Seal Of The President Of The Unites States Of America
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The role of the Executive Branch, of which the President is the head, is to enforce the national laws as stated in the Constitution or made by Congress. The office of president was established upon the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788 and the first president, George Washington, took office in 1789.

The president serves as the chief executive and leader of the executive branch of the federal government. Article Two of the Constitution establishes the president as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and enumerates powers specifically granted to the president, including the power to sign into law bills passed by both houses of Congress, to create a Cabinet of advisers, to grant pardons or reprieves, and, with the "advice and consent" of the Senate, to make treaties and appoint federal officers, ambassadors, and federal judges (including Justices of the Supreme Court). Article Two also defines a presidential term at four years.

In OTL, since 1951, presidents have been limited to two terms by the Twenty-second Amendment. There have been 45 presidents, but only 44 individuals have held the office; Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms.

This article lists the known presidents found in the works of Harry Turtledove after the Point of Divergence. Many presidents who served before the POD of a given alternate history are mentioned in passing. Also stories set in OTL may reference past presidents, or even the sitting president.

  Republican       Democratic       Socialist     

The Guns of the SouthEdit

With the Second American Revolution ending in 1864 with a Confederate victory, incumbent U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was defeated by Horatio Seymour, in a highly contested election.

President Term Party Vice President
16 Lincoln Abraham Lincoln 1861-1865 Republican Party Hannibal Hamlin
17 Hseymour Horatio Seymour 1865-18?? Democratic Party Clement Vallandigham

Joe SteeleEdit

In 1932, California Congressman Joe Steele won the Presidency, and proceeded to establish a dictatorship as he served an unprecedented five terms. He died in March, 1953, about six weeks into his sixth term, and was succeeded by Vice President John Nance Garner. However, through the machinations of former Steele loyalists, Garner was impeached, convicted, and removed from office. As a series of circumstances had removed all legal successors to the presidency, J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the Government Bureau of Investigation, immediately seized emergency executive powers, and moved into the White House Oval Office. He maintained the title of "Director", rather than adopting the office of President.

President Term Party Vice President
31 Hoover Herbert Hoover 1929-1933 Republican Charles Curtis
32 PresidentSteele Joe Steele 1933-1953 Democrat John Nance Garner
(Ascended to the presidency)
33 Garner John Nance Garner 1953 Democrat Office vacant


Director Term Party
1 JEdgar J. Edgar Hoover 1953-
incumbent at novel's end

Literary commentEdit

The original "Joe Steele" story has a different ending. After Steele's death, a three-way conflict among President Garner, the Hammer and J. Edgar Hoover claims the lives of both the Hammer and President Garner, and Hoover takes over. It is not revealed what title he uses. This is in contrast to the novel's "legalistic" process of bloodlessly removing Garner from office and establishing the Directorate, but the end result seems to be the same.

"Must and Shall"Edit

President Abraham Lincoln was killed by a Confederate sharpshooter at Fort Stevens in 1864, during the Great Rebellion. Vice President Hannibal Hamlin ascended to the Presidency, and began a policy of retribution against the rebelling Southern states. Hamlin's successors continued this policy.

President Term Party Vice President
16 Lincoln Abraham Lincoln 1861-1864 Republican Hannibal Hamlin
(Ascended to the presidency)
17 Hamlin Hannibal Hamlin 1864-1869(?) Republican Vacant to 1865
18-?? Successors unnamed 1869-1942 Unknown Unknown

Southern VictoryEdit

For most of the history of the United States between the end of the War of Secession and the end of the Great War, the presidency was held by a member of the Democratic Party. This came in response to Abraham Lincoln's status as a Republican. Aside from Republican James G. Blaine, who served from 1881 to 1885, every president from 1865 to 1921 was a Democrat.

After U.S. victory in the Great War, Upton Sinclair became the first Socialist Party president. From there on, the Socialists met success over the next generation, winning five of the six elections between 1920 and 1940, though usually by very narrow margins. Neither party dominated the political cycle the way the Democrats had in the 19th century, as each party was able to capitalize on the failures of the other.

Following the Second Great War, Democrats won the 1944 election, electing Thomas Dewey to Powel House and also taking control of the House of Representatives.

