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images courtesy of Library of Congress



 

William Henry Harrison, the ninth President of the United States (1841), is best remembered for the campaign slogan "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too."


He was born on February 9, 1773, in Berkeley County Virginia, the third son of Benjamin Harrison, signer of the Declaration of Independence. He served as President for only one month, the shortest term of any President in history. His place in history is more marked by his military career than his presidency.


Appointed Governor of the Indiana Territory, he put down a Shawnee uprising, defeating an Indian force led by Tecumseh at the battle of Tippecanoe Creek. It was his policies that were responsible for the uprising to begin with; but this victory was key to his election as President. During the War of 1812, Harrison captured Detroit and defeated a British force on the Thames River in Ontario. This battled established ongoing American control of the western territory.

Harrison was elected to the Ohio Senate and to several terms in the United States House of Representatives. He was appointed Minister to Colombia by John Quincy Adams. In 1836 he ran against Martin Van Buren for President, but lost. The Whig Party nominated him again in 1840, depicting him as a "log cabin and cider man," though he was actually an aristocrat. Running under the famous campaign slogan "Tippecanoe and Tyler too," he and his running mate John Tyler won a large victory. He was the first member of the Whig party to become President.


On April 4, 1841, one month into his presidency, Harrison died of pneumonia stemming from a cold caught on his inauguration day. He was the first President to die while in office, and his presidency is the shortest in American history. He was the only President besides Zachary Taylor to die in the White House.


Harrison was the only chief executive whose grandson also became President. His grandson, Benjamin Harrison, became President in 1888.

 

   
 

(1773-1841)

9th President

Served:
1841-1841

Party:
Whig

Vice President(s):
John Tyler

Notable Events:
Harrison delivers the longest inaugural address on an extremely cold day while not wearing a hat. He contracts pneumonia and dies in the White House one month later