces from the South in 1877.
Chinese Massacre of 1871
The Chinese Massacre of 1871 (October 24, 1871) was a racial massacre that occurred in Los Angeles, California, where a mob of around 500 White and Hispanic persons entered Old Chinatown and attacked, bullied, robbed, and murdered Chinese residents in cold blood. The massacre took place on Calle de los Negros, also referred to as “Negro Alley”.
The mob gathered after hearing that a policeman and a rancher had been killed as a result of a conflict between rival tongs, the Nin Yung, and Hong Chow. As news of their death spread across the city, fueling rumors that the Chinese community “were killing whites wholesale”, more men gathered around the boundaries of Negro Alley. A few 21st-century sources have described this as the largest mass lynching in American history.
19 Chinese immigrants were killed, 15 of whom were later hanged by the mob in the course of the riot, but most of whom had already been shot to death before being hanged. At least one was mutilated, when a member of the mob cut off a finger to obtain the victim’s diamond ring. Those killed represented over 10% of the small Chinese population of Los Angeles at the time, which numbered 172 prior to the massacre.
Ten men of the mob were prosecuted and eight were convicted of manslaughter in these deaths. The convictions were overturned on appeal due to technicalities.
The Colfax massacre, sometimes referred to by the euphemism Colfax riot, occurred on Easter Sunday, April 13, 1873, in Colfax, Louisiana, the seat of Grant Parish. An estimated 62 to 153 black militia men were killed while surrendering to a mob of former Confederate soldiers, members of the Ku Klux Klan and the White League. Three white men also died in the confrontation.
In the wake of the contested 1872 election for governor of Louisiana and local offices, a group of white Democrats armed with rifles and a small cannon, overpowered Republican freedmen and state militia (also black) occupying the Grant Parish courthouse in Colfax. Most of the freedmen were killed after surrendering; nearly 50 were killed later that night after being held as prisoners for several hours. Estimates of the number of dead have varied, ranging from 62 to 153; three whites died but the number of black victims was difficult to determine because many bodies were thrown into the Red River or removed for burial, possibly at mass graves.
Historian Eric Foner described the massacre as the worst instance of racial violence during Reconstruction. In Louisiana, it had the most fatalities of any of the numerous violent events following the disputed gubernatorial contest in 1872 between Republicans and Democrats. Foner wrote, “…every election [in Louisiana] between 1868 and 1876 was marked by rampant violence and pervasive fraud.”
Although the Fusionist-dominated (alliance between moderate wings of the South’s Democratic and Republican Parties) state “returning board,” which ruled on vote validity, initially declared John McEnery and his Democratic slate the winners, the board eventually split, with a faction declaring Republican William P. Kellogg the victor. A Republican federal judge in New Orleans ruled that the Republican-majority legislature be seated.
Federal prosecution and conviction of a few perpetrators at Colfax under the Enforcement Acts was appealed to the Supreme Court. In a key case, the court ruled in United States v. Cruikshank (1876) that protections of the Fourteenth Amendment did not apply to the actions of individuals, but only to the actions of state governments.
After this ruling, the federal government could no longer use the Enforcement Act of 1870 to prosecute actions by paramilitary groups such as the White League, which had chapters forming across Louisiana beginning in 1874. Intimidation, murders, and black voter suppression by such paramilitary groups were instrumental to the Democratic Party regaining political control in the state legislature by the late 1870s. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, historians have paid renewed attention to the events at Colfax and the resulting Supreme Court case, and their meaning in American history, including contemporary history.
Battle of Liberty Place
The Battle of Liberty Place, or Battle of Canal Street, was an attempted insurrection and coup d’etat by the Crescent City White League against the Reconstruction Era Louisiana Republican state government on September 14, 1874, in New Orleans, which was the capital of Louisiana at the time. Five thousand members of the White League, a paramilitary terrorist organization made up largely of Confederate veterans, fought against the outnumbered New Orleans Metropolitan Police and state militia.
The insurgents held the statehouse, armory, and downtown for three days, retreating before arrival of Federal troops that restored the elected government. No insurgents were charged in the action. This was the last major event of violence stemming from the disputed 1872 gubernatorial election, after which Democrat John McEnery and Republican William Pitt Kellogg both claimed victory.
