Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison


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Benjamin Harrison followed the distinguished example of his grandfather William Henry Harrison all the way to the White House, winning election as the nation’s 23rd president in 1888. While his support for protective tariffs led to rising prices for consumers and arguably paved the way for the nation’s future economic woes, his bold pursuit of America’s foreign policy goals (including his proposal to annex the Hawaiian Islands) displayed his expanded vision of the nation’s role in world affairs. In 1890, Harrison signed into law the Sherman Antitrust Act, the first piece of legislation designed to prohibit industrial combinations, or trusts. Before the end of his first term, support for Harrison was waning even within the Republican Party. In 1892, he lost his bid for reelection to Grover Cleveland by a wide margin; he remained active in public life as a lawyer and public speaker until his death in 1901.

Benjamin Harrison: Early Life and Career

Harrison was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Ohio; he grew up on a farm located near the Ohio River below Cincinnati. His father, John Harrison, was a farmer, and his grandfather, William Henry Harrison, was elected as the ninth president of the United States in 1840, but died of pneumonia only one month after he took office. Benjamin Harrison graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1852 and married Caroline Lavinia Scott the following year; the couple would go on to have two children. After studying law in Cincinnati, Harrison moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1854 and set up his own law practice.

Though his father had warned Benjamin of the pressures of a life in politics, his wife encouraged his political ambitions. The young Harrison became active in state politics in Indiana, joining the fledgling Republican Party, which had been built on the opposition to slavery and its extension into the western territories. He supported the first Republican presidential candidate, John C. Frémont, in 1856 and Abraham Lincoln in 1860. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Harrison joined the Union Army as a lieutenant in the 70th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and he would attain the rank of brevet brigadier general by 1865. Back in Indiana after war’s end, Harrison resumed his law practice and political activity, campaigning unsuccessfully for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1872. Four years later, he won the nomination but lost a close race in the general election.

Benjamin Harrison’s Road to the White House

From 1881 to 1887, Harrison represented Indiana in the U.S. Senate, arguing for the rights of homesteaders and Native Americans against the expanding railroad industry and campaigning for generous pensions for Civil War veterans, among other issues. A highly principled and devoutly religious man, Harrison broke with the Republican Party to oppose the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 (which aimed to close the United States to Chinese immigrants) due to its violation of rights given to the Chinese under an earlier treaty; the act passed without his support.

Harrison lost his Senate seat after a Democratic victory in the Indiana state legislature in 1887, only to gain the Republican nomination for president the following year. Rather than travel around the country during the campaign, he gave numerous speeches to delegations that visited him in Indianapolis–an early example of so-called “front-porch campaigning.” In a controversial general election, Harrison lost the popular vote to the incumbent President Grover Cleveland by 90,000 votes but carried the electoral college, gaining 233 electoral votes to Cleveland’s 168 thanks to victories in the key swing states of New York and Indiana (where Harrison’s opponents later suggested that his campaign had purchased votes in order to win).

Benjamin Harrison’s Domestic & Foreign Policy

During Harrison’s term in the White House, the lingering effects of an economic depression led to calls for more expansive federal legislation. A longtime protectionist, Harrison supported the passage of the McKinley Tariff Act of 1890 (backed by the Ohio congressman and future president William McKinley). For the first time in peacetime, Congress appropriated a billion dollars during Harrison’s administration, angering many Americans who saw the president and his fellow Republicans as too supportive of wealthy interests. On the other hand, Harrison lent his support to the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which required the government to purchase 4.5 million ounces of silver per month, and bowed to the pressure of agrarians and reformers by signing into law the Sherman Antitrust Act, designed to prohibit industrial combinations or trusts. (Ohio Senator John Sherman sponsored both acts.) Harrison also continued his support of veterans’ benefits as well as his advocacy of forest conservation and the expansion of the U.S. Navy.

In the foreign policy arena, Harrison’s administration (including the president and secretary of state, James G. Blaine) displayed a growing American influence in world affairs. The First International Conference of American States (later the Pan-American Union) took place in Washington, D.C. in late 1889. In addition, Harrison’s State Department successfully negotiated with Germany and Great Britain to set terms for an American protectorate in the Samoan Islands, and opposed Britain and Canada in order to prevent the overharvesting of seals in the Bering Sea. Harrison was unsuccessful, however, in his attempts to convince Congress to back the construction of a canal in Nicaragua, as well as in his efforts to annex Hawaii in 1893.

Benjamin Harrison’s Post-Presidency Career

Up for reelection in 1892, Harrison struggled to overcome growing populist discontent, including a number of labor strikes. In the general election, he faced Grover Cleveland again, along with a third-party challenge from the Populist, or People’s, Party. The revelation that Caroline Harrison was seriously ill led to modest campaign efforts by both men and caused Harrison to limit his appearances in key swing states, contributing to the margin of his defeat. Caroline died of tuberculosis in late October, and two weeks later Harrison lost to Cleveland by an electoral vote of 145 to 277, the most decisive victory in 20 years.

After leaving the White House, Harrison returned to Indianapolis and his law practice. At the age of 62, he married Mary Lord Dimmick, his late wife’s niece and caretaker; they had one child. In 1898, Harrison served as leading counsel for Venezuela in the arbitration of its boundary dispute with Great Britain. After spending almost a decade as a respected elder statesman and acclaimed public speaker, he died in 1901 of pneumonia.


