Famous 19th Century American Political Leaders

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Find out more about the greatest 19th Century American Political Leaders, including Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Woodrow Wilson and Grover Cleveland.
Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century American Political Leaders
 1 
Alexander Hamilton
(American Revolutionary and Founding Father of the United States)
Alexander Hamilton
55
Birthdate: January 11, 1755
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Charlestown, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Died: July 12, 1804

Known as America’s one of the most influential Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and served as the first secretary of the treasury. He also fought in the American Revolutionary War and was considered as a leading votary of the strong central government.

 2 
Theodore Roosevelt
(26th President of the United States (1901-1909))
Theodore Roosevelt
58
Birthdate: October 27, 1858
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: January 6, 1919

The 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt is generally ranked as one of the five best presidents of the country. A man of many talents, he was a politician, conservationist, naturalist, and writer. He supported  Progressive Era policies in the early 20th century and championed his "Square Deal" domestic policies.

 3 
Abraham Lincoln
(16th President of the United States (1861-1865))
Abraham Lincoln
35
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Larue County, Kentucky, United States
Died: April 15, 1865

A self-educated lawyer, Abraham Lincoln rose from modest background to become one of the greatest presidents of America. The 16th president of the country, who is also known as Honest Abe and the Great Emancipator, played a crucial role in establishing a truly democratic government, abolished slavery, modernised economy and led the country during the American Civil War.

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 4 
Thomas Jefferson
(3rd President of the United States)
Thomas Jefferson
41
Birthdate: April 13, 1743
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Shadwell, Virginia, United States
Died: July 4, 1826

The 2nd Vice President and the 3rd President of America, Thomas Jefferson was one of the Founding Fathers of USA and the principal draftsman of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was a staunch advocate of democracy and a strong believer of individual rights and religious freedom, despite the fact that he himself owned nearly 600 slaves.

 5 
Andrew Jackson
(President of the United States (1829 – 1837))
Andrew Jackson
26
Birthdate: March 15, 1767
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Waxhaws
Died: June 8, 1845

Andrew Jackson was the 7th President of USA. His presidential reign has been termed as Jacksonian democracy and witnessed the shift of political power from established elites to ordinary voters. Coming from humble beginnings, Jackson knew the struggle of the masses and thus, worked towards creating a more inclusive country.  His picture has been featured on the front side of $20 bill since 1928.

 6 
Ulysses S. Grant
(Civil War Hero and the 18th President of the United States)
Ulysses S. Grant
16
Birthdate: April 27, 1822
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Point Pleasant, Ohio, United States
Died: July 23, 1885

The 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant held office from 1869 to 1877. He led the Union Army as Commanding General of the United States Army during the American Civil War and was a war hero. As president, he stabilized the post-war national economy and created the Department of Justice. Historians generally recognize his presidential accomplishments.

 7 
John Adams
(2nd President of United States (1797-1801))
John Adams
26
Birthdate: October 30, 1735
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Braintree, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 4, 1826

One of the Founding Fathers of America, John Adams was a statesman, attorney, and diplomat who served as the second president of the United States. He was a principal leader of the American Revolution. As a lawyer, he was devoted to the right to counsel and presumption of innocence. His administration has been favorably ranked by historians and scholars.

 8 
P. T. Barnum
(Businessman, Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut (1875 – 76))
P. T.  Barnum
7
Birthdate: July 5, 1810
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bethel, Connecticut, United States
Died: April 7, 1891

P. T. Barnum was an American politician, showman, and businessman. He is credited with founding the famous Barnum & Bailey Circus, which ran for 146 years. He is also credited with co-founding the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company, which is one of the oldest American ferry companies. His life and work have inspired many films, including The Greatest Showman.

 9 
James Madison
(4th President of The United States)
James Madison
12
Birthdate: March 16, 1751
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Port Conway, Virginia, United States
Died: June 28, 1836

James Madison played an important role in drafting the US Constitution and the US Bill of Rights and is hailed as the Father of the Constitution. He also co-wrote The Federalist Papers, considered to be a seminal work of political science. As president, he led the country into the 1812 war and historians place him as an above-average president.