The Coushatta Massacre (1874) was the result of an attack by the White League, a paramilitary organization composed of white Southern Democrats, on Republican officeholders and freedmen in Coushatta, the parish seat of Red River Parish, Louisiana. They assassinated six white Republicans and five to 20 freedmen who were witnesses.
The White League had organized to restore white supremacy by driving Republicans out of Louisiana, disrupting their political organizing, and intimidating or murdering freedmen. Like the Red Shirts and other “White Line” organizations, they were described as “the military arm of the Democratic Party.”
South Carolina Civil Disturbances of 1876
The South Carolina civil disturbances of 1876 were a series of race riots and civil unrest related to the Democratic Party’s political campaign to take back control from Republicans of the state legislature and governor’s office through their paramilitary Red Shirts division. Part of their plan was to disrupt Republican political activity and suppress black voting, particularly in counties where populations of whites and blacks were close to equal. Former Confederate general Martin W. Gary’s “Plan of the Campaign of 1876” gives the details of planned actions to accomplish this.
The following incidents took place mostly in counties where blacks were in the majority, but not significantly. The Upstate counties had majorities of whites and racial disturbances were uncommon, whereas the Lowcountry counties had an overwhelming black population where white militias were not as active. In the Midlands, Edgefield District and Charleston area, Democrats exerted considerable effort to step up the Democratic vote and suppress black Republican voting by intimidation and violence, including outright murder and assassination of a black state representative.
In 1875 Charleston had a population that was 57% black, with a Charleston County population that was 73% black. Having had a tradition of a well-established class of free people of color in the city, African Americans organized to defend themselves during this volatile period.
By suppressing the black majority in Edgefield County and election fraud (2,000 more votes were counted than the total number of registered voters in the county), the Democrats elected Wade Hampton III as the Democratic candidate by a narrow margin of slightly more than 1100 votes statewide. They also carried the state legislature.
The Hamburg Massacre (or Red Shirt Massacre or Hamburg riot) was a riot in the American town of Hamburg, South Carolina, in July 1876, leading up to the last election season of the Reconstruction Era. It was the first of a series of civil disturbances planned and carried out by white Democrats in the majority-black Republican Edgefield District, with the goal of suppressing black voting, disrupting Republican meetings, and suppressing black Americans civil rights, through actual and threatened violence.
Beginning with a dispute over free passage on a public road, the massacre was rooted in racial hatred and political motives. A court hearing attracted armed white “rifle clubs,” colloquially called the “Red Shirts”. Desiring to regain control of state governments and eradicate the civil rights of black Americans, over 100 white men attacked about 30 black servicemen of the National Guard at the armory, killing two as they tried to leave that night.
Later that night, the Red Shirts tortured and murdered four of the militia while holding them as prisoners, and wounded several others. In total, the events in Hamburg resulted in the death of one white man and six black men with several more blacks being wounded. Although 94 white men were indicted for murder by a coroner’s jury, none were prosecuted.
The events were a catalyst in the overarching violence in the volatile 1876 election campaign. There were other episodes of violence in the months before the election, including an estimated 100 blacks killed during several days in Ellenton, South Carolina, also in Aiken County. The Southern Democrats succeeded in “redeeming” the state government and electing Wade Hampton III as governor.
During the remainder of the century, they passed laws to establish single-party white rule, impose legal segregation and “Jim Crow,” and disenfranchise blacks with a new state constitution adopted in 1895. This exclusion of blacks from the political system was effectively maintained into the late 1960s.
The Ellenton riot (September 12-15, 1876) saw 500–600 white men from Columbia County, Georgia, together with rifle clubs from numerous Georgia and South Carolina towns, ranged over a considerable area, warning blacks that they would be whipped or killed if they did not vote Democrat. Deaths were one white and up to 100 blacks, with several whites wounded.
Constitutional Amendments Passed
The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government and each state from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” It was ratified on February 3, 1870 as the third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments.
States Admitted To The Union
- Colorado became the 38th state on August 1, 1876 from the Colorado Territory
Grant Management Style
Grant viewed the presidency as a continuation of his service in the civil war. He viewed his cabinet as subordinates, loyal to him. In fact, they were cronies and relatives of his wife who abused their power. Upon inauguration, Grant stated, “Let’s resolve these questions that are leftover from the war, let us have peace.” Indeed most seceded states were restored to the union, and blacks, emboldened by federal troops, voted Republican in southern states.