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Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States from 1889 to 1893, elected after conducting one of the first “front-porch” campaigns by delivering short speeches to delegations that visited him in Indianapolis.

Nominated for President on the eighth ballot at the 1888 Republican Convention, Benjamin Harrison conducted one of the first “front-porch” campaigns, delivering short speeches to delegations that visited him in Indianapolis. As he was only 5 feet, 6 inches tall, Democrats called him “Little Ben” Republicans replied that he was big enough to wear the hat of his grandfather, “Old Tippecanoe.”

Born in 1833 on a farm by the Ohio River below Cincinnati, Harrison attended Miami University in Ohio and read law in Cincinnati. He moved to Indianapolis, where he practiced law and campaigned for the Republican Party. He married Caroline Lavinia Scott in 1853. After the Civil War–he was Colonel of the 70th Volunteer Infantry–Harrison became a pillar of Indianapolis, enhancing his reputation as a brilliant lawyer.

The Democrats defeated him for Governor of Indiana in 1876 by unfairly stigmatizing him as “Kid Gloves” Harrison. In the 1880’s he served in the United States Senate, where he championed Indians. homesteaders, and Civil War veterans.

In the Presidential election, Harrison received 100,000 fewer popular votes than Cleveland, but carried the Electoral College 233 to 168. Although Harrison had made no political bargains, his supporters had given innumerable pledges upon his behalf.

When Boss Matt Quay of Pennsylvania heard that Harrison ascribed his narrow victory to Providence, Quay exclaimed that Harrison would never know “how close a number of men were compelled to approach… the penitentiary to make him President.”

Harrison was proud of the vigorous foreign policy which he helped shape. The first Pan American Congress met in Washington in 1889, establishing an information center which later became the Pan American Union. At the end of his administration Harrison submitted to the Senate a treaty to annex Hawaii to his disappointment, President Cleveland later withdrew it.

Substantial appropriation bills were signed by Harrison for internal improvements, naval expansion, and subsidies for steamship lines. For the first time except in war, Congress appropriated a billion dollars. When critics attacked “the billion-dollar Congress,” Speaker Thomas B. Reed replied, “This is a billion-dollar country.” President Harrison also signed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act “to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies,” the first Federal act attempting to regulate trusts.

The most perplexing domestic problem Harrison faced was the tariff issue. The high tariff rates in effect had created a surplus of money in the Treasury. Low-tariff advocates argued that the surplus was hurting business. Republican leaders in Congress successfully met the challenge. Representative William McKinley and Senator Nelson W. Aldrich framed a still higher tariff bill some rates were intentionally prohibitive.

Harrison tried to make the tariff more acceptable by writing in reciprocity provisions. To cope with the Treasury surplus, the tariff was removed from imported raw sugar sugar growers within the United States were given two cents a pound bounty on their production.

Long before the end of the Harrison Administration, the Treasury surplus had evaporated, and prosperity seemed about to disappear as well. Congressional elections in 1890 went stingingly against the Republicans, and party leaders decided to abandon President Harrison although he had cooperated with Congress on party legislation. Nevertheless, his party renominated him in 1892, but he was defeated by Cleveland.

After he left office, Harrison returned to Indianapolis, and married the widowed Mrs. Mary Dimmick in 1896. A dignified elder statesman, he died in 1901.

The Presidential biographies on WhiteHouse.gov are from “The Presidents of the United States of America,” by Frank Freidel and Hugh Sidey. Copyright 2006 by the White House Historical Association.

Learn more about Benjamin Harrison’s spouse, Caroline Lavinia Scott Harrison.


SS Benjamin Harrison

SS Benjamin Harrison was a Liberty ship built in the United States during World War II. She was named after Benjamin Harrison, an American planter and merchant, a revolutionary leader, and a Founding Father of the United States. He received his higher education at the College of William and Mary and was a representative to the Virginia House of Burgesses for Surry County, Virginia, (1756–1758, 1785–1786) and Charles City County (1766–1776, 1787–1790). He was a Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1777, served on the committee which wrote the Model Treaty, and signed the United States Declaration of Independence during the Second Continental Congress.

  • 10,865 LT DWT
  • 7,176 GRT
  • 3,380 long tons (3,434 t) (light)
  • 14,245 long tons (14,474 t) (max)
  • 441 feet 6 inches (135 m) oa
  • 416 feet (127 m) pp
  • 427 feet (130 m) lwl
  • 2 × Oil fired 450 °F (232 °C) boilers, operating at 220 psi (1,500 kPa)
  • 2,500 hp (1,900 kW)
  • 1 × triple-expansion steam engine, (manufactured by General Machinery Corp., Hamilton, Ohio)
  • 1 × screw propeller
  • 562,608 cubic feet (15,931 m 3 ) (grain)
  • 499,573 cubic feet (14,146 m 3 ) (bale)
  • 38–62 USMM
  • 21–40 USNAG
  • Varied by ship
  • Bow-mounted 3 inches (76 mm)/50 caliber gun
  • Stern-mounted 4 inches (102 mm)/50 caliber gun
  • 2–8 × single 20 millimeters (0.79 in) Oerlikonanti-aircraft (AA) cannons and/or,
  • 2–8 × 37 millimeters (1.46 in) M1 AA guns

Harrison served as Virginia's fifth governor, from 1781 to 1784. His direct descendants include two presidents: his son William Henry Harrison and his great-grandson Benjamin Harrison.


Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Ohio. His great-grandfather was John Cleves Symmes, and his grandfather was President William Henry Harrison. Benjamin Harrison attended Farmers' College in Cincinnati, Ohio, before transferring to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He graduated from Miami University in 1852 and studied law with an attorney in Cincinnati. In 1853, Harrison married Caroline Lavinia Scott Harrison. The next year, the couple moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where Benjamin established a legal practice. He soon gained the respect of his fellow attorneys.

At the beginning of the American Civil War, Harrison enlisted in the Union Army. He served throughout the war and reached the rank of brigadier-general of volunteers. After the war, Harrison was the reporter of the Indiana Supreme Court from 1865 to 1868.

Harrison ran for Governor of Indiana in 1876 as a member of the Republican Party. He lost this election, but he emerged as one of the state's most powerful Republicans. In 1880, the Republican Party considered nominating Harrison as its candidate for the presidency of the United States, but Harrison declined. The nomination went to James Garfield, an Ohioan. Garfield offered Harrison a cabinet office upon winning the presidency, but once again, the Indianan refused. In 1881, the Indiana legislature appointed Harrison to the United States Senate.

In 1888, the Republican Party nominated Harrison as its candidate for President of the United States. Harrison accepted the nomination. Although he lost the popular vote to the incumbent, Grover Cleveland, Harrison won the Electoral College vote and the presidency. The corruption seen in the 1888 elections prompted the federal and state governments to reform the election process. Among the changes was the introduction of the "Australian" or secret ballot.

As president, Harrison took thousands of acres of land from American Indians. He also participated in the admission of several states to the Union including North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Wyoming and Idaho. The Republican Party re-nominated Harrison for the presidency in 1892. He lost the popular and Electoral College vote to Grover Cleveland, the man he had defeated four years earlier. The principal reason for Harrison's defeat was growing uncertainty with the economy that later resulted in the Panic of 1893. Upon completing his term in March 1893, Harrison retired to Indiana, where he continued to practice law. Harrison died on March 13, 1901.


Contents

Parents and siblings Edit

Harrison was born April 5, 1726, in Charles City County, Virginia he was the oldest of ten children of Benjamin Harrison IV and Anne Carter Anne was a daughter of Robert Carter I. The first Benjamin Harrison arrived in the colonies around 1630, and by 1633 began a family tradition of public service, when he was recorded as Clerk of the Virginia Governor's Council. [1] Benjamin II and Benjamin III followed this example, serving as delegates in the Virginia House of Burgesses. Benjamin IV and wife Anne built the family's manor house at Berkeley Plantation he served as a Justice of the Peace and represented Charles City County in the Virginia House of Burgesses. [2] (Biographer Clifford Dowdey notes that the family did not employ the roman numeral suffixes, which have been assigned by historians. [3] )

Benjamin V in his youth was "tall and powerfully built," with "features that were clearly defined, and a well-shaped mouth above a strong pointed chin." [4] He graduated from the College of William and Mary. [5] His brother Carter Henry became a leader in Cumberland County. Brother Nathaniel was elected to the House of Burgesses, then to the Virginia Senate. Brother Henry fought in the French and Indian War and brother Charles became a brigadier general in the Continental Army. [2]

Inheritance and slaveholding Edit

Harrison's father, at age 51, and with a child in hand, was struck by lightning as he shut an upstairs window during a storm on July 12, 1745 he and daughter Hannah were killed. [6] Benjamin V inherited the bulk of his father's estate, including Berkeley and a number of surrounding plantations, as well as thousands of acres extending to Surry County and the falls of the James River. Also among his holdings was a fishery on the river and a grist mill in Henrico County. [7] He also assumed ownership and responsibility for the manor house's equipment, stock, and numerous slaves. [8] His siblings inherited another six plantations, possessions, and slaves, as the father chose to depart from the tradition of leaving the entire estate to the eldest son. [9]

Among Harrison and his ancestors, the family enslaved as many as 80 to 100 people. Harrison's father was adamant about not breaking up slave families in the distribution of his estate. [10] As with all planters, the Harrisons provided for the sustenance of slaves on their plantations. Nevertheless, the slaves’ status was typically involuntary, and according to Dowdey, "among the worst aspects of their slaveholding is the assumption that the men in the Harrison family, most likely the younger, unmarried ones, and the overseers, made night trips to the slaves' quarters for carnal purposes." [11] Benjamin Harrison V owned mullatoes, though no record has been revealed as to their parentage. [12] Dowdey portrays the Harrisons' further incongruity, saying the slaves in some ways "were respected as families, and there developed a sense of duty about indoctrinating them in Christianity, though other slaveholders had reservations about baptizing children who were considered property." [11]

