Presidents of the United States from Virginia
The following Virginians served as president of the United States.
Washington, the first president, was born on February 22, 1732, at his
father's plantation on Popes Creek, in
[Westmoreland County]. He married [Martha Dandridge Custis], a widow with two young children, on January 6,
1759. Washington commanded Virginia troops during the [French and Indian War] (1754–1763) and represented first [Frederick] and afterwards [Fairfax County] in the House of Burgesses. He also represented
Fairfax County in the first two Revolutionary Conventions of 1774 and 1775. In 1775
Washington became commander of the Continental army, which he led to final victory at
[Yorktown] six years later. He also presided over the constitutional convention that met
at Philadelphia in 1787. The Father of His Country, as Washington was often called,
served two presidential terms from April 30, 1789, through March 3, 1797, after
declining a third term. Washington died December 14, 1799, at [Mount Vernon] and is buried there.
Thomas Jefferson, the third president,
was born on April 13, 1743 at Shadwell, in
[Albemarle County]. He married [Martha
Wayles Skelton] in 1772, and they had five daughters and one son. Before his
election to the [presidency] in 1801,
Jefferson had served in the colonial and state legislatures, as governor of
Virginia (1779–1781), as [minister to
France] (1784–1789), as secretary of state (1790–1793), and as vice president of the
United States (1797–1801). Jefferson served two terms as president from March 4,
1801, through March 3, 1809. He was also the author of the [Declaration of Independence] and of the [Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom], and the [founder] of the
[University of Virginia].
Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, at Monticello, where he is buried.
[James Madison], the fourth president, was
born on March 16, 1751, near Port Conway, in [King George County]. He married Dolley
Payne Todd in 1794. They had no children. Madison first served in the state
legislature in 1776. As a member of the constitutional convention at Philadelphia in
1787, Madison played a leading role in the drafting and adoption of the United States
Constitution and became known as the Father of the Constitution. He served as
secretary of state under Jefferson and succeeded the latter as president. Madison's
two terms lasted from March 4, 1809, through March 3, 1817, during which time the
United States fought the War of 1812 with Great Britain. Madison died at [Montpelier], in [Orange County], on June 28, 1836, and is buried there.
[James Monroe], the fifth president, was
born on April 28, 1758, in Westmoreland County and lived at various times in [Fredericksburg], in Albemarle County, and at
Oak Hill, in [Loudoun County]. He married
Elizabeth Kortright, of New York, in 1786, and they had two daughters. He was twice
governor of Virginia,
held various diplomatic posts, and served under Madison as secretary of
state and as secretary of war before his election as president. During his service as
secretary of war, he continued to act as secretary of state. Monroe served two terms
as president from March 4, 1817, through March 3, 1825. He died in New York City on
July 4, 1831, and was buried there. On July 5, 1858, his remains were reinterred in
[Richmond]'s [Hollywood Cemetery].
[William Henry Harrison], the ninth
president, was born on February 9, 1773, at Berkeley, in [Charles City County]. He married Anna Symes, of New Jersey, and
they had six sons and four daughters. Harrison spent most of his adult life in the
Northwest Territory and in Ohio. He won fame in the Indian wars and was the victor at
the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. He also commanded American troops in the War of
1812. Inaugurated on March 4, 1841, Harrison served only one month before dying in
the White House on April 4. He is buried in North Bend, Ohio.
John Tyler, the tenth president, was born
on March 29, 1790, at Greenway, in Charles City County. He was married twice, first
to Letitia Christian, of
[New Kent County],
and then to Julia Gardiner, of New York, and he had a total of eight sons and six
daughters. Tyler lived at Sherwood Forest, in Charles City County. He served as a
representative and a
senator from Virginia to the United States Congress and as governor
of the commonwealth. Elected vice
president in 1840, Tyler succeeded Harrison as president after the latter's death.
Tyler took the oath on April 6, 1841, and served through March 3, 1845. The former
president supported Virginia's
secession from the Union in 1861 and was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives.
On January 18, 1862, he died in Richmond, where he had gone to attend the opening session of that body. He is buried
in Hollywood Cemetery.
[Zachary Taylor], the twelfth president,
was born on November 24, 1784, in Orange County and grew up in Kentucky. He married
Margaret Smith, of Maryland, in 1810, and they had five daughters and one son. Taylor
fought in various Indian wars and won his greatest fame in the Mexican War
(1846–1848) with his victories at Palo Alto, Monterey, and Buena Vista. Inaugurated
on March 5, 1849, he served only sixteen months and died in office on July 9, 1850.
He is buried in Louisville, Kentucky.
Thomas Woodrow Wilson, the twenty-eighth
president, was born in
December 28, 1856, and grew up in Georgia and in South Carolina. Wilson and his first
wife, Ellen Louise Axson, of Rome, Georgia, who died in 1914, had three daughters.
Wilson married Edith Bolling Galt, of Wytheville, in 1915. He served as president of
Princeton University (1902–1910), governor of New Jersey (1911–1913), and president
of the United States from March 4, 1913, through March 3, 1921. During his
administration the United States entered World War I (1914–1918) on the side of the
Allies. As part of the peace settlement, Wilson proposed the foundation of the League
of Nations, and he fought unsuccessfully for American participation in that
organization. He died in Washington, D.C., on February 3, 1924, and is buried in the
Salmon, Emily J. and Edward D. C. Campbell Jr., eds. The Hornbook
of Virginia History: A Ready-Reference Guide to the Old Dominion's People, Places,
and Past. Fourth Edition. Richmond, Virginia: The Library of Virginia,
Cite This Entry
- APA Citation:
The Hornbook of Virginia History. Presidents of the United States from Virginia. (2012, April 17). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Presidents_of_the_United_States_from_Virginia.
- MLA Citation:
The Hornbook of Virginia History. "Presidents of the United States from Virginia." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities,
17 Apr. 2012. Web. READ_DATE.
First published: April 12, 2012 | Last modified: April 17, 2012
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