Martin Van Buren, our 8th president, was the first president born after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, and thus the first president not born a British subject. He was born on December 5, 1782, more than six years after July 4, 1776 when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve the Declaration of Independence, and split from Great Britain.

All of the previous seven U.S. presidents were born prior to July 4, 1776:
  • George Washington: February 22, 1732
  • John Adams: October 30, 1735
  • Thomas Jefferson: April 13, 1743
  • James Madison: March 16, 1751
  • James Monroe: April 28, 1758
  • John Quincy Adams: July 11, 1767
  • Andrew Jackson: March 15, 1767

But Van Buren was not the last U.S. president not born a British subject. William Henry Harrison, who only served one month as president before becoming the first president to die in office, was born on February 9, 1773. Harrison had just turned 68 less than a month before his inauguration. He was the oldest man to take the oath of office up until that time.
Beginning with John Tyler (10th president) and later, all of our presidents were born after July 4, 1776.

Mike Purdy’s Presidential History Blog
© 2011 by Michael E. Purdy