Marriage and children Edit

Harrison in 1748 married Elizabeth Bassett of New Kent County she was the daughter of Col. William Bassett and Elizabeth Churchill. Harrison and wife had eight children during their 40-year marriage. [13] Among them was eldest daughter Lucy Bassett (1749–1809) who married Peyton Randolph. Another daughter, Anne Bassett (1753–1821), married David Coupland. The eldest son was Benjamin Harrison VI (1755–1799), a briefly successful merchant who served in the Virginia House of Delegates, but who died a self-indulgent, troubled, young widower. [14] Another was Carter Bassett Harrison (c.1756–1808) who served in the Virginia House of Delegates and the U. S. House of Representatives. [15]

The youngest child was General William Henry Harrison (1773–1841), who became a congressional delegate for the Northwest Territory, and also was Governor of the Indiana Territory. In the 1840 United States presidential election, William Henry defeated incumbent Martin Van Buren, but fell ill and died just one month into his presidency. Vice President John Tyler (1790–1862), a fellow Virginian and Berkeley neighbor, succeeded him. [16] William Henry's grandson, Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901), was a brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Benjamin also served in the U.S. Senate (1881–1887) and was elected president in 1888 after defeating incumbent Grover Cleveland (1837–1908). [17]

Benjamin Harrison V in 1749 first took the path of his father in being elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses, initially for Surry County however, he was not then of legal age to assume his burgesses seat, which was delayed until 1752. His county representations in the Burgesses were as follows: [18]

  • 1752–1761 – Surry County
  • 1766–1781 – Charles City County
  • 1785–1786 – Surry County
  • 1787–1790 – Charles City County

In his first year in the House of Burgesses in 1752, Harrison was appointed to the Committee of Propositions and Grievances, and thereby participated in a confrontation with King George and his Parliament and their appointed Governor of Virginia, Robert Dinwiddie. There developed a dispute with the governor over his levy of a pistole (a Spanish gold coin) upon all land patents, which presaged the core issue of the American Revolution two decades later—taxation without representation. [19] Harrison assisted in drafting a complaint to the governor and the Crown, which read that the payment of any such levy would be, "deemed a betrayal of the rights and privileges of the people." [20] When the British Privy Council received the complaint, it replied "that the lower house is a subordinate lawmaking body, and where the King's decisions are concerned, it counts for nothing." [19] On this occasion a compromise was reached, allowing the governor's levy on parcels of less than 100 acres lying east of the mountains. [19]

Harrison once again joined the fray with Britain after its adoption of the Townsend Acts, which formally asserted the Parliament's right to tax the colonies. He was appointed in 1768 to a special committee to draft a response for the colony. A resolution resulted that asserted the right of British subjects to be taxed only by their elected representatives. [21] The American colonies achieved their objective with a repeal of the Townsend Acts, through the action of Lord North, who nevertheless continued the tax on tea. [22]

Harrison was a signer in 1770 of an association of Virginia lawmakers and merchants boycotting British imports until the British Parliament repealed its tea tax. [23] He also joined in sponsoring a bill which declared that Parliament's laws were illegal if passed without the consent of the colonists. [22]

Harrison at this time also served as a justice in Charles City County. When the city of Williamsburg lacked the funds for construction of a courthouse, he and fellow delegate James Littlepage organized a group of "Gentlemen Subscribers" who purchased an unused building and presented it to the city in 1771. [24]

Early in 1772, Harrison and Thomas Jefferson were among a group of six Virginia house delegates assigned to prepare and deliver an address to the King which called for an end to the importation of slaves from Africa. [25] Biographer Howard Smith indicates that the request was delivered and was unambiguous in its object to close the slave trade the King rejected it. [26]

In 1773, colonists protested the British tax on tea by destroying a shipment during the Boston Tea Party. While all of the colonies were inspired by the news, some patriots, including Harrison, had misgivings, and believed the Bostonians had a duty to reimburse the East India Company for its losses at their hands. The British Parliament responded to the protest by enacting more punitive measures, which colonists called the Intolerable Acts. [27] Despite his qualms, Harrison was among 89 members of the Virginia Burgesses who signed a new association on May 24, 1774 condemning Parliament's action. The group also invited other colonies to convene a Continental Congress, and called for a convention to select its Virginia delegates. [28] At the First Virginia Convention, Harrison was selected on August 5, 1774 as one of seven delegates to represent Virginia at the Congress, to be located in Philadelphia. [29]

Harrison set out that month, leaving his home state for the first time. He was armed with a positive reputation built in the House of Burgesses, which Edmund Randolph articulated to the Congress: "A favorite of the day was Benjamin Harrison. With strong sense and a temper not disposed to compromise with ministerial power, he scruples not to utter any untruth. During a long service in the House of Burgesses, his frankness, though sometimes tinctured with bitterness, has been the source of considerable attachment." [18]

Harrison arrived in Philadelphia on September 2, 1774 for the First Continental Congress. According to biographer Smith, he gravitated to the older and more conservative delegates in Philadelphia, and was more distant with the New Englanders and the more radical, particularly John and Samuel Adams. [30] The genuine and mutual enmity between the Adams cousins and Harrison also stemmed from their puritan upbringing in aversion to human pleasures and Harrison's appreciation for bold storytelling, fine food, and wine. [31] John Adams described Harrison in his diary as "another Sir John Falstaff," as "obscene," "profane," and "impious." [32] However, he also recalled Harrison's comment that he was so eager to participate in the congress that "he would have come on foot." [33] Politically, Harrison aligned with John Hancock, and Adams with Richard Henry Lee, whom Harrison had adamantly opposed in the House of Burgesses. [34]

Harrison in October 1774 signed an association with the other delegates dictating a boycott of both exports and imports with Britain, effective immediately. The First Congress concluded that month with a Petition to the King, signed by all delegates, requesting the King's attention to the colonies' grievances, and restoration of harmony with the crown. Upon his return home, Harrison received a letter from Thomas Jefferson advising of the latter's order for 14 sash windows in London just prior to the passage of the boycott, and apologizing for his inability to cancel the order. [35]

In March of 1775, Harrison attended a convention at St. John's Parish in Richmond, Virginia, made famous by Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty, or give me death!" speech. A defense resolution was passed by a vote of 65–60 for the raising of a military force. It represented a substantial step for Virginia in its transition from a colony to a commonwealth. Biographer Smith indicates Harrison was probably in the minority, though he was named to a committee to carry the resolution into effect. He was also re-elected as a delegate to the new session of the Continental Congress. [36]

When the Second Continental Congress convened in May 1775, Harrison took up residence in north Philadelphia with two roommates—his brother-in-law Peyton Randolph and George Washington. [37] The two men left him to reside on his own when Randolph suddenly died, and Washington assumed command of the Continental Army. [38] Harrison was kept busy with the issues of funding and supplying Washington's army, and corresponded with him at length. [39]

In the spring of 1775 an effort was made in the Congress to seek reconciliation with the King of Britain, through the Olive Branch Petition, authored by John Dickinson. A heated debate ensued with Dickinson’s remark that he disapproved of only one word in the petition, and that was the word "Congress." Harrison angrily rose from his seat and replied, "There is but one word in the paper, Mr. President, of which I do approve, and that is the word 'Congress.'" The petition passed and was submitted to the Crown, but remained unread by the King as he formally declared the colonists to be traitors. [40]

In November of 1775, Harrison was appointed to a select committee to review the needs of the army. He went to Cambridge, Massachusetts with Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Lynch to assess the needs, as well as the morale, of the forces. After a 10-day inspection, the committee concluded that the pay for the troops should be improved and the ranks should be increased to over 20,000 men. [41] Harrison then returned to Philadelphia to work closely with fellow delegates for the defense of his state as well as South Carolina, Georgia, and New York. [42]

Harrison was in attendance until the session's end in July 1776, serving frequently as chairman of the Committee of the Whole. [43] As such, he presided over the final debates of the Lee Resolution offered by Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee. This was the Congress' first expression of its objective of freedom from the Crown. Harrison oversaw as well the final debates and amendments of the Declaration of Independence. [30] The Committee of Five presented Thomas Jefferson's draft of the Declaration on June 28, 1776, and the Congress resolved on July 1 that the Committee of the Whole should debate its content. [44] The Committee amended it on July 2 and 3, then adopted it in final form on Thursday, July 4. Harrison duly reported this to the Congress, and gave a final reading of the Declaration. [45] The Congress unanimously resolved to have the Declaration engrossed and signed by those then present. [46]

Harrison was known for an audacious sense of humor. Even detractor John Adams conceded in his diary that "Harrison's contributions and many pleasantries steadied rough sessions." [47] Pennsylvania Delegate Benjamin Rush in particular recalled the Congress' atmosphere during a signing of the Declaration on August 2, 1776. He described a scene of "pensive and awful silence," and said that Harrison singularly interrupted "the silence and gloom of the morning," as delegates filed forward to inscribe what they thought was their ensuing death warrant. Rush said that the rotund Harrison approached the diminutive Elbridge Gerry, who was about to sign the Declaration, and said, "I shall have a great advantage over you, Mr. Gerry, when we are all hung for what we are now doing. From the size and weight of my body I shall die in a few minutes and be with the Angels, but from the lightness of your body you will dance in the air an hour or two before you are dead." [48]

From December 1775 until March 1777, the Congress was on two occasions threatened by British forces, and forced to remove itself—first to Baltimore and later to York, Pennsylvania–circumstances that Harrison distinctly disliked. This has been attributed to some unspecified ill-health he was experiencing at the time. In 1777 Harrison became a member of the newly-created Committee of Secret Correspondence for the Congress. The committee's primary objective was to establish secure communication with American agents in Britain concerning the interests of the colonies. [42] Harrison was also named as Chairman of the Board of War, whose initial purpose was to review the movements of the army in the north, and the exchange of prisoners. [49]

At that time Harrison found himself at odds with Washington over Marquis de Lafayette's commission, which Harrison insisted was honorary only and without pay. [50] He also stirred controversy by endorsing the rights of Quakers not to bear arms in accordance with their religion. [51] He unsuccessfully argued throughout the formation of the Articles of Confederation that Virginia should be given greater representation than other states, based on its population and land mass. [52] His Congressional membership permanently ended in October 1777 biographer John Sanderson indicates that when Harrison retired from Congress, "his estates had been ravaged" and "his fortune had been impaired." [51]

Harrison returned to Virginia where he quickly renewed his efforts in the Virginia legislature. [53] In May of 1776, the House of Burgesses had ended and was replaced by the House of Delegates, according to Virginia's new constitution. [54] He was elected Speaker in 1777, defeating Thomas Jefferson by a vote of 51–23 he returned to the speakership on several occasions. [55] He concerned himself in the ensuing years with many issues, including Virginia's western land interests, the condition of Continental forces, and the defense of the commonwealth. [56]