It had been the custom since George Washington that the a president was only elected to two consecutive terms. Theodore Roosevelt ran for an unprecedented third term in 1920, but was defeated, thus leaving the custom intact.

Calvin Coolidge holds the distinction of being the only person elected to the office never to serve. After winning the 1932 election, Coolidge died of a heart attack the following January, just under a month before he could take the oath of office.

Al Smith was killed by a Confederate bombing raid in 1942, the first and only time a president was killed during war time.

Officially the Presidential residence was the White House in Washington, DC. During the Second Mexican War, Washington was evacuated by the Federal government due to its location within range of Confederate heavy artillery. The government relocated to Philadelphia where the President set up residence and office space in the Powel House. After the war, the Federal government remained in Philadelphia due to Washington's continued insecure position, and though Washington remained the capital of the US de jure, for all practical purposes, Philadelphia became the permanent capital and Powel House the permanent executive mansion. The White House was periodically used by the President for certain formal functions, such as inauguration ceremonies and state funerals.

President Term Party Vice President
16 Lincoln Abraham Lincoln 1861-1865 Republican Hannibal Hamlin
17-19(?) Unknown 1865-1877 Democrat Unknown
possibly 19 or 20
Tilden Samuel J. Tilden 1877-1881 Democratic Unknown
possibly 20 or 21
JGBlaine James G. Blaine 1881-1885 Republican Unknown
possibly 21 or 22(?)
Unknown 1885-1889 Democrat Unknown
possibly 22 or 23(?)
ATMahan Alfred Thayer Mahan1 1889-1897 (?) Democrat Unknown
possibly 23 or 24(?)
Reed Thomas B. Reed1 1897-1902 (?) Democrat Unknown
possibly 24 or 25-27(?)
Unknown 1902-1913 Democrat Unknown
28 Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt 1913-1921 Democrat Walter McKenna
29 UptonSinclair Upton Sinclair 1921-1929 Socialist Hosea Blackford
30 Nophoto Hosea Blackford 1929-1933 Socialist Hiram Johnson
312 Hoover Herbert Hoover 1933-1937 Democrat Office vacant
32 Smith Al Smith 1937-1942 Socialist Charles W. La Follette
(Ascended to the presidency)
33 Nophoto Charles W. La Follette 1942-1945 Socialist Office vacant
34 Thomas e dewey2 Thomas Dewey 1945-Incumbent at series' end Democrat Harry Truman

Literary CommentEdit

In The Center Cannot Hold, Hosea Blackford is specified as the 30th person to serve as president. Mathematically, this implies that two presidents did not complete their terms at some point between the presidencies of Lincoln and Roosevelt for this to be possible.

The text does not identify all presidents between Lincoln and Roosevelt. Only Tilden, Blaine, Mahan, and Reed have been specifically identified as presidents in that time period (1865-1913). The exact terms of Mahan and Reed have not been revealed; circumstantial textual evidence supports Mahan serving from 1889-1897; some evidence supports Reed serving from 1897-1902, which would make him one of the two presidents to die in office.

  • 1=Presidents identified in the series canon, but their terms are not given.
  • 2=Calvin Coolidge was elected to be the 31st President, but died before taking office, so his entire term was served by his elected Vice President Hoover.


With the arrival of the Krolp and their military domination of the planet, the United States was reduced to a rump state that ran among the Rocky Mountains and the Wasatch Range, combined with a small part of Canada. The offices of President of the United States and Prime Minister of Canada were combined in one person. The office also became hereditary.[1] The last duly elected president was Harris Moffatt I. His lineage continued to rule the rump U.S. until the presidency of his grandson Harris Moffatt III from the de facto capital of Grand Junction, Colorado. However, with the final defeat of the U.S., 50 years after the Krolp arrived, the presidency was abolished and Harris Moffatt III was forced into exile in the Krolp's North American capital of St. Louis, Missouri.

Known Presidents:


In the aftermath of the Race Invasion, the American Presidency saw two critical interruptions. The first came in 1944 with the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Vice President Henry Wallace had been killed the year before, when the Race's explosive-metal bomb destroyed Seattle while Wallace was visiting. Then-Secretary of State Cordell Hull succeeded Roosevelt per the Presidential Succession Act of 1886.