Grant v. Ku Klux Klan
While many in the north wanted to punish the south, and many in the south wanted to punish blacks. The Ku Klux Klan commonly shortened to the KKK or the Klan, is an American white supremacist terrorist hate group whose primary targets are African Americans as well as Jews, immigrants, leftists, homosexuals, Catholics, and Muslims.
The Klan has existed in three distinct eras at different points in time during the history of the United States. Each has advocated extremist reactionary positions such as white nationalism, anti-immigration and – especially in later iterations – Nordicism, antisemitism, anti-Catholicism, prohibition, right-wing populism, anti-communism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and anti-atheism. Historically, the first Klan used terrorism – both physical assault and murder – against politically active blacks and their allies in the Southern United States in the late 1860s.
All three movements have called for the “purification” of American society and all are considered “right-wing extremist” organizations. In each era, membership was secret and estimates of the total were highly exaggerated by both friends and enemies.
The first Klan was established in the wake of the Civil War and was a defining organization of the Reconstruction era. Organized entirely in the Southern United States, it was suppressed through federal intervention in the early 1870s. It sought to overthrow the Republican state governments in the South, especially by using voter intimidation and targeted violence against African-American leaders.
Each chapter was autonomous and highly secret as to membership and plans. Its numerous chapters across the South were suppressed around 1871, through federal law enforcement. Members made their own, often colorful, costumes: robes, masks and conical hats, designed to be terrifying and to hide their identities.
The second Klan started small in Georgia in 1915. It grew after 1920 and flourished nationwide in the early and mid-1920s, including urban areas of the Midwest and West. Taking inspiration from D. W. Griffith’s 1915 silent film The Birth of a Nation, which mythologized the founding of the first Klan, it employed marketing techniques and a popular fraternal organization structure. Rooted in local Protestant communities, it sought to maintain white supremacy, often took a pro-Prohibition stance, and it opposed Catholics and Jews, while also stressing its opposition to the alleged political power of the pope and the Catholic Church.
This second Klan flourished both in the south and northern states; it was funded by initiation fees and selling its members a standard white costume. The chapters did not have dues. It used K-words which were similar to those used by the first Klan, while adding cross burnings and mass parades to intimidate others. It rapidly declined in the later half of the 1920s.
The third and current manifestation of the KKK emerged after 1950, in the form of localized and isolated groups that use the KKK name. They have focused on opposition to the civil rights movement, often using violence and murder to suppress activists. It is classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. As of 2016, the Anti-Defamation League puts total KKK membership nationwide at around 3,000, while the Southern Poverty Law Center puts it at 6,000 members total.
The second and third incarnations of the Ku Klux Klan made frequent references to America’s “Anglo-Saxon” blood, hearkening back to 19th-century nativism. Although members of the KKK swear to uphold Christian morality, the group is widely denounced by Christian denominations.
Grant and the Enforcement Acts
The Enforcement Acts were three bills passed by the United States Congress between 1870 and 1871. They were criminal codes that protected African-Americans’ right to vote, to hold office, to serve on juries, and receive equal protection of laws. Passed under the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, the laws also allowed the federal government to intervene when states did not act to protect these rights. The acts passed following the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, which gave full citizenship to anyone born in the United States or freed slaves, and the Fifteenth Amendment, which banned racial discrimination in voting.
At the time, the lives of all newly freed slaves, as well as their political and economic rights, were being threatened. This threat led to the creation of the Enforcement Acts.
Enforcement Act of 1870
The Enforcement Act of 1870, also known as the Civil Rights Act of 1870 or First Ku Klux Klan Act, or Force Act (41st Congress, Sess. 2, ch. 114, 16 Stat. 140, enacted May 31, 1870, effective 1871) was a United States federal law that empowered the President to enforce the first section of the Fifteenth Amendment throughout the United States. The act was the first of three Enforcement Acts passed by the United States Congress in 1870 and 1871, during the Reconstruction Era, to combat attacks on the voting rights of African Americans from state officials or violent groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
The Enforcement Act of 1870 prohibited discrimination by state officials in voter registration on the basis of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. It established penalties for interfering with a person’s right to vote and gave federal courts the power to enforce the act.