In January 1781, a British force of 1,600 was positioned at the mouth of the James River, led by turncoat Benedict Arnold, and Harrison was called upon to return immediately to Philadelphia to request military support for his state. [57] He knew that Berkeley was one of Arnold's primary targets, so he relocated his family before setting out. [58] In Philadelphia, his pleas for Virginia were heard, and he obtained increased gunpowder, supplies, and troops, but only on a delayed basis. [59] Meanwhile, Arnold advanced up the James, wreaking havoc on both sides of the river. The Harrison family avoided capture in Arnold's January raid on Berkeley, but Arnold, intent that no likeness of the family survive, removed and burned all the family portraits there. Most of Harrison's other possessions were destroyed, along with a large portion of the house. Other signers were similarly targeted, with more horrific consequences. [60] Harrison took up the rehabilitation of his home, returned to his correspondence with Washington, and continued efforts to obtain armaments, troops, and clothing supplies for other southern states. [61]

The new nation secured its Revolutionary War victory in October 1781 at Yorktown, Virginia–this provided only brief respite for Harrison, who began to serve a month later as the fifth Governor of Virginia. [62] He was also the fourth governor to assume the office in that year–the multiple successions were occasioned by wartime events in Virginia. [63] Money was the primary problem that he confronted, as the war had drained the coffers of the Virginia treasury, and the government was plagued by creditors, both domestic and foreign. [64] Hence, there was no capacity for military action outside of the immediate area, so Harrison steadfastly opposed offensive action against combative Indians in the Kentucky and Illinois country. [65] He instead pursued a policy of treating with the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Creek Indian tribes, which allowed peace to last for the remainder of his term. The situation resulted in some contentious exchanges with General George Rogers Clark who urged aggressive operations in the west. [66]

As Harrison's term was ending, Washington accepted an invitation to visit with the Harrisons in Richmond, saying, "And I shall feel an additional pleasure, in offering this tribute of friendship and respect to you, by having the company of Marsqs. de la Fayette". The general made his visit in November 1784, though Lafayette was unable to accompany him. Harrison's service as governor was lauded, despite his inability to solve the financial problems that plagued his administration. [67]

In 1786, Harrison and other members of the legislature were deeply divided over the issue of state aid to religion. He joined with his brother and fellow delegate, Carter Henry Harrison, in supporting a measure offered by Patrick Henry to provide funds for teachers of the Christian religion. The proposal failed, and the assembly instead enacted Thomas Jefferson's famous Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which established a complete separation of church and state. [68]

Harrison participated as a member of the Virginia Ratifying Convention for the United States Constitution in 1788. However, along with Patrick Henry, George Mason, and others, he was skeptical of a large central government and opposed the Constitution because of the absence of a Bill of Rights. [69] He was in the minority when the constitution won ratification with a margin of 5 out of 170 votes cast. He overcame his ill health sufficiently to address those who opposed the result, imploring them to seek redress through the legitimate channels of amendments to the Constitution. Though Washington had promoted the Constitution, he praised Harrison, saying, "Your individual endeavors to prevent inflammatory measures from being adopted redound greatly to your credit." [70]

Despite his chronic gout and weakened financial condition, Harrison continued his work in the House. He died on April 24, 1791 at his home, after celebrating a re-election. His cause of death is unknown, though his persistent corpulence has been documented. [71] His son William Henry, then aged 18, had just begun medical studies in Philadelphia, but adequate funds were lacking, so he soon abandoned medicine for military service, and his own path of leadership. [72]

Memorials Edit

A residence hall at the College of William and Mary is named for Harrison. [73] Also, a primary bridge spanning the James River near Hopewell, Virginia bears his name. [74]


Harrison&rsquos Term

March 4, 1889: Benjamin Harrison is inaugurated after he won the presidency in 1888.

April 22, 1889: Two million acres of land that was purchased from the Creek and Seminole tribes are opened for settlement which would begin the Oklahoma Land Rush.

April 29, 1889: Great Britain, Germany, and the United States agree to be a protectorate over the Hawaiian Islands.

June 27, 1889: Congress passes the Dependent Pension Bill which would give a pension to Union veterans in the Civil War.

October 2, 1889: The Pan-American Conference is held between Great Britain and America.

November 2, 1889: North and South Dakota join the Union as the 39th and 40th states.

November 8, 1889: Montana joins the Union as the 41st state.

November 11, 1889: Washington joins the Union as the 42nd state.

December 3, 1889: Harrison delivers his first Message to Congress.

February 10, 1890: The Sioux nation cedes 11 Million Acres of its land to the United States.

July 2, 1890: The Sherman Anti-Trust Act is passed.

July 3, 1890: Idaho is admitted to the Union

July 10, 1890: Wyoming is admitted to the Union

July 14, 1890: Harrison signs the Sherman Silver Purchase Act.

July 29, 1890: Congress passes an Anti-Lottery Bill.

October 1, 1890: The McKinley Tariff is passed which raises the cost of goods. The bill is controversial but does help the United States pay off its debt to the business community. It would hurt the reputation of the Republicans.

November 7, 1890: The Democrats dominate the Midterm Elections. They take over the House and shrink the Republican majority in the Senate.