The second came in 1965 when President Earl Warren committed suicide after agreeing to allow the Race to destroy Indianapolis. This act was in response to Warren's secret attack on the Race's Colonization Fleet in 1962.

With Washington, DC destroyed by the Race in 1942, the capital was moved to Little Rock, Arkansas after the Peace of Cairo of 1944. The executive residence was the Gray House.

President Term Party Vice President
32 Franklin Roosevelt Franklin D. Roosevelt 1933-1944 Democrat Henry Wallace
January 20, 1941 - 1944
(Died in office)
33 Hull Cordell Hull 1944-1945? Democrat Vacant until 1945
34-??  ? 1945-1961  ?
? Earlwarren Earl Warren 1961-1965 Republican Harold Stassen
(Ascended to the presidency)
? Stassen Harold Stassen 1965-1969(?) Republican Vacant until 1969
? ? 1969-2021 Various Unknown
? Nophoto Joyce Peterman 2021-2029
(Dates estimated)
Unknown Unknown

Other PresidentsEdit

In addition to the above, Harry Turtledove has written several stories in which the presidency plays a prominent role or, at a minimum, in which the incumbent president is referenced.

"Lee at the Alamo" is set from February to March 1861, during the presidential transition from James Buchanan to Abraham Lincoln. Both are referenced, and Lincoln directly appears.

In the ongoing series State of Jefferson Stories, the 1919 POD does not seem to have affected the list of Presidents as of 1980, when the most recent installment "Typecasting" takes place. Referenced post-POD Presidents include Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter. Carter is the sitting President in the three works published thus far.

In addition to the above, Franklin D. Roosevelt is President in the Days of Infamy series, "News From the Front", The War That Came Early, "The House That George Built", and "Cayos in the Stream." These all end during FDR's third term. "News From the Front" ends with Congress preparing to impeach Roosevelt in 1942; he would have been succeeded by Vice President Henry Wallace if convicted and removed from office. FDR is also President during the early scenes of The Man With the Iron Heart, and is referenced posthumously later in that novel.

Harry Truman appears as President in The Man With the Iron Heart and The Hot War, being a POV in the latter.  

Dwight Eisenhower is referenced as the incumbent President in "Hindsight".

President John F. Kennedy is the central POV character in "A Massachusetts Yankee in King Arthur's Court". He is also President in the unfinished work Winter of Our Discontent, initially co-written with Bryce Zabel, wherein Kennedy survives the attempt on his life, and is subsequently re-elected in 1964, but faces impeachment in 1966. Zabel completed the novel on his own and it was published under the title Surrounded by Enemies: What if Kennedy Survived Dallas? in July 2013. As Turtledove withdrew from the project while it was in progress, the final book is not in the purview of this Wiki.

Lyndon Johnson is referenced as the incumbent President in "The Fillmore Shoggoth".

George H. W. Bush is obliquely referenced in the satire "Bedfellows" as someone whom the main characters are on their way to meet.  As the story is a satire, taking the plot literally is not the best approach to the material.

George W. Bush appears in the guise of "W" in "Bedfellows". As with his father (above), trying to determine whether W is President as in OTL is beside the point.  

Donald Trump appears in the guise of the "Terrific Leader" in the short work of the same name. He reigns over an authoritarian regime several years after his initial election.

In "The Road Not Taken," the incumbent President is referenced as being too busy elsewhere to come to the Indomitable landing in Los Angeles in 2039. This person is not described in any detail.

In "Elder Skelter", the unnamed incumbment President and her cabinet debate whether or not Quebec's attack on the Maritimes would be sufficient to trigger the emergency clause of the Twenty-Eighth Amendment.  Aside from her sex, nothing else is known about her.  

The Supervolcano series takes place over a period of eight to ten years. References are made to a sitting president at various points in the series, but no president is ever named, nor described in any detail. The President at the start of the series is a Democrat.

Historical Presidents in Non-Presidential RolesEdit

Several historical Presidents have appeared in the works Harry Turtledove in a capacity other than as President. In some timelines the office does not exist, and a vaguely similar one such as Governor-General of the North American Union or Censor of the Federated Commonwealths of America takes its place.

