William Henry Harrison
1841 - 1841
"William Henry Harrison", our ninth President, son of "Benjamin Harrison", the Virginia Revolutionist, was born at Berkeley, Virginia. William Henry Harrison grew up on his father's plantation, then because his father wished it, began studying medicine. William Henry Harrison did not feel he had the ability to become a doctor, so when his father died, he asked his father's friend, "President George Washington", to arrange a commission in the Army for him.
In 1791, William Henry Harrison was sent to the Northwest, where he leaerned Indian fighting under "General Anthony Wayne". William Henry Harrison married "Anna Tuthill Symmes" in 1795, then retired from the Army, bought land at North Bend near Cincinnati, and began to establish a farm. William Henry Harrison and Anna Tuthill Symmes had ten children.
William Henry Harrison was appointed Governor of Indiana Territory in 1801 by "President John Adams", and proved himself so capable that "President Thomas Jefferson" and "President James Madison" both renewed the appointment. He was admired by frontiersmen as fearless and sensible, just and determined.
William Henry Harrison set aside public lands for the benefit of poor settlers, refusing them to rich land speculators. It was his work that resulted in an Indian treaty that allowed the United States to buy three million acres of land in Indiana. William Henry Harrison tried to keep peace with the Indians of the territory, giving them food out of the public stores, persuading them to accept inoculations for small-pox, and trying to prevent white men from selling them liquor.
But "Tecumseh, Chief of the Shawnees", wanted the return of the land the United States had bought. A number of Indian raids finally resulted in a battle with Chief Tecumseh and his brother "The Prophet at Tippecanoe". William Henry Harrison's troops were victorious. In the next year, the Indians joined the British in the "War of 1812" and took Detroit, but William Henry Harrison recovered the town and defeated the Canadians in the "Battle of the Thames".
In this battle, Chief Tecumseh was killed. In the years that followed, William Henry Harrison served at Congress and spent a short time as minister to Columbia, then ran unsuccessfully for the Presidency. When he was sixty-seven years old, the "Whig Party" decided to run him aain with "John Tyler" of Virginia as his running mate.
The country was enthusiastic about the plain, simple frontiersman and bitter about the aristocratic, nattily dressed "President Martin Van Buren" who opposed him. The campaign took advantage of this feeling with songs and slogans such as "Tippecanoe and Tyler too"! and
"Log Cabin and Hard Cider."
William Henry Harrison won easily. His wife, Anna Tuthill Symmes, who had opposed his candidacy because of his age, proved right, for William Henry Harrison caught a cold soon after the inauguration and died of pneumonia only thirty days after he became President.
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