March 3, 1891: Harrison approves the creation of Nine Circuit Courts of Appeals.

May 6, 1891-June 4, 1892: Chilean and American relations become tense when the rebels overthrow the Chilean government that the United States supported.

June 7 &ndash 10, 1892: The Republicans nominated President Benjamin Harrison for a second term.

June 21, 1892: Grover Cleveland is nominated by the Democrats for President.

July 6, 1892: The Homestead Massacre occurs.

July 11, 1892: Another violent strike takes place in Idaho killing 30 miners.

November 8, 1892: Grover Cleveland wins the election of 1892 and becomes the 24th President of the United States.

January 17, 1893: Queen Liliuokalani pushes for a new Constitution in Hawaii that would free the islands from United States influence. She is deposed and a provisional government replaces her.


Genealogy

Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901) is the son of John Scott Harrison (1804-1878) and Elizabeth Irwin Harrison (1810-1850). Click on the individuals to see a pedigree chart or family group sheet. You will need Adobe Reader to view the files.

Benjamin Harrison’s great-grandfather, Benjamin Harrison V, was born in Berkeley, Virginia, in 1726. He attended William and Mary College in Williamsburg. In 1764, when the House defied the Royal Governor and passed the Stamp Act Resolutions, the Governor tried to bribe Harrison with an appointment to the executive council. He refused the appointment and instead declared a devotion to republican principles.

Elected to the Continental Congress in 1774, he was one of a party of representatives who, the following year, attended General Washington in Cambridge to plan the future of the American Army. He had reservations about the Constitution, a document which seemed to promote kingly power while increasing the mistrust between southern and northern countrymen. A slave owner himself, his great-grandson would be a Union soldier 80 years later. He was elected Governor of the State of Virginia in 1782. He retired from the Governor’s office after five year of service. He died in 1791 at the age of 65.

William Henry Harrison, Benjamin Harrison’s grandfather, obtained a commission as ensign in the First Infantry of the Regular Army, and headed to the Northwest. In the campaign against the Indians, Harrison served as aide-de-camp to General “Mad Anthony” Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, which opened most of the Ohio area to settlement. In 1798, he became Secretary of the Northwest Territory.

In 1801, he became Governor of the Indiana Territory, serving 12 years. The Battle of Tippecanoe, upon which Harrison’s fame was to rest, disrupted Tecumseh’s confederacy but failed to diminish Indian raids. In the War of 1812, Harrison won more military laurels when he was given the command of the Army in the Northwest with the rank of Major General. The Whigs nominated him for president in 1840. He won, but before he had been in office a month, he caught pneumonia and died.

John Scott Harrison, Benjamin’s father, was born in Vincennes, Indiana, October 4, 1804. He managed affairs at North Bend, Ohio, while his father was away. From 1853 to 1857, he served in the United States Congress in the House of Representatives as a Whig from Ohio. This was a tremulous time and John Scott stood firm on issues like the Kansas-Nebraska bill. He believed that it was necessary for mutual forbearance and compromise, in order that the Union might be saved. John Scott retired from politics and return to his estate at North Bend. He died on May 25, 1878.

Scott Genealogy

Caroline Lavinia Scott Harrison (1832-1892) was the daughter of John Witherspoon Scott (1800-1892) and Mary Potts Neal (1803-1876). Caroline was the first President General of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). John W. and Mary Scott had six known children: Ann Eliza (1826-1827), Elizabeth Mayhew (1828-1889), Caroline Lavinia (1832-1892), John N. (1836-1898), Henry M. (1838-1877), and Mary (abt 1844-1872).

John Witherspoon Scott was the son of Rev. George McElroy Scott (1759-1848) and Anna Rea (1773-1852). John Witherspoon Scott was born in Beaver Co., PA. on January 22, 1800. George McElroy Scott was the son of John Scott and Agnes McElroy. John Scott served as Commissary General of the Pennsylvania Line during the Revolution. Anna Rea was the daughter of Samuel Rea and Ann McCracken. Samuel Rea served in the Revolution (Sixth Battalion, Northampton Co., PA militia).

Mary Potts Neal was the daughter of John Neal (1774-1854) and Mary Elizabeth (Eliza) Potts (approx.. 1781-1830).

Lord and Scott Genealogy

Mary Scott Lord Dimmick Harrison (1858-1948) was the daughter of Russell F. Lord (1802-1867) and Elizabeth Mayhew Scott (1828-1889).

She is the granddaughter of John Witherspoon Scott (1800-1892) and Mary Potts Neal (1803-1876). John W. and Mary Scott had six known children: Ann Eliza (1826-1827), Elizabeth Mayhew (1828-1889), Caroline Lavinia (1832-1892), John N. (1836-1898), Henry M. (1838-1877), and Mary (approx. 1844-1872).

John Witherspoon Scott was the son of Rev. George McElroy Scott (1759-1848) and Anna Rea (1773-1852). John Witherspoon Scott was born in Beaver Co., PA. on January 22, 1800. George McElroy Scott was the son of John Scott and Agnes McElroy. John Scott served as Commissary General of the Pennsylvania Line during the Revolution. Anna Rea was the daughter of Samuel Rea and Ann McCracken. Samuel Rea served in the Revolution (Sixth Battalion, Northampton Co., PA militia).

