William Henry Harrison

president of the United States in 1841

William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773 – April 4, 1841) was the 9th president of the United States. His nickname was "Old Tippecanoe" and he was a well-respected war veteran. Harrison served the shortest term of any United States president. His term lasted for exactly one month.[1]

William Henry Harrison
Portrait, 1840
9th President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
Vice PresidentJohn Tyler
Preceded byMartin Van Buren
Succeeded byJohn Tyler
United States Minister to Colombia
In office
February 5, 1829 – September 26, 1829
Nominated byJohn Quincy Adams
Preceded byBeaufort Watts
Succeeded byThomas Moore
United States Senator
from Ohio
In office
March 4, 1825 – May 20, 1828
Preceded byEthan Brown
Succeeded byJacob Burnet
In office
October 8, 1816 – March 3, 1819
Preceded byJohn McLean
Succeeded byThomas Ross
Governor of the Indiana Territory
In office
January 10, 1801 – December 28, 1812
Appointed byJohn Adams
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byThomas Posey
In office
March 4, 1799 – May 14, 1800
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byPaul Fearing
Secretary of the Northwest Territory
In office
June 28, 1798 – October 1, 1799
Preceded byWinthrop Sargent
Succeeded byCharles Byrd
Personal details
Born(1773-02-09)February 9, 1773
Charles City County, Virginia
DiedApril 4, 1841(1841-04-04) (aged 68)
Washington D.C.
Political partyWhig party
Spouse(s)Anna Symmes Harrison

He was elected president in 1840, and took the oath of office on March 4, 1841. His inauguration speech lasted an hour and forty minutes. William Henry Harrison caught a serious case of pneumonia, and on April 4 that same year he died. He was the first president to die in office.[2] Harrison was the oldest president to take office at 68 years, 23 days, until it was outdone in 1981 by Ronald Reagan who assumed the presidency at the age of 69. He was the last president to be born before the United States Declaration of Independence.

His grandson was the 23rd president of the United States, Benjamin Harrison.

Early life change

Harrison was born on February 9, 1773. He is the youngest of Benjamin Harrison V and Elizabeth Bassett's seven children. They lived in Berkeley Plantation at Charles City County, Virginia. He was the last president to be born as a British citizen before the American Independence. His father was a planter and a delegate to the Continental Congress (1774–1777) who signed the Declaration of Independence. He was Governor of Virginia between 1781 and 1784.[3] His older brother Carter Bassett Harrison was elected a representative of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives.

In 1787, he attended the Presbyterian Hampden-Sydney College. He attended the school until 1790. Harrison was fluent in Latin and French.

Marriage and family change

In 1795, he met Anna Symmes. They had 10 children.

As President change

He took the oath of office on March 4, 1841 which was a cold and wet day. His inaugural address was the longest in American history.

Harrison's inaugural address was a detailed statement of the Whig agenda, mainly unclaimed honest of Jackson's and Van Buren's policies.

Harrison promised to reestablish the Bank of the United States and extend its maximum amount for credit by issuing paper currency (see Henry Clay).

Harrison is also regarded as the President with the shortest term in office, serving 30 days, 12 hours, and 30 minutes.

Illness and death change

On March 26, 1841, Harrison became ill with a cold. His illness was believed to have been caused by the bad weather in the inauguration.[4]

The cold was worsened, quickly turning to pneumonia and pleurisy.[4] He tried to rest in the White House, but could not find a quiet room because of the crowd of office seekers. His very busy social schedule made it harder for time to rest.

Harrison's doctors tried cures of applying opium, castor oil, leeches, and Virginia snakeweed. But the treatments only made Harrison worse, and he became restless.

Harrison died on his 32nd day as president on April 4, 1841 at 12:30 am of pneumonia, jaundice, and septicima. He was the first president of the United States to die in office.

Harrison's funeral took place in Wesley Chapel in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 7, 1841.[5] His original interment was in Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C.. He was later buried in North Bend, Ohio.

References change

  1. William Henry Harrison at White House.gov
  2. Watson, Robert P.; Gordon, Ann (2003). Anticipating Madam President. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-58826-113-7. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  3. Owens 2007, p. 3.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cleaves 1939, p. 152.
  5. "Presidential Funerals". Archived from the original on 2013-10-21. Retrieved 2013-04-03.

Other websites change