Historic Presidential Boys' Clothing: 19th Century

President Lincoln and Tad
Figure 1.--The Lincolns were in an age of strict parents what we would now call permissive. The antics of Willie and Tad set a standard of White House mayhem that even the Roosevelt children could not top. Dr. Spock might even have questioned the Lincolns parenting skills. Here the President is pictured with Tad, after the loss of Willie, helping him with his studies. Tad was not a good student.

The clothing worn by presidents as children and the clothing worn by their children are a good reflection of contemporary children's clothing. America of course has no royal family to help set fashion standards as was the case in Europe. The American president and his family have in part played this role. Thus a review of the American presidents provide glimpses on popular children's fashions of the day. In addition, the clothing of the presidents themselves provide additional glimpses. Very limited information is available on the childhood of many presidents, especially the childhood of presidents like Abraham Lincoln that grew up in modest circumstances.

This website will assess the boyhood of each president to determine popular contemporary boys' fashions. We will also assess the clothes worn by the children in each president's family. Some basic historical information will be presented to place each president in historical perspective.

Available information on the following presidents is as follows: