Ames, Ashford (pseudo.). “Horace Vose, the ‘Turkey King.’” The Anamosa (Iowa) Prison Press, 8(15) (November 18, 1905): 1–2.

Baker, James W. Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday. Durham, NH: University of New Hampshire Press, 2010.

Brooks, Noah, and Michael Burlingam. Lincoln Observed: Civil War Dispatches of Noah Brooks. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.

Edwards, Cynthia.“Did Truman Pardon a Turkey?” Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Last modified December 5, 2003. Accessed October 26, 2003.

Loeb, Jr., W.M., Secretary of the President. “White House Bulletin.” Washington Post, November 30, 1904.

Palmer, Henry Robinson. “Where the President’s Turkey Comes From.” Ladies’ Home Journal, 18(12) (November 1901): 3.

“Turkey for the White House Thanksgiving Dinner.” Washington Post, November 19, 1905.

Vose, Horace. Turkey Secrets: From the Experience of Horace Vose of Westerly, R.I., Who for Thirty Years Has Annually Supplied the White House with Its Thanksgiving Turkey. W. Atkinson Company, 1912.

White House Historical Association. “The Thanksgiving Tradition of ‘Pardoning a Turkey at the White House.” Accessed October 26, 2011.

Thanksgiving: Presidential Turkeys


In 1873, Rhode Island turkey broker Horace Vose sent President Grant a Thanksgiving gift of a magnificent turkey. Every year after that, until his death in 1913, Vose sent a Thanksgiving turkey to whomever was president. The annual arrival of Vose’s gift turkey at the White House was the subject of many newspaper articles through the years.

Vose’s turkeys wound up on the White House dinner table, but more recently, some of the many turkeys sent to the President each year for Thanksgiving have been given Presidential pardons. What do you know about the presidents’ turkeys?