US Presidential Statues 1789-1841 – City of Presidents Tour Rapid City, SD

On a road trip in May of 2022, we found ourselves in Rapid City, South Dakota. We had visited Mt. Rushmore on a previous visit but had never checked out what they call the City of Presidents. This is a series of life-sized bronze statues located among the city and streets of downtown Rapid City. According to their site, The City of Presidents project began in 2000 to honor the legacy of the American presidency. Each sculpture is privately funded, and the pattern of placement was chosen to maintain an orderly structure and eliminate any sense of favoritism or political gain. The City of Presidents is part of the Rapid City Historic District Tour. This is part 1 of a 5 part series on these amazing statues and includes the US Presidential Statues 1789-1841. I hope you enjoy the series as much as I enjoyed learning a lot of history while doing research.

US Presidential Statues 1789-1841 include former presidents:

George Washington

US Presidential Statues 1789-1841 - WashingtonFirst President

Date of Birth – February 22, 1732

Birthplace – Pope’s Creek, Virginia

Education – The equivalent of an elementary school education

Career – Soldier, Planter

Political Party – Federalist

Nickname – “Father of His Country”

Date of Inauguration – April 30, 1789

Date Ended – March 4, 1797

Date of Death – December 14, 1799

Burial Place – Family vault, Mount Vernon, Virginia

Quote – “The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.”

John Adams

US Presidential Statues 1789-1841 - AdamsSecond President

Date of Birth – October 30, 1735

Birthplace  North Precinct of Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts

Education  – Harvard College (graduated 1755)

Career – Lawyer

Political party  Federalist

Nickname – “Atlas of Independence”

Date of Inauguration – March 4, 1797

Date Ended – March 4, 1801

Date of Death- July 4, 1826

Burial place – Quincy, Massachusetts

Quote – “In charity to all mankind, bearing no malice or ill will to any human being, and even compassionating those who hold in bondage their fellow-men, not knowing what they do.”

Thomas Jefferson

US Presidential Statues 1789-1841 - JeffersonThird President

Date of Birth – April 13, 1743

Birthplace – Shadwell plantation, Goochland County, Virginia

Education – College of William and Mary (graduated 1762)

Career – Lawyer, Planter

Political Party – Democratic-Republican

Nickname – “Man of the People,” “Sage of Monticello”

Date of Inauguration – March 4, 1801

Date Ended – March 4, 1809

Date of Death – July 4, 1826

Burial Place – Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia

Quote – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

James Madison

US Presidential Statues 1789-1841 - MadisonFourth President

Date of Birth – March 16, 1751

Birthplace – Port Conway, Virginia

Education – College of New Jersey (now Princeton University, graduated 1771)

Career – Politician, Planter

Political Party – Democratic-Republican

Nickname – “Father of the Constitution”

Date of Inauguration – March 4, 1809

Date Ended – March 4, 1817

Date of Death – June 28, 1836

Burial Place – Montpelier, Orange County, Virginia

Quote – “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.”

James Monroe

US Presidential Statues 1789-1841 - MonroeFifth President

Date of Birth – April 28, 1758

Birthplace – Westmoreland County, Virginia

Education – College of William and Mary (graduated 1776)

Career – Lawyer

Political Party – Democratic-Republican

Nickname – “The Last Cocked Hat,” “Era-of-Good-Feelings President”

Date of Inauguration – March 4, 1817

Date Ended – March 4, 1825

Date of Death – July 4, 1831

Burial Place – New York City, New York

Quote –  “If it was wise, manly, and patriotic for us to establish a free government, it is equally wise to attend to the necessary means of its preservation.”

John Quincy Adams

US Presidential Statues 1789-1841 - Q AdamsSixth President

Date of Birth – July 11, 1767

Birthplace – Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts

Education – Harvard College (graduated 1787)

Career – Lawyer, Senator, Diplomat

Political Party – Federalist, Democratic-Republican, Whig

Nickname – “Old Man Eloquent”

Date of Inauguration – March 4, 1825

Date Ended – March 4, 1829

Date of Death – February 23, 1848

Burial Place – First Unitarian Church, Quincy, Massachusetts

Quote – “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

Andrew Jackson

US Presidential Statues 1789-1841 - JacksonSeventh President

Date of Birth – March 15, 1767

Birthplace – Waxhaw area, on the North Carolina-South Carolina border

Education –

Career – Lawyer, Soldier

Political Party – Democrat

Nickname – “Old Hickory”

Date of Inauguration – March 4, 1829

Date Ended – March 4, 1837

Date of Death – June 8, 1845

Burial Place – The Hermitage, Nashville, Tennessee

Quote – “All the rights secured to the citizens under the Constitution are worth nothing, and a mere bubble, except guaranteed to them by an independent and virtuous Judiciary.”

Martin Van Buren

US Presidential Statues 1789-1841 - Van BurenEighth President

Date of Birth – December 5, 1782

Birthplace -Kinderhook, New York

Education – Kinderhook Academy (graduated 1796)

Career – Lawyer

Political Party – Democrat

Nickname – “The Little Magician,” “The Red Fox of Kinderhook”

Date of Inauguration – March 4, 1837

Date Ended – March 4, 1841

Date of Death – July 24, 1862

Burial Place – Kinderhook Cemetery, Kinderhook, New York

Quote – “As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it.”

William Harrison

US Presidential Statues 1789-1841 - HarrisonNinth President

Date of Birth – February 9, 1773

Birthplace – Berkeley plantation, Charles City County, Virginia

Education – Hampden-Sydney College

Career – Soldier

Political Party – Whig

Nickname – “Old Tippecanoe”; “Old Tip”

Date of Inauguration – March 4, 1841

Date Ended – April 4, 1841

Date of Death – April 4, 1841

Burial Place – William Henry Harrison Memorial State Park, North Bend, Ohio

Quote – “The people are the best guardians of their own rights and it is the duty of their executive to abstain from interfering in or thwarting the sacred exercise of the lawmaking functions of their government.”

Presidential Statues 1789-1841

Mount Rushmore Flags
Mount Rushmore

We had a great time checking out the Presidential Statues 1789-1841 while in Rapid City. Here is a link to a map of which presidents are included in the City of Presidents, and on which street corners they can be found. If you are in the area, it is a fun adventure. One thing to note, a server at a restaurant shared that during the winter people will put gloves, hats, scarves, etc on the statues for the homeless people to take and use. I thought that was quite kind of the people of Rapid City.  Here are the links to the other posts in this series.

US Presidential Statues 1841-1877
US Presidential Statues 1877-1913
US Presidential Statues 1913-1969


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12 thoughts on “US Presidential Statues 1789-1841 – City of Presidents Tour Rapid City, SD

  1. When the kids were young, we took them to see Mt. Rushmore. But I haven’t heard about the Presidential Statues. Sounds like a trip for our grands! Love the part about the gloves.

  2. City of Presidents seem like a good idea to preserve history .It’s quite a task to make this possible though.Its great that you are trying to help spread the word about our.

  3. I’ve never been to that part of the country, but I love sightseeing and learning more about history. I never heard of the City of Presidents in Rapid City, but if I get out that way, I’ll be sure to check it out. What was one of your favorite parts of this tour?

  4. Can you believe it, we visited Mt Rushmore, but we had not known about the City of Presidents 🙁
    Note to self: Need to go back to Rapid City!
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Tamara, we didn’t know about it the first time we visited either. It’s funny that they are there but so many people don’t know about them that don’t live in the area. Glad to share the info and hope more can check them out on a future visit. 🙂 Thanks for the message.

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