Special Report

What Every President Did After Leaving the White House

John Quincy Adams
> Presidential term: 1825-1829
> Occupation after leaving office: Congressman from Massachusetts

A year after he left the White House, John Quincy Adams was elected to the House of Representatives. The former president remained a leading congressman for the rest of his life. His nickname was “Old Man Eloquent” because of his support of freedom of speech, universal education, and his anti-slavery stance.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Andrew Jackson
> Presidential term: 1829-1837
> Occupation after leaving office: Political activist

Andrew Jackson was a symbol of democracy. He had many admirers whom he was glad to see in his plantation, The Hermitage, near Nashville, Tennessee. Jackson informally advised Martin Van Buren while he was in office and campaigned for the annexation of Texas.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Martin Van Buren
> Presidential term: 1837-1841
> Occupation after leaving office: Anti-slavery activist

Martin Van Buren, the first president to be born a U.S. citizen and not a British subject, tried to win the Democratic presidential nomination four years after losing the White House, but he failed again. After that, he retired, worked on his memoirs and continued to argue against a pro-southern faction within the Democratic Party and slavery.

Source: Derek Jensen (Tysto) / Wikimedia Commons

William Henry Harrison
> Presidential term: 1841-1841
> Occupation after leaving office: Died in office

William Henry Harrison served as president for barely a month. His inaugural address, the longest in history, was given in very cold weather. Harrison was not wearing a coat. He fell sick and died from pneumonia four weeks later.

Source: iip-photo-archive / Flickr

John Tyler
> Presidential term: 1841-1845
> Occupation after leaving office: Plantation owner

After leaving the White House, John Tyler retired at his plantation in Virginia. He voted in favor of Virginia seceding from the United States and was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives, but he died before his term was supposed to start.

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