William Henry Harrison, (1773-1841), was 9th President of the United States. The oldest president up until then, he was also the first to die in office, surviving only one month. With his known Indian fighting his was given the nickname Old Tippecanoe and Old Tip. He was the first presidential candidate to campaign actively for office. His election slogan was Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!
William Henry Harrison was born on Feb. 9, 1773, on the James River in Charles City County, Virginia. He was the youngest of seven children, four girls and three boys. His parents, Benjamin and Elizabeth Bassett Harrison, were from prominent Virginia families. The Harrisons father had served in both Continental Congresses and signed the Declaration of Independence.
Harrison received his early education at home. He entered Hampden-Sydney College in 1787 and later enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania to study medicine. After his father died in 1791, Harrison dropped medicine and joined the Army. George Washington, a friend of his father, approved this decision. There he served for seven successful years.
Harrison served as a soldier in early American wars. There he fought a battle on the Great Miami River and developed a plan which led to an American victory. In 1795, he witnessed and signed the Treaty of Greenville. Thereafter he was promoted to captain and given the command of Fort Washington, Ohio. While at Fort Washington he met his wife Anna Symmes. They had ten children, six sons and four daughters. One of them, John Scott Harrison, was the father of Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President.
In 1800, he was named secretary of the Northwest Territory and later become governor of the Indiana Territory. While in office he demanded that American Indians be inoculated against smallpox and banned from the purchasing of liquor. He then negotiated a treaty with Indian leaders which gave settlers about 2,900,000 acres of there land. Many of the Indians were not happy with this and united with Tecumseh to fight the settlers in which would become the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. During the War of 1812 Harrison was appointed major general and in October of 1813 his troops beat down combined Indian and British troops in the Battle of Thames in Ontario.
He then again resigned from the army after a fight with the secretary of war. He decided to live on a farm in North Bend, Ohio. In, 1816, he was elected to the House of Representatives. Then he was charged with spending the publics money unnecessarily, but the charges were dropped after the investigating committee found the charge to be wrong.
After his named had been cleared Harrison he was elected a state senator of Ohio. He resigned from the office in 1828 to accept an appointment with John Quincy Adams for the U.S. minister to Colombia. In office he stated, I contend that the strongest of all governments is that which is most free. He only lasted for a year before Jackson fired him and replaced him with one of his supporters.
Van Buren beat Harrison for presidency in the campaign of 1836 by a landslide. In the election of 1841 Harrisons party leaders told him to say not one single word about his principles or creed. A democratic newspaper then wrote that all Harrison wanted was a pension, a log cabin, and plenty of hard cider. The Whigs took this cut down and turned in for the good. They took it to their advantage by saying that Harrison was the log cabin, hard cider candidate. There were huge parades with wagons rolling down the streets with cabins and cider on them. The Whigs said that Buren was the reason for the hard times in the country. Harrison then won by 147,000 votes, but still had a huge electoral majority. During his presidency he wrote an Inaugural Address in which he stated, The only legitimate right to govern is an express grant of power from the governed, and A decent and manly examination of the acts of government should not only be tolerated, but encouraged.
Harrison only faced one problem during his presidency in which he turned the problem over to Daniel Webster. This problem was known as the Caroline affair. Webster negotiated the Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1842 and all was good.
One cold March morning, he went out to buy vegetables and suffered a severe chill. The cold he had caught on inauguration day now developed into pneumonia. Harrison died on April 4, 1841, 12 & 1/2 hours short of 31 full days in office. He was buried in William Henry Harrison Memorial State Park, North Bend, Ohio. And was the first president to die in office.Works Cited
1.Nelson, Michael. The Presidency. 1996. Salamander Book. Pgs.86-87.
2.World Book Encyclopedia 1992 Edition. Chicago, London, Sydney, Toronto. World Book Inc. 1992. Pgs.74-76.
3.http://members.aol.com/icecold996/WHH.html. William Henry Harrison (1841) – Whig. January 4, 2001. Pgs.1-5.
4.Encarta. Computer Software. Microsoft. 2000. Windows 98.CD-ROM.