 10 
Grover Cleveland
(The 22nd and 24th President of the United States)
Grover Cleveland
14
Birthdate: March 18, 1837
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Caldwell, New Jersey, United States
Died: June 24, 1908

Grover Cleveland, a Democratic Party member, was the President of the United States from 1885 to 1889 and then again from 1893 to 1897. He is known for his campaign for political reform and fiscal conservatism. However, he was unable to deal with the economic depression in his second term as President, which led to massive decline in his popularity.

 11 
Calvin Coolidge
(30th President of the United States (1923–1929))
Calvin Coolidge
10
Birthdate: July 4, 1872
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Plymouth, Vermont, United States
Died: January 5, 1933

The 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge started his career as a lawyer before becoming an influential American politician. A man of few words with a dry sense of humor, Calvin Coolidge represented the middle class, which worked in his favor. Despite being a reclusive politician, Coolidge gave 520 press conferences, making himself available to reporters quite often.

 12 
James A. Garfield
(20th President of United States (March 1881 - September 1881))
James A. Garfield
8
Birthdate: November 19, 1831
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moreland Hills, Ohio, United States
Died: September 19, 1881

The 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield began his career as an attorney. Born into poverty, he struggled throughout his childhood and youth to become a respected lawyer. He eventually entered politics and rose through the ranks to be elected the president. Unfortunately, he was assassinated less than seven months after he took office.

 13 
Andrew Johnson
(17th President of the United States)
Andrew Johnson
19
Birthdate: December 29, 1808
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Died: July 31, 1875

The 17th president of the United States, Andrew Johnson assumed the presidency while serving as the vice president when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Born in poverty, Andrew Johnson did not attend school. However, he worked his way up to become a prominent politician—an inspiring story indeed!

 14 
William Henry Harrison
(The First U.S President to Die in the Office and Had the Shortest Presidency in the U.S. History)
William Henry Harrison
12
Birthdate: February 9, 1773
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Virginia, United States
Died: April 4, 1841

The ninth president of the US, William Henry Harrison died 31 days into his presidential term, becoming the shortest-serving US president ever. His demise caused a brief constitutional crisis pertaining to the succession to the presidency. Subsequently, Vice President John Tyler became the new president, setting an important precedent in terms of transfer of the presidency in such situations.

 15 
Warren G. Harding
(29th President of the United States (1921–1923))
Warren G. Harding
16
Birthdate: November 2, 1865
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Blooming Grove, Ohio, United States
Died: August 2, 1923

The 29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding assumed office in 1921 shortly after the end of WWI and became very popular. He died in 1923 while still in office. Later, various scandals that occured during his presidency were uncovered and his image suffered a serious setback. His presidency is today ranked amongst the worst in the American history.

 16 
William McKinley
(25th President of the United States (1897 - 1901))
William McKinley
12
Birthdate: January 29, 1843
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Niles, Ohio, United States
Died: September 14, 1901

The 25th President of the United States, William McKinley led America to victory in the Spanish-American War. During his presidency, he played a major role in promoting American industry by raising protective tariffs, which in turn boosted the country's economic growth. He also played a key role in the American Civil War.

 17 
Davy Crockett
(U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee (1827-31, 1833-35))
Davy Crockett
6
Birthdate: August 17, 1786
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Limestone, Tennessee, United States
Died: March 6, 1836
American folk hero Davy Crockett, or the "King of the Wild Frontier,” was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee and part of the Texas Revolution. He opposed the Indian Removal Act. He was killed by the Mexican army the Battle of the Alamo.
 18 
John Tyler
(10th President of the United States (1841-1845))
John Tyler
10
Birthdate: March 29, 1790
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Charles City, Virginia, United States
Died: January 18, 1862

The tenth president of the United States, John Tyler was dubbed His Accidency as he became the president after the sudden death of President William Henry Harrison when the former was serving as the vice president. Tyler's acceptance of full presidential powers set a prominent precedent and served as a model for succession to the future presidents.