The act also authorized the President to employ the use of the army to uphold the act and the use of federal marshals to bring charges against offenders for election fraud, the bribery or intimidation of voters, and conspiracies to prevent citizens from exercising their constitutional rights.
The act banned the use of terror, force or bribery to prevent people from voting because of their race. Other laws banned the KKK entirely. Hundreds of KKK members were arrested and tried as common criminals and terrorists. The first Klan was more or less eradicated within a year of federal prosecution.
Enforcement Act of 1871
The Enforcement Act of 1871 (17 Stat. 13), also known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, Third Enforcement Act, Third Ku Klux Klan Act, Civil Rights Act of 1871, or Force Act of 1871, is an Act of the United States Congress which empowered the President to suspend the writ of habeas corpus to combat the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and other white supremacy organizations. The act was passed by the 42nd United States Congress and signed into law by United States President Ulysses S. Grant on April 20, 1871, The statute has been subject to only minor changes since then, but has been the subject of voluminous interpretation by courts.
This legislation was asked for by President Grant and passed within one month of when he sent the request to Congress. Grant’s request was a result of the reports he was receiving of widespread racial threats in the Deep South, particularly in South Carolina. He felt that he needed to have his authority broadened before he could effectively intervene.
After the act’s passage, the president had the power for the first time to both suppress state disorders on his own initiative and to suspend the right of habeas corpus. Grant did not hesitate to use this authority on numerous occasions during his presidency, and as a result the KKK was completely dismantled (ending the “first Klan” era) and did not resurface in any meaningful way until the beginning of the 20th century. Several of the act’s provisions still exist today as codified statutes. The second Enforcement Act amended the first Enforcement Act by adding more severe punishments to the revisions.
Ku Klux Klan Act
Two months later in April 1871, Congress passed the third and final measure, known as the Ku Klux Klan Act. This Act outlawed terrorist conspiracies by all racist vigilantes including but not limited to the Ku Klux Klan. It allowed the President to suspend the writ of Habeas Corpus in regions prone to terrorist activities.
A spate of scandals would mar the Grant Administration. The frequency of these events led to the use of the term “Grantism,” a word synonymous with greed and corruption. Many people at the time speculated that money from these ventures was being funneled into Republican Party coffers.
Representative Oakes Ames of Massachusetts and Thomas C. Durant were prominent stockholders in the Union Pacific Railroad Company. In 1867 the two cooperated in forming Crédit Mobilier, a dummy construction company “responsible” for completing the transcontinental railway`s last 600 miles. In the process, U.P. stockholders and the federal government were bilked out of millions of dollars. When it appeared that an investigation was going to be launched, Ames bribed influential congressmen and was able to head off scrutiny.
Nevertheless, the fraud was exposed in 1872. It was apparent that Vice president Schuyler Colfax had been bribed with stock. House Speaker James A. Garfield was linked to the dealings, but his participation was never proven. Despite the loss of $20 million (a huge sum in the 1870s), no prosecutions ever occurred.
In 1869, speculators Jim Fisk and Jay Gould attempted to corner the nation’s gold market. They enlisted the help of Grant’s brother-in-law, who had pledged to prevent the president from acting to ruin the scheme.
The conspirators bought huge amounts of gold and gold futures, sending the price of the commodity spiraling upward. They intended to sell everything at an enormous profit. However, Grant came to realize that his brother-in-law’s advice was harming public confidence and he ordered the immediate sale of $4 million worth of government gold. The price plummeted. Thousands of people suffered financial losses – not including Fisk and Gould, who refused to pay off their obligations.
The Whiskey Ring
In the years following the Civil War, federal liquor taxes were raised to extremely high rates to help pay off the cost of the fighting. In order to avoid the high tax, many of the nation’s distillers bribed officials in the Department of the Treasury, receiving tax stamps at a fraction of their face value. Treasury Secretary Benjamin H. Bristow eventually caught wind of the dishonesty and launched a massive investigation in 1875. In the end, more than 100 officials were convicted in the Whiskey Ring. Ulysses S. Grant, much to his discredit, successfully shielded his private secretary, Orville E. Babcock.
The Indian Ring
Starting in 1870, Grant’s Secretary of War, William W. Belknap, accepted bribes from companies with licenses to trade on the reservations of many Native American tribes. Belknap was impeached by the House of Representatives, but acquitted by the Senate in August 1876.
