White House Pets (1789-1850)

BROWSE: 1789-1850 | 1850-1889 | 1889-1953 | 1953-present

President Term President’s Pets
Zachary Taylor 1849-1850
James K. Polk 1845-1849
  • It is said President Polk learned to ride before he could walk and had a great love of horses, but no White House pets were noted during his administration.
John Tyler 1841-1845
  • The General, a horse
  • A pair of wolfhounds that President John Tyler imported for his second wife, Julia
  • An Italian greyhound named Le Beau came from the consul of Naples “to grace the White House Lawn”
  • Also, a short-lived canary, Johnny Ty, who died shortly after they tried to pair him with a mate only to discover it too was a male

When The General died, Tyler had a grave dug on his estate, Sherwood. Over the grave, he had a headstone placed with the following inscription: “Here lies the body of my good horse ‘The General.’ For twenty years he bore me around the circuit of my practice, and in all that time he never made a blunder. Would that his master could say the same! John Tyler.”

William Henry Harrison 1841
  • Billy goat
  • Sukey, a Durham cow
Martin Van Buren 1837-1841
  • A pair of tiger cubs given to him by the Sultan of Oman that Congress made him send to the zoo
Andrew Jackson 1829-1837
  • Sam Patch, horse
  • Emily, Lady Nashville and Bolivia, racing fillies
  • Thruxton, a champion racehorse
  • Ponies
  • Poll, a parrot that was taught to swear
John Quincy Adams 1825-1829
James Monroe 1817-1825
  • Spaniel belonging to Maria Monroe
James Madison 1809-1817
  • Green parrot belonging to Mrs. Dolley Madison
Thomas Jefferson 1801-1809
John Adams 1797-1801
  • Favorite horse, Cleopatra (John Adams built the first White House stables)
  • Juno and Satan, Abigail Adams’s two mixed-breed dogs
George Washington 1789-1797
  • Samson, Steady, Leonidas, Traveller, Magnolia and other stallions
  • Nelson and Blueskin, horses used during the American Revolution
  • A horse given to Washington by Gen. Braddock
  • Drunkard, Mopsey, Taster, Cloe, Tipsy, Tipler, Forester, Captain, Lady Rover, Vulcan, Sweetlips, and Searcher, all hounds
  • Five French hounds
  • Rozinante, Nellie Custis’s horse
  • A parrot belonging to Mrs. Martha Washington
Our comprehensive list of White House pets begins here...
1789-1850 | 1850-1889 | 1889-1953 | 1953-present
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