George Washington plays a significant posthumous background role in The Two Georges, where he held the office of Governor-General of the North American Union. Washington is posthumously referenced in The Disunited States of America, wherein the U.S. disintegrated early in its history. In that alternate he is remembered as a great general, but not as a political leader. 

John Adams is posthumously referenced in The Two Georges as beloved historical figure of the North American Union.

John Quincy Adams plays a posthumous role in The Disunited States of America as the Head of State of the small nation-state of Massachusetts.

Andrew Jackson is referenced in The Two Georges as a past Governor-General of the North American Union.

Andrew Johnson appears in "Must and Shall" as Military Governor of Tennessee, and it is highly unlikely that he ever became President himself in that timeline. In The Guns of the South, Johnson plays a background role as the vice-presidential candidate on an independent ticket in the 1864 election. His ticket loses the election, and the novel ends before the next cycle.

Ulysses S. Grant appears in The Guns of the South as the General-in-Chief of the Army, and the novel ends before he has had a chance to begin a political career. He appears in How Few Remain as a retired failure, and later volumes of Southern Victory confirm that he never became President in that timeline.

Rutherford B. Hayes is referenced in The Guns of the South, where he is killed in combat in 1864, before he has a chance to run for President.

James A. Garfield appears as a U.S. Senator in How Few Remain, and is never mentioned again in the rest of the Southern Victory series.

Benjamin Harrison is referenced as Secretary of War in How Few Remain, and is never mentioned again in the rest of the Southern Victory series.

William Howard Taft appears as a congressman in a few volumes of Southern Victory, but never became President in that timeline.

Woodrow Wilson appears in The Great War trilogy as President of the Confederate States.

Franklin D. Roosevelt seeks the Presidency in in Joe Steele (both the novel and the short story) but is murdered before he can win the Democratic nomination. Roosevelt also features prominently in the Southern Victory series as both Secretary of War and Assistant Secretary of War for the United States, but never gains (or even seeks) the Presidency.

Harry Truman appears in Settling Accounts: In at the Death where he becomes Vice President at the end of the novel.

Dwight D. Eisenhower appears in his OTL capacity as a general in The Hot War, Joe Steele (and its source story), The Man With the Iron Heart, and Worldwar. In Joe Steele, he specifically refuses to seek the office. There is no suggestion in Worldwar that he was ever President. In The Man with the Iron Heart and The Hot War, he is mentioned as a possible candidate, but the next election has not yet happened when either work ends. 

John F. Kennedy appears in The Two Georges as a magazine publisher who bitterly opposes the North American Union's form of government. He appears on the cover of the U.S. edition of Colonization: Down to Earth, operating a "futuristic" personal computer, but he is never mentioned in the actual text of the Worldwar franchise.

Richard Nixon appears in Colonization: Second Contact (as a Congressman), The Two Georges (as a used steam-car salesman), Settling Accounts: The Grapple (as a soldier), and Joe Steele (as an Assistant Attorney General). He plays background roles in The Hot War: Armistice (as a Senator) and "Hindsight" (as Vice President). In The Two Georges he never entered politics, while the Worldwar franchise (of which Second Contact is part) skips ahead in time and leaves his biography undiscussed. All the others end before he has had chance to run for the higher office.

Jimmy Carter appears briefly in Settling Accounts: Drive to the East, as a Confederate Navy sailor during the Second Great War in 1942. He is killed in action before he's old enough to run for office.

Ronald Reagan appears in The Man With the Iron Heart as a famous movie actor, and in American Empire: The Victorious Opposition as a radio broadcaster. Both timelines end before he has had a chance to begin his political career. In the ongoing State of Jefferson Stories, the most recent installment "Typecasting" has him running for President but ends before the election.

Donald Trump is remembered by home timeline citizens in The Disunited States of America, set in 2097, in his OTL role as a tycoon and a male chauvinist pig. The novel was released in 2006, nearly a decade before Trump launched his ultimately successful Presidential campaign.

See AlsoEdit


  1. Not strictly stated in the text, but strongly implied

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.