John Adams – Administration and Events

John Adams was our second President, serving from 1897-1801. He came to the office with a wealth of political experience. Adams had served in...

The First Parties

Most people believe we have two major political parties in the United States. In reality, the Republicans and Democrats are each a collection of...

Almost President – Hannibal Hamlin

Hannibal Hamlin missed being President by five weeks. Most history students know that Abraham Lincoln’s Vice President was Andrew Johnson, who became President when...

Thanks, But No Thanks – Silas Wright

Silas Wright turned down more major offices than most politicians win in a lifetime of election campaigns. Before his career ended with his premature...

The Natick Cobbler – Henry Wilson, Part 1

The life of Henry Wilson, second Vice President under President U.S. Grant, was a real American success story. Born in poverty, he worked his...

Third Parties – The Free Soil Party

There have been a large number of “third parties” in our political history. A third party is any party other than one of the...

The Bull Moose Campaign of 1912

In 1912, the American electorate was treated to the spectacle of an incumbent (current) president, a past president, and a future president running against...

Election Surprises – Truman’s 1948 Victory

Probably the biggest surprise in the history of presidential elections, Harry Truman defied the odds in winning re-election in 1948. When the campaign started,...

Julia Dent Grant – Fair, Fat, and Forty

Julia Dent Grant, wife of President Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877), changed the role of the First Lady. She took an active leadership role in...

Do You Know Me? (William Miller, 1964 Republican Vice Presidential Candidate)

William E. Miller is probably best remembered for his role in an American Express commercial, looking into the camera and saying, “Do you know...
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The Pathfinder – John C. Fremont

John Charles Fremont can claim several firsts as a presidential candidate. He was the first western candidate, coming from California less than six years...

Al Smith – The Happy Warrior

In 1928, the Democrats nominated Al Smith of New York for President. Al Smith was the son of Irish immigrants and a self-made man....

The Great Commoner – William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan was the youngest man ever to be nominated for president by a major party. He was also the only man to...