Nickname: Human Iceberg

Years in office: 1889–1893

Political party: Republican

Birthday: August 20, 1833

Official presidential portrait of Benjamin Harrison

by Jonathan Eastman Johnson, 1895

Handkerchief (Smithsonian, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Simeon Braguin)

Check out this Election of 1888 campaign handkerchief. Harrison is shown with running mate, Levi P. Morton, and surrounded by American imagery. 

In the election of 1888, Benjamin Harrison, a former senator from Indiana, defeated the incumbent president, Grover Cleveland. Tariffs were the main issue in the election, with Harrison favoring a strong, protective tariff. When the votes came in, Cleveland won the popular vote, but lost the electoral vote. Mrs. Cleveland reportedly told the White House staff to take good care of the house, as they would be returning in four years.

The election of 1892 was a rematch of 1888, but with different results. The Populist party emerged during this election, focused on a strong currency and farmers’ protections. And the Republicans lost some favor among Americans with high tariffs that led to higher prices. In 1892, Cleveland again won the popular vote, but this time he also won in the electoral college. His win makes him the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms.


Indianapolis, IN


Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN


Davis, Kenneth C., and Pedro Martin. Don’t Know Much about the Presidents. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2014.

DeGregorio, William A., and Aaron Jaffe. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books, Inc., 2017.

Kane, Joseph Nathan, and Janet Podell. Facts about the Presidents: A Compilation of Biographical and Historical Information. New York: H.W. Wilson, 2009.


Encyclopedia Britannica, britannica.com

Library of Congress, loc.gov

Miller Center, University of Virginia, millercenter.org/the-presidency

The White House, whitehouse.gov

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