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Presidents of the United States, [Bouclet & Feusier portraits of the Presidents].

Presidents of the United States, [Bouclet & Feusier portraits of the Presidents].

 
 
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Summary

Portrays 16 Presidents.

John Adams, a remarkable political philosopher, served as the second President of the United States (1797-1801), after serving as the first Vice President under President George Washington. "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."

James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States (1817–1825) and the last President from the Founding Fathers. "Preparation for war is a constant stimulus to suspicion and ill will."

Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States from 1829 to 1837, seeking to act as the direct representative of the common man. "I have always been afraid of banks."

John Tyler was the tenth President of the United States (1841-1845). He was the first Vice-President to succeed to the Presidency after the death of his predecessor, President William Henry Harrison who died in April 1841. John Tyler was a constitutionalist. When the southern states started to secede in 1861, he tried to reach a compromise but failed and became one of the founders of the Southern Confederacy and was a member of the eleven Southern states Confederate House of Representatives. He died in 1862, in the beginning of the American Civil War. "Let it be henceforth proclaimed to the world that man's conscience was created free; that he is no longer accountable to his fellow man for his religious opinions, being responsible therefore only to his God."

Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States (1837-1841), after serving as the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, both under President Andrew Jackson. While the country was prosperous when the "Little Magician" was elected, less than three months later the financial panic of 1837 punctured the prosperity. A member of the Democratic Party, he served in a number of senior roles, including eighth Vice President (1833–37) and tenth Secretary of State (1829–31), both under Andrew Jackson. Van Buren's inability as president to deal with the economic chaos of the Panic of 1837 and with the surging Whig Party led to his defeat in the 1840 election. "The less government interferes with private pursuits, the better for general prosperity."

Polk was born in North Carolina. He later lived in and represented Tennessee. A Democrat, Polk served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Governor of Tennessee. Polk was the dark horse candidate for president in 1844, defeating Henry Clay of the rival Whig Party by promising to annex the Republic of Texas. Under President Polk vast areas were added to the United States. During his 1845–49 presidency, Polk led the nation to a victory in the Mexican–American War, seizing nearly the whole of what is now the American Southwest. He threatened war with the United Kingdom over the issue of Oregon Country ownership, eventually reaching a settlement in which the British were made to sell the portion that became the Oregon Territory. He built a treasury system that lasted until 1913, oversaw the opening of the U.S. Naval Academy and of the Smithsonian Institution, the groundbreaking for the Washington Monument, and the issuance of the first United States postage stamp. True to his campaign pledge to serve only one term as President, Polk left office and returned to Tennessee in March 1849. He died of cholera three months later. "One great object of the Constitution was to restrain majorities from oppressing minorities or encroaching upon their just rights."

Millard Fillmore, a member of the Whig party, was the 13th President of the United States (1850-1853) and the last President not to be affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties. The Whig Party was a political party active in the middle of the 19th century. Four Presidents belonged to the Party while in office. Along with the rival Democratic Party, it was central to the Second Party System from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s. It originally formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson (in office 1829–37) and his Democratic Party. The Whigs supported the supremacy of Congress over the Presidency and favored a program of moderniza​tion, banking, and economic protectionism to stimulate manufacturing. "It is not strange... to mistake change for progress."

Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 – March 13, 1901) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 23rd President of the United States from 1889 to 1893. He was the grandson of the ninth president, William Henry Harrison. Before ascending to the presidency, Harrison established himself as a prominent local attorney, Presbyterian church leader, and politician in Indiana. During the American Civil War, he served the Union as a colonel and later a brevet brigadier general. He was later elected to the U.S. Senate by the Indiana legislature. A Republican, Harrison was elected to the presidency in 1888, defeating the Democratic incumbent Grover Cleveland after conducting one of the first "front-porch" campaigns by delivering short speeches to delegations that visited him in Indianapolis. "We Americans have no commission from God to police the world."

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Date

01/01/1861
person

Contributors

Feusier, A. (Lithographer)
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Source

Library of Congress
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