In 1876, after Belknap’s resignation, Grant appointed Alphonso Taft, as Secretary of War. Taft initiated a new protocol which only allowed fort commanders to appoint traderships.
Grant, Custer, and Little Big Horn
The Congressional investigation by the House created a rift between President Ulysses S. Grant and Col. George A. Custer. Before and during the investigation, Col. Custer was associated with aiding and writing anonymous articles for the New York Herald that exposed trader post kickback rings and implied that Belknap was behind the rings. Moreover, during the investigation, Custer testified on hearsay evidence that President Grant’s brother, Orvil, was involved in the scandal.
This infuriated President Grant who then, in retaliation, stripped Custer of his command in the campaign against the Dakota Sioux. Col. Custer however, lobbied Grant and was able to participate in the campaign against the Dakota Sioux. However, Custer’s reputation had been damaged and he attempted to restore his military prestige at Little Big Horn.
Grant wanted to pursue a peace policy, but there was only more war as conflict continued and intensified between the army, settlers and Indians. The Battle of the Little Bighorn, known to the Lakota and other Plains Indians as the Battle of the Greasy Grass and also commonly referred to as Custer’s Last Stand, was an armed engagement between combined forces of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes and the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. The battle, which resulted in the defeat of U.S. forces, was the most significant action of the Great Sioux War of 1876. It took place on June 25–26, 1876, along the Little Bighorn River in the Crow Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana Territory.
The fight was an overwhelming victory for the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho, who were led by several major war leaders, including Crazy Horse and Chief Gall, and had been inspired by the visions of Sitting Bull. The U.S. 7th Cavalry, a force of 700 men, suffered a major defeat while commanded by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (formerly a brevetted major general during the American Civil War).
Second Term For Grant
Grant’s enduring popularity earned him reelection. His second term was not great as Democrats recaptured the south and violence continued. Unlike his first term, Grant could not send troops in his second term as politics changed.
Panic of 1873
The Panic of 1873 was a financial crisis that triggered a depression in Europe and North America that lasted from 1873 until 1879, and even longer in some countries. The Panic was known as the “Great Depression” until the events in the early 1930s took precedence.
The Panic of 1873 and the subsequent depression had several underlying causes. Post-war inflation, rampant speculative investments (overwhelmingly in railroads), a large trade deficit, ripples from economic dislocation in Europe resulting from the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), property losses in the Chicago (1871) and Boston (1872) fires, and other factors put a massive strain on bank reserves, which plummeted in New York City during September and October 1873 from $50 million to $17 million. The first symptoms of the crisis were financial failures in the Austro-Hungarian capital, Vienna, which spread to most of Europe and North America by 1873.
The panic contributed to a shift in public opinion. People didn’t want to hear about Reconstruction nor pay for an endless occupation of the south. When the Governor of Mississippi asked for federal troops to end electoral violence in 1875, Grant failed to act. Duly elected governments were overthrown by terrorist groups effectively marking the end of Reconstruction.
Ulysses S. Grant
The Grant administration took astonishing steps towards black equality as we saw for the first time the power of the black vote. Unfortunately, his attempts for peace were never fully realized. The unsavory dealings in his administration led to the establishment of a more Liberal Republican Party. The people vociferously bitched about the spoils system, in which successful officeholders rewarded their supporters with political appointments. An ever-growing part of the population began to recognize the need for some type of civil service reform.
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Rutherford B. Hayes 1877 – 1881) would follow Ulysses S. Grant
Andrew Johnson (1865 – 1869) preceded Ulysses S. Grant
Zachary Taylor (1849-1850) would assume the presidency after the Mexican War.
John Quincy Adams (1825 – 1829) was the first President who wasn’t a founding father and preceded the influential Andrew Jackson (1829 – 1837)
It all started with George Washington (1789 – 1797).
Grover Cleveland (1885 – 1889) and would assume the presidency again from 1893-1897
Woodrow Wilson (1913 – 1921) would guide the United States through World War I.
Harry Truman (1945 – 1953) would assume the presidency after the death of the iconic FDR (1933 – 1945)
Jimmy Carter (1977 – 1981) would be the only Democratic President for 25 years post Civil Rights.
George W. Bush (2000 – 2008) is the final President in our series.