Presidents Who Served First as Vice-Presidents

by cmoneyspinner

American vice-presidents must always be in a constant state of readiness. At any given moment they may have to take over the duties of the most powerful office in the world.

What do American Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester A. Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, and Calvin Coolidge all have in common with each other? Two things. These nine men served as Vice-Presidents before becoming Presidents; and they are no longer with US.

Additionally, they have something in common (or should have something in common) with all the citizens of the United States.

They were just ordinary people yearning to pursue a peaceful life, individual liberty and personal happiness. Why? Because living on this planet earth doesn't get any better than that!

Veeps/Presidents from Adams to Coolidge

A span of approximately 140 years of nation building.

The gentlemen named below all served as vice-presidents during the years 1789 to 1929. Information contained in parentheses are the political parties* they were linked to, the presidents with whom they served, and the years they took the helm to lead America as POTUS.  What follows after are interesting trivia, tidbits and facts about each one.

Statue of Liberty and American Flag  By: Joseph Sohm
Statue of Liberty and American Flag By: Joseph Sohm
  • John Adams (F ; George Washington ; 1797 - 1801)

  • Thomas Jefferson (D-R ; John Adams ; 1801 - 1809)

  • Martin Van Buren (D ; Andrew Jackson ; 1837 - 1841)

  • John Tyler (W ; William H. Harrison ; 1841 - 1845)

  • Millard Fillmore (W ; Zachary Taylor ; 1850 - 1853)

  • Andrew Johnson (R ; Abraham Lincoln ; 1865 - 1869)

  • Chester A. Arthur (R ; James A. Garfield ; 1881 - 1885)

  • Theodore Roosevelt (R ; William McKinley ; 1901 - 1909)

  • Calvin Coolidge (R ; Warren G. Harding ; (1923 - 1929)

*(F = Federalist; D-R = Democratic-Republican; D = Democrat; R = Republican; W = Whig)

John Adams

October 30, 1735 - July 4, 1826

- The XYZ Affair happened under his watch. Three U.S. Agents were approached by three agents acting on behalf of France (dubbed X, Y and Z) and demanded money (a “bribe”) to settle a dispute about commerce. This incident almost caused a war between the two countries, but peace was secured before Adams left office.

Thomas Jefferson

April 13, 1743 - July 4, 1826)

- The importation of African slaves became illegal.

- He was the first POTUS to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.

- During his administration the Louisiana Territory was purchased from France for $15 million.

Martin Van Buren

December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862

- Because of the depression and economic crisis caused by the closing of banks in Philadelphia and New York City, he persuaded the Congress to set up a federal Treasury independent of the nation's banking and financial system. This would safeguard federal funds from private bank failures. The economy was in crisis mode for his entire presidential term.

John Tyler

March 29, 1790 – January 18, 1862

- Although he won the election, he angered members of his political party by vetoing banking bills they supported and they disowned him.

- Undeterred by having fallen out of favor with the Whigs, he went about the presidential business by opening up trade relations with China, and admitting Florida and Texas to the Union (US).

- His estate to which he retired was called “Sherwood Forest”, same name for the home of Robin Hood, the medieval English outlaw.

Millard Fillmore

January 7, 1800 – March 8, 1874

- Put the debate regarding slavery issue on a back burner by sponsoring and signing the Compromise of 1850; a compromise that was ultimately settled by the American Civil War.

There are times when you just can't build a bridge through compromise and build a united nation, at the same time.

Millard Fillmore: Biography of a President
American Political Biography Press
$28.1  $25.45

Andrew Johnson

December 29, 1808 – July 31, 1875

- Sworn into office the same day Lincoln died.

- The 13th Amendment abolishing slavery was proclaimed.

- Disputed with Congress about the Reconstruction Program

- Alaska was purchased from Russia for $7.2 million.

- He left his footprints in the sands of American history by being the first president to ever be impeached.

Chester A. Arthur

October 5, 1829 – November 18, 1886

- Took office because Garfield was assassinated. He had New York “ties” or “connections” which he could never untie or disconnect from in the eyes of others; and consequently, never really accomplished much during his time in the Oval Office. Passed the Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Bill which was aimed at the Mormons in Utah.

Theodore Roosevelt

October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919

- Sworn into office after William McKinley died from an assassin's bullet. A Nobel Peace Prize winner and one of the four presidents whose face is carved into Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The other three are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. The sculpted faces are intended to represent the founding, expansion, preservation and unification of the United States of America.

Calvin Coolidge

Born on the 4th of July, 1872 – January 5, 1933

- During his administration the Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed, an agreement banning war, actually renouncing war as an “instrument of national policy”. It was even ratified by more than 60 countries.

Yeah!  The Nazis totally ignored that!

Related Articles

Ever have a significant event occur in your life and wonder what might be happening in someone else's life at the same time?
Second article connecting the dots on a presidential timeline. The first dot was the election of the country's first POTUS, 1789. This next dot is Lincoln's assassination, 1865.

notepadNOTE:  There were other veeps who became presidents after Coolidge - Truman, Nixon, Johnson and Ford. But I stopped at Coolidge because he was "Born on the 4th of July". I just thought that was so cool!

Do You Know American Presidents and Vice-Presidents?

Updated: 05/08/2018, cmoneyspinner
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cmoneyspinner on 12/14/2013

DerdriuMarriner - Thanks for visiting and commenting. I find the dates of birth and deaths are noteworthy and remarkable coincidences.

DerdriuMarriner on 12/14/2013

cmoneyspinner, With his special birthdate, Calvin Coolidge may well have been destined to pursue the presidency!
Three former presidents passed away on July 4th: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe.

cmoneyspinner on 10/30/2013

@BrendaReeves - Hey thanks! When it comes to American Presidents, there's no shortage of books about them. Just visit a library. But if you're building your own personal library, these books might be good additions. Thanks for your comments!

BrendaReeves on 10/30/2013

I just read "Plain Speaking" about Harry Truman. I was thinking of reading about all the Presidents, especially the obscure ones. You have posted some interesting books.

cmoneyspinner on 10/13/2013

@aingham69 - Thank you for stopping by and leaving a word of encouragement.

AlexandriaIngham on 10/12/2013

I never knew much about any of those presidents (except that Theodore Roosevelt is one of the faces of Mount Rushmore). I never knew there were so many presidents who were vice presidents! Thanks for sharing your history here.

cmoneyspinner on 09/23/2013

@marciag - Yeah. I've said this before but I'll say it again. I'm thankful to the Americans who were good at record-keeping which makes for easy research and reading. Let's give a shout out to Americans historians! RAH!!! :)

marciag on 09/23/2013

Nice piece of American history there.

cmoneyspinner on 09/19/2013

@ologsinquito - Yeah. I was also getting tired and wanted to go to bed. (Yawn.) :)
I'm not sleepy right now though. It's only about 6 PM.

ologsinquito on 09/19/2013

Good point, cmoneyspinner, you can always continue the thought with a new article.

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