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President William Harrison

Updated on January 6, 2017

William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) was a soldier and 9th president of the United States (March 4-April 4, 1841).

Born in Charles City County, Virginia. He attended Hampden-Sydney College and the University of Pennsylvania medical school. He was the son of Benjamin Harrison, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Harrison was a professional soldier who won fame in the Northwest Territory as an Indian fighter in the battles of Fallen Timbers (1794) and Tippecanoe (1811).

He was governor of the Indiana Territory (1800-1813), and during the War of 1812 he commanded US troops in the Indiana and Illinois country.

In 1814, Harrison settled in North Bend, Ohio. His fame as a soldier made him an attractive political figure to the Ohio Whigs. He served in both the US House of Representatives and Senate and was briefly (1829) US minister to Colombia. In 1836 he was nominated by one faction of Whigs for the presidency but was defeated.

The Whigs nominated Harrison for president in 1839 and chose John Tyler as his running mate. Thus was born the campaign slogan "Tippecanoe-and Tyler, Too." Despite Harrison's aristocratic Virginia background, he was pictured as a plain western farmer living in a log cabin. It was the most spectacular campaign in US history, and the old soldier won by a landslide. Harrison was inaugurated and began assembling his cabinet. He contracted pneumonia, however, and died only a month after taking office.


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