 19 
James Buchanan
(President of the United States (1857-61))
James Buchanan
14
Birthdate: April 23, 1791
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cove Gap, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 31, 1868

James Buchanan was a prominent American lawyer who served as the 15th president of the United States. He is often criticized for failing to address the issue of slavery and is consistently ranked among America's worst presidents. His life and work inspired the 2019 film Raising Buchanan in which he was played by René Auberjonois.

 20 
Martin Van Buren
(8th President of the United States (1837-1841))
Martin Van Buren
10
Birthdate: December 5, 1782
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kinderhook, New York, United States
Died: July 24, 1862

Martin Van Buren was an American statesman credited with co-founding the Democratic Party, one of the world's oldest and contemporary political parties. He served as the eighth president of the US and later became a prominent anti-slavery abolitionist leader. He also played a key role in forming the two-party system in the US.

 21 
Benjamin Harrison
(23rd President of the United States (1889 – 1893))
Benjamin Harrison
6
Birthdate: August 20, 1833
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: North Bend, Ohio, United States
Died: March 13, 1901

Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd U.S. President and is remembered for his efforts to pass the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act. A qualified lawyer, he was the great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison V. Known for strengthening the Navy, he also attempted to secure the voting rights of African–Americans.

 22 
James K. Polk
(President of the United States (1845-49))
James K. Polk
8
Birthdate: November 2, 1795
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pineville, North Carolina, United States
Died: June 15, 1849

The 11th president of the United States, James K. Polk was an advocate of Jacksonian democracy. He is credited with extending the territory of the US during the Mexican–American War. During his presidency, the US annexed the Mexican Cession, the Oregon Territory, and the Republic of Texas.

 23 
Aaron Burr
(3rd Vice President of United States)
Aaron Burr
22
Birthdate: February 6, 1756
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Died: September 14, 1836

A soldier, lawyer and one of the founding Fathers of America, Aaron Burr rose to become the third Vice president of the United States. His turbulent political career, which included bitter rivalry with Alexander Hamilton, concluded when he mortally wounded Hamilton in a duel and was later charged with treason.

 24 
Chester A. Arthur
(The 21st president of the United States)
Chester A. Arthur
4
Birthdate: October 5, 1829
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fairfield, Vermont, United States
Died: November 18, 1886
Chester A. Arthur became the 21st president of the U.S. in 1881, after the assassination of President James A. Garfield, and served till 1885. Arthur represented Elizabeth Jennings Graham in the 1854 case against segregation in streetcars. He signed the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act and rebuilt the U.S. Navy.
 25 
Herbert Hoover
(31st President of the United States (1929 – 1933))
Herbert Hoover
19
Birthdate: August 10, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Branch, Iowa, United States
Died: October 20, 1964

The 31st president of the United States, Herbert Hoover, was sworn into the office in 1929, the year the Great Depression struck the American economy. Earlier, Hoover was a successful mining engineer and had earned a reputation of a humanitarian who fed numerous Europeans during and after WWI. His policies during the depression, though, could not provide relief to people.

 26 
Millard Fillmore
(13th President of the United States (1850 - 1853))
Millard Fillmore
4
Birthdate: January 7, 1800
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Moravia, New York, United States
Died: March 8, 1874
Millard Fillmore was the U.S. president from 1850 to 1853, succeeding Zachary Taylor after his death. The last Whig U.S. president, Fillmore had previously been a representative from New York’s 32nd District and the U.S. vice president. He played a crucial role in the passage of the Compromise of 1850.
 27 
Robert Todd Lincoln
(35th United States Secretary of War & Son of Abraham Lincoln)
Robert Todd Lincoln
4
Birthdate: August 1, 1843
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Springfield, Illinois, United States
Died: July 25, 1926

Lawyer Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln, served as the U.S. Secretary of War from 1881 to 1885 and as the U.S. minister to the U.K. from 1889 to 1893. He had served in the Civil War, too, and had also been the president of the Pullman Car Company

 28 
Woodrow Wilson
(28th President of the United States (1913 - 1921))
Woodrow Wilson
31
Birthdate: December 28, 1856
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Staunton, Virginia, United States
Died: February 3, 1924

