Biography of President William Harrison
Celebrated American Biographies





WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON, ninth president of the United States, was born in Charles county, Virginia, February 9, 1773, the son of Governor Benjamin Harrison. He took a course in HampdenSidney College with a view to the practice of medicine, and then went to Philadelphia to study under Dr. Rush, but in 1791 he entered the army, and obtained the commission of ensign, was soon promoted to the lieutenancy, and was with General Wayne in his war against the Indians. For his valuable service he was promoted to the rank of captain and given command of Fort Washington, now Cincinnati. He was appointed secretary of the Northwest Territory in 1797, and in 1799 became its representative in congress. In 1801 he was appointed governor of Indiana Territory, and held the position for twelve years, during which time hci negotiated important treaties with the Indians, causing them to relinquish millions of acres of land, and also won the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. He succeeded in obtaining a change in the law which did not permit purchase of public lands in less tracts than four thousand acres, reducing the limit to three hundred and twenty acres. He became major general of Kentucky militia and brigadier general in the United States army in 1812, and won great renown in the defense of Fort Meigs, and his victory over the British and Indians under Proctor and Tecumseh at the Thames river, October 5, 1813.

In 1816 General Harrison was elected to congress from Ohio, and during the canvass was accused of corrupt methods in regard to the commissariat of the army. He demanded an investigation after the election and was exonerated. In 1819 he was elected to the Ohio state senate, and in 1824 he gave his vote as a presidential elector to Henry Clay. He became a member of the United States senate the same year. During the last year of Adams' administration he was sent as minister to Colombia, but was recalled by President Jackson the following year. He then retired to his estate at North Bend, Ohio, a few miles below Cincinnati. In 1836 he was a candidate for the presidency, but as there were three other candidates the votes were divided, he receiving seventy three electoral votes, a majority going to Mr. Van Buren, the Democratic candidate. Four years later General Harrison was again nominated by the Whigs, and elected by a tremendous majority. The campaign was noted for its novel features, many of which have found a permanent place in subsequent campaigns. Those peculiar to that campaign, however, were the "log cabin" and "hard cider" watchwords, which produced great enthusiasm among his followers. One month after his inauguration he died from an attack of pleurisy, April 4, 1841.


FROM:
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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