Thomas Jefferson (3) and James Madison (4) came to Hudson in the spring of 1791, before either became president. They came to visit Seth Jenkins, who owned a large distillery, with the hope of persuading him that French wine would produce better spirits than molasses from the British West Indies.
Martin Van Buren (8) visited Hudson often. Long before he became president, Van Buren had a law office in Hudson. In 1839, at his midterm, Van Buren came to Hudson expecting, as reported in the Columbia Republican, that he would be greeted by "a pageant, brilliant, glorious and unprecedented in the history of Presidential tours," but, alas, Van Buren was a Democrat, and the city leaders of the time were Whigs. The Common Council "wisely refused to squander the people's money in defraying the expense of Mr. Van Buren's electioneering tour." Even the fire department, "whose splendid appearance on gala days have won for them an enviable reputation," refused to turn out.
Abraham Lincoln (16) stopped in Hudson in February 1861 on his inaugural journey from Springfield, Illinois, to Washington, D.C. Hudson was one of eighty-three stops along the route. In 1865, after his assassination, Lincoln's funeral train, retracing the route of the inaugural journey to carry his body back to Springfield for burial, stopped briefly in Hudson on the night of April 25.
Theodore Roosevelt (26) visited Hudson in 1914, five years after he left the White House. He came to speak about his Amazon expedition at the Hudson Opera House, but he made the crowd assembled to hear him speak wait while he stood in the wings and devoured not one but two big bowls of vegetable soup fetched for him from a lunchroom across the street. The lunchroom that supplied the soup was very likely the establishment of Thomas E. Cody, located at 330 Warren Street.
There is photographic evidence that William Howard Taft (27) visited Hudson, probably on a whistle-stop tour while he was president, but exactly when this happened is uncertain.
Franklin Roosevelt (32) visited Hudson in 1932, when he was governor of New York, to dedicate to the hospital at the Firemen's Home.
|Photo courtesy Lisa Durfee|
The tenth president to visit Hudson was Bill Clinton (42), who was here just about a year ago, on February 27, 2017, having lunch at Grazin'.
|Photo courtesy Aaron Enfield and Amy Lavine|