From presidential cabin of Princeton University to presidential office of the White House, Woodrow Wilson ushered a series of progressive reforms that changed the American politics forever. The 28th President of USA, Woodrow Wilson introduced several ground-breaking policies including the Federal Reserve Act. He played a key role in founding the first intergovernmental organisation—the League of Nations—for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

 29 
Huey Long
(Politician)
Huey Long
4
Birthdate: August 30, 1893
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Winnfield
Died: September 10, 1935
Huey Long, also known as "The Kingfish,” was the governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 and then a Louisiana senator from 1932 to 1935. Though he supported Franklin D. Roosevelt initially, he fell out with him later over the New Deal, proposing the Share Our Wealth movement instead.
 30 
Rutherford B. Hayes
(President of the United States (1877-81))
Rutherford B. Hayes
5
Birthdate: October 4, 1822
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Delaware, Ohio, United States
Died: January 17, 1893
Rutherford B. Hayes served as the U.S. president from 1877 to 1881. He won a close election through the Compromise of 1877, thus putting an end to Reconstruction and withdrawing troops from the South. An attorney, he owned several law firms and had also served as the Ohio governor. 
 31 
Sam Houston
(7th Governor of Texas (1859 - 1861))
Sam Houston
4
Birthdate: March 2, 1793
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rockbridge County, Virginia, United States
Died: July 26, 1863
Sam Houston was the governor of Texas from 1859 to 1861. He was also the senator from Texas, the President of the Republic of Texas, and the governor of Tennessee. As part of the Texan Army, he won the Battle of San Jacinto. The city Houston is named after him.
 32 
William Randolph Hearst
(Newspaper Baron)
William Randolph Hearst
7
Birthdate: April 29, 1863
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: August 14, 1951

William Randolph Hearst was an American newspaper publisher, businessman, and politician. He is credited with developing America's largest newspaper chain, Hearst Communications. Today, Hearst Communications has grown into a multinational business information and mass media conglomerate. William Randolph Hearst’s life and work inspired the creation of Charles Foster Kane, the main character in the 1941 drama film, Citizen Kane.

 33 
Jefferson Davis
(Former President of the Confederate States (1862 - 1865))
Jefferson Davis
12
Birthdate: June 3, 1808
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Fairview, Kentucky, United States
Died: December 6, 1889

Jefferson Davis was the president of the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1865. He was also the U.S. secretary of war and had fought in the Mexican–American War earlier. He was against secession. He wrote an autobiography named The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.

 34 
John Jay
(1st Chief Justice of the United States (1789 - 1795))
John Jay
4
Birthdate: December 12, 1745
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: May 17, 1829

One of the Founding Fathers of the United States who signed the famous Paris Treaty, John Jay was best known as the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, although he occupied various other important public positions. He was a diplomat, who shaped his country’s foreign policy. He passed legislation to gradually abolish slavery, but he himself owned five enslaved people.

 35 
Éamon de Valera
(Former President of Ireland)
Éamon de Valera
4
Birthdate: October 14, 1882
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City
Died: August 29, 1975

Irish statesman Éamon de Valera served as the 3rd President of Ireland from 1959 to 1973. An influential political leader in 20th-century Ireland, he played a key role in introducing the Constitution of Ireland. Prior to becoming the president, he served as Taoiseach on three different occasions. He was an austere, stern, and unbending figure.

 36 
William Jennings Bryan
(41st United States Secretary of State (1913 - 1915))
William Jennings Bryan
6
Birthdate: March 19, 1860
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Salem, Illinois, United States
Died: July 26, 1925
William Jennings Bryan had served as the U.S. secretary of state under President Woodrow Wilson and had also been the U.S. representative from Nebraska's 1st district. He ran for president thrice, though unsuccessfully. He also banned the teaching of evolution in schools, leading to the Scopes Monkey Trial.
 37 
Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
(Military Leader)
Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
5
Birthdate: September 13, 1887
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, USA
Died: July 12, 1944
 38 
Victoria Woodhull
(The First Woman to Run for the American Presidency)
Victoria Woodhull
4
Birthdate: September 23, 1838
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Homer, Ohio, United States
Died: June 9, 1927

