Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram

Seven US Presidents Who Were Born in Log Cabins

Photo Credit: 1. MPI / Getty Images 2. Stock Montage / Getty Images
Photo Credit: 1. MPI / Getty Images 2. Stock Montage / Getty Images

The log cabin has long been a symbol of humble beginnings and hard work, especially during election season in the 19th century. William Harrison and the Whig Party used one during his presidential campaign in 1840 to distinguish Harrison as a man of the people.

Of the 45 people who have served as the president of the United States, seven were born in log cabins, carrying on the “rags to riches” success story that shaped American politics throughout the 1800s. Here are seven presidential cabins and where they are today!

Andrew Jackson

Portrait of Andrew Jackson
US President Andrew Jackson. (Photo Credit: Stock Montage/ Getty Images)

The seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson, was born on March 15, 1767 in a small backwoods cabin in the colonial Carolinas. His parents were Scotch-Irish immigrants who’d arrived in America two years prior. Jackson became a celebrated general during the War of 1812 for his role in defeating the British in New Orleans.

While the original log cabin where Jackson was born did not survive the test of time, a simple log farmhouse was built on the site of his Tennessee farm, The Hermitage.

Zachary Taylor

Portrait of Zachary Taylor + Exterior of Zachary Taylor's childhood home
Springfield was Zachary Taylor’s childhood home. (Photo Credit: 1. Heritage Art / Heritage Images / Getty Images 2. GHI Vintage / Universal History Archive / Universal Images Group / Getty Images)

Zachary Taylor, the 12th president of the United States, was born in a log cabin at the Montebello plantation in Virginia. Only a historical marker remains at the site, but Taylor’s childhood home, named Springfield, can be found in Louisville, Kentucky. Taylor lived at Springfield as a child and stayed there until his own children were born. He continued to visit throughout his life.

Taylor was president from 1849 until his death in 1850 – serving only 16 months of his presidency.

Millard Fillmore

Portrait of Millard Fillmore
US President Millard Fillmore. (Photo Credit: Stock Montage/Stock Montage/Getty Images).

Millard Fillmore became the president of the United States in July 1850, after the death of Zachary Taylor. Born in a small log cabin in upstate New York, Fillmore quickly rose from a simple farm boy to a successful lawyer at 23 years old.

A replica of the log cabin he was born in has been built at Fillmore Glen State Park in Moravia, New York, just a few miles from his actual birthplace.

James Buchanan

Portrait of James Buchanan + Exterior of the log cabin James Buchanan was born in
The log cabin near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, where US President James Buchanan was born in 1791. (Photo Credit: 1. Bettmann / Getty Images 2. MPI / Getty Images)

The 15th president of the United States, James Buchanan, grew up in a small cabin in Pennsylvania. He remains the only US president elected from Pennsylvania, as well as the only one that never married. The log cabin where he spent his childhood is still standing in Mercersburg.

Buchanan’s turbulent presidency foreshadowed the American Civil War, but many senators and congressmen believed he chose to ignore the signs of an impending conflict – leaving behind a ticking time bomb for his successor, Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln

Portrait of Abraham Lincoln + Exterior of the log cabin where Abraham Lincoln was born
The cabin where Abraham Lincoln grew up. (Photo Credit: 1. Hulton / Archive / Getty Images 2. Bettmann / Getty Images)

Honest Abe was born in a humble log cabin on the rugged Kentucky frontier in 1809. Lincoln’s journey from the cabin to the White House was not an easy one. He struggled to get an education while growing up on a rural farm, especially after the death of his mother when he was just nine years old.

In an autobiographical essay, Lincoln described where he grew up, “It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up…. Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher … but that was all.”

Sinking Springs Farm, on which the log cabin was situated, was purchased in 1905 by locals who wanted to preserve its rich history for generations to come. They built an impressive stone memorial, which can be visited today at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

Ulysses S. Grant

Portrait of Ulysses S. Grant + Exterior of the home where Ulysses S. Grant grew up
The Jesse Grant residence and tannery, the childhood home of US President Ulysses S. Grant. (Photo Credit: 1. Stock Montage / Getty Images 2. Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

On April 27, 1822 the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. was born in a small wooden cottage near Georgetown, Ohio. It still stands along the Ohio River, not far from the tannery Grant’s father, Jesse, built in 1823. The site, which is now a state memorial, is open to the public.

Grant fought during the Mexican-American War under his future predecessor, Zachary Taylor, and made a name for himself during the American Civil War before entering politics. He was elected president in 1869, where he tackled remodeling the country after the conflict.

James Garfield

Portrait of James Garfield + A painting of the log cabin where James Garfield was born
The log cabin in Ohio where James Garfield was born in 1831. (Photo Credit: 1. Brady-Handy / Epics / Getty Images 2. MPI / Getty Images)

James Garfield was the 20th president of the United States, and served for just 200 days before he was assassinated. Born in 1831 in a simple log cabin in Ohio, making him the last “log cabin president,” Garfield grew up poverty-stricken and fatherless. He lived in the small cabin with his mother until he was 16 years old, which was relatively uncommon for the time. Today, the log cabin is located in Moreland Hills, Ohio.

More from us: The Haunting Final Words of 15 US Presidents

On July 2, 1881, Garfield was shot and mortally wounded by a former colleague, Charles Guiteau. Before his eventual death that September, Garfield was tended to by physicians desperate to save his life. Even Alexander Graham Bell, the famed inventor of the telephone, designed a special electrical device in an attempt to find the bullet.

Elisabeth Edwards

Elisabeth Edwards is a public historian and history content writer. After completing her Master’s in Public History at Western University in Ontario, Canada Elisabeth has shared her passion for history as a researcher, interpreter, and volunteer at local heritage organizations.

She also helps make history fun and accessible with her podcast The Digital Dust Podcast, which covers topics on everything from art history to grad school.

In her spare time, you can find her camping, hiking, and exploring new places. Elisabeth is especially thrilled to share a love of history with readers who enjoy learning something new every day!

The Digital Dust Podcast