9. William H. Harrison

The Periodic Table of the Presidents - William Henry Harrison   William Henry Harrison Official Portrait - The Periodic Table of the Presidents


“Tippecanoe”


Presidential Basics

  • Full name: William Henry Harrison
  • Years in office: 1841
  • Political party: Whig
  • Vice president: John Tyler
  • Age at inauguration: 68
  • Nicknames: “Tippecanoe,” “Old Tip,” “Old Granny”

Random Trivia

  • The shortest term: Harrison died just 32 days after taking office.

Birth & Death

  • Birthday: February 9, 1773
  • Birthplace: Berkeley, Virginia
  • Death date: April 4, 1841
  • Place of death: Washington, D.C.
  • Place of burial: William Henry Harrison State Park in North Bend, Ohio

Family

  • Father: Benjamin Harrison (1726–1791); Planter, politician
  • Mother: Elizabeth Bassett Harrison (1730–1792)
  • Wife: Anna Tuthill Symmes (1775–1864)
  • Marriage: November 25, 1795 in Ohio
  • Kids: Ten
    • Elizabeth Bassett (1796–1846)
    • John Cleves Symmes (1798–1830)
    • Lucy Singleton (1800–1826)
    • William Henry (1802–1838)
    • John Scott (1804–1878)
    • Benjamin (1806–1840)
    • Mary Symmes (1809–1842)
    • Carter Bassett (1811–1839)
    • Anna Tuthill (1813–1845)
    • James Findlay (1814–1817)
  • Home: Grouseland in Vincennes, Indiana


Other Facts

  • Height: 5’8”
  • Eye color: Brown
  • Ancestry: English
  • Religion: Episcopalian
  • Born in a log cabin: No
  • Owned enslaved people: Yes
  • Freemason: No

Education

  • Early education: Private tutoring
  • College degree: No
  • College: Attended Hampden-Sydney College

Career

  • Military Service: Yes
  • Lawyer: No
  • Secretary of Northwest Territory (1798)
  • Territorial Delegate to Congress (1799– 1801)
  • Governor of Indiana Territory (1801–1813)
  • Commander of U.S. Forces in Northwest Territory (1811–1812)
  • Major General in War of 1812 (1812)
  • U.S. House of Representatives (1816–1819)
  • U.S. Senate (1825–1828)
  • Minister to Columbia (1828–1829)
  • Ninth president (1841)

Writings

  • Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison

Election

Martin Van Buren’s time in office was not one of great economic gain.  In fact, it was quite the opposite.  He inherited policies that led the US into the Panic of 1837.

The Whigs capitalized on this Panic, and Van Buren’s seeming disconnect from the situation, to propel William Henry Harrison into the office.  In this first modern presidential campaign, Harrison was portrayed as the opposite of Van Buren.  In fact, it was the Democrats who first pointed out the glaring differences between the two.  They mocked Harrison in the campaign as being a hard cider drinker who lived in a log cabin.  The Whigs used the image to their benefit and Tippecanoe the war hero became the log cabin and hard cider candidate (even though he was really from a wealthy Virginia family).  The public connected to this idea and Harrison was elected.

 


Campaign Poster

William Henry Harrison, hand-colored lithograph by J. McGee, published by N. Currier, 1835-36 LOC
William Henry Harrison, Hand-colored lithograph by J. McGee, published by N. Currier, 1835-36 (Library of Congress)

 


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