Victoria Woodhull was an American politician, suffragist, and writer who played an important role in the women's suffrage movement. She is credited with founding Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, America's first newspaper to be founded by a woman. Her life and career inspired the Broadway musical Onward Victoria. In 2001, she was posthumously inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 39 
Robert Smalls
(Politician)
Robert Smalls
4
Birthdate: April 5, 1839
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beaufort, South Carolina, United States
Died: February 23, 1915
 40 
Stephen F. Austin
(4th Secretary of State of Texas (October 1836 - December 1836))
Stephen F. Austin
4
Birthdate: November 3, 1793
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Austinville, Virginia, United States
Died: December 27, 1836

Stephen Austin, also known as the Father of Texas, was born to a lead-mining businessman in Missouri who later bought a piece of land from the Mexican government. Austin developed the land and mediated between American and Mexican people for control over it, eventually leading to the Texas Revolution.

 41 
George Clinton
(Vice President of the United States (1805-1812))
George Clinton
4
Birthdate: July 26, 1739
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Little Britain, New York, United States
Died: April 20, 1812

George Clinton is one of the pioneers of funk music. He initially released multiple hits with the collective Parliament-Funkadelic and then launched a solo career with the album Computer Games and the singles Loopzilla and Atomic Dog. He has also lent his voice to the TV movie Freaknik: The Musical.

 42 
Chief Seattle
(Tribal chief)
Chief Seattle
4
Birthdate: 1786 AD
Birthplace: Suquamish, Washington, United States
Died: June 7, 1866
Chief Seattle was a Suquamish and Duwamish chief who was a close friend of David Swinson "Doc" Maynard and is remembered for his amicable relationship with the white settlers. The city of Seattle was named after him. He is widely known for his speech on Native American land rights.
 43 
William H. Seward
(Former United States Secretary of State)
William H. Seward
4
Birthdate: May 16, 1801
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Florida, New York, United States
Died: October 10, 1872
 44 
William M. Tweed
(Member of the New York Senate from 1868 to 1873)
William M. Tweed
3
Birthdate: April 3, 1823
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: April 12, 1878

William M. Tweed was an American politician best known for serving as the boss of Tammany Hall, which had a major influence on the political scene of 19th-century New York State. He was later convicted for stealing millions of dollars from New York City taxpayers. His life and career inspired several films, such as Up in Central Park and Liberty.

 45 
James Longstreet
(United States Minister to the Ottoman Empire (1880-81))
James Longstreet
4
Birthdate: January 8, 1821
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Edgefield, South Carolina, United States
Died: January 2, 1904
 46 
Winfield Scott
(Military Officer)
Winfield Scott
4
Birthdate: June 13, 1786
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dinwiddie County, Virginia, United States
Died: May 29, 1866
 47 
Hannibal Hamlin
(15th Vice President of the U.S.A)
Hannibal Hamlin
4
Birthdate: August 27, 1809
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris
Died: July 4, 1891

Hannibal Hamlin was an American politician and attorney whose public service career spanned more than five decades. The 15th vice president of the US, Hamlin is often counted among the most influential politicians from the state of Maine. Several places in the US, especially in Maine, have been named in his honor. There are also statues in Hannibal Hamlin's likeness.  

 48 
Joshua Chamberlain
(Educator & War Hero)
Joshua Chamberlain
4
Birthdate: September 8, 1828
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brewer
Died: February 24, 1914
 49 
Seth Bullock
(Politician)
Seth Bullock
6
Birthdate: July 23, 1849
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Amherstburg, Canada
Died: September 23, 1919

Canadian-American frontiersman, hardware store owner, sheriff, U.S. Marshal, horse breeder and hotel owner Seth Bullock is best known for building the Bullock Hotel, the oldest hotel in Deadwood. Bullock was appointed the first sheriff of the then lawless Dakota where he eventually emerged as a prominent figure civilizing the rowdy camp without killing anyone.

 50 
Isidor Straus
(U.S. House Representative from New York (1894-1895))
Isidor Straus
4
Birthdate: February 6, 1845
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Otterberg, Germany
Died: April 15, 1912