Mary Potts Neal was the daughter of John Neal (1774-1854) and Mary Elizabeth (Eliza) Potts (abt 1781-1830).


Benjamin Harrison

Hey everyone, I'm brand new here and am enjoying reading the various posts on the forum.

Anyway, what is your opinion on President Benjamin Harrison, was he a good or bad President? Being the first President who caused the government spending to go to 1 Billion dollars it makes you wonder.

Tjadams

Hello Todd.
I see you're in McKinney, not too far from me.

President Harrison had the perfect, clean and crisp resume to be president:
-prominent state politician/governor/senator
-name recognition being the grandson of a president
-Civil War veteran
-Was he bad? Hard to say as he only had one term and the tariff issue dominated his administration.
I have to give him a vote of 'average' and not a pass or fail.
He will forever be associated with the "Billion Dollar Congress' for its radical spending.

Baltis

He favored grant of civil service jobs based only on merit instead of being political rewards for his supporters. Otherwise known as the 'spoils' system. aka, to the victor go the spoils. In this case, government jobs.

He appointed Theodore Roosevelt to office.

He signed anti-trust legislation.

He was a strong supporter of Civil Rights even though he did not succeed in that area.

Not a bad guy. Also happened to be President at the time of Wounded Knee.

There was a very odd debate going on in the nation at that time regarding coins. Gold coins or silver coins or both. Harrison favored using silver coins but only at the value of silver and not at stated value tied to that of gold coins. There were actually people who believed we should be fluctuate Gold yet not silver and the effect on economic markets would be negligible. In fact, Harrison's position (which I find totally logical) went nowhere.


Benjamin Harrison / Benjamin Harrison - Key Events

Republican Benjamin Harrison is inaugurated as the twenty-third President after losing the popular vote to Grover Cleveland. The Republicans hold small majorities in both houses of Congress, making this the first time since 1875 that Republicans control both Congress and the White House.

The Harrison Cabinet meets for the first time. It decides against the use of an informal “Kitchen Cabinet” and criticizes the practice of “senatorial courtesy” and the spoils system. Secretary of State James G. Blaine serves as a prominent figure in Harrison's core group, campaigning heavily for American interests in Latin America and Hawaii.

The Berlin Conference on Samoan Affairs begins, with the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom attempting to bring peace to the troubled area. The conference will conclude with the making of a treaty, “The Final Act of the Berlin Conference on Samoan Affairs,” which declares the neutrality and nominal independence of Samoa while creating a three-power protectorate over the islands. Secretary of State Blaine handles the negotiations.

Harrison invites Theodore Roosevelt to the White House and appoints him Civil Service Commissioner on May 7. Roosevelt, a reform Republican from New York, heads the department until 1895.

Building on the work of President Arthur, Harrison tours New England and reveals plans for an expanded merchant marine and two-ocean Navy. Expansion of the Navy will be a distinguishing feature of Harrison's presidency.

Secretary of State Blaine initiates the first Pan-American Conference, primarily to increase U.S. commercial interests in Latin America. Blaine hopes to heighten the American presence in Latin America to the detriment of Britain.

Pan-American Conference Begins

On October 2, 1889, the first Pan-American Conference began in Washington, D.C. The conference was a meeting between the United States and various countries in Latin America. Its goal was to improve economic and political relations between participants.

Secretary of State James Blaine had first proposed a Pan-American Conference in 1881 during his brief tenure under President James Garfield. After Garfield's assassination and Blaine's subsequent resignation, President Chester Arthur's secretary of state, Frederick Frelinghuysen, cancelled the conference. After the cancellation, President Arthur appointed a commission to investigate the possibility of holding such a conference, and the commission's findings favored the scheduling of a new conference.

President Grover Cleveland and Secretary of State Thomas Bayard did not support the idea of a conference, but on May 10, 1888, Blaine's initial proposal was revived and the conference was scheduled. Blaine was again secretary of state when the conference took place on October 2, 1889, during the administration of President Benjamin Harrison. Harrison and Blaine hoped to reach agreements at the conference to create a customs union for free trade and establish a system for arbitration of international disputes.


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About Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the USA

Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 – March 13, 1901) was the 23rd President of the United States, serving one term from 1889 to 1893. Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio, and at age 21 moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he became a prominent state politician. During the American Civil War Harrison served as a Brigadier General in the XXI Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. After the war he unsuccessfully ran for the governorship of Indiana, but was later elected to the U.S. Senate from that state.

Harrison, a Republican, was elected to the presidency in 1888, defeating the Democratic incumbent, Grover Cleveland. He is the only president elected from the state of Indiana. His presidential administration is best known for its economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act, and for annual federal spending that reached one billion dollars for the first time. Democrats attacked the "Billion Dollar Congress", and used the issue, along with the growing unpopularity of the high tariff, to defeat the Republicans, both in the 1890 mid-term elections and in Harrison's bid for re-election in 1892.

After failing to win reelection he returned to private life at his home in Indianapolis where he remarried, wrote a book, and later represented the Republic of Venezuela in an international case against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1900 he traveled to Europe as part of the case and, after a brief stay, returned to Indianapolis where he died the following year from complications arising from influenza.

The Harrisons were among the First Families of Virginia, with their presence in the New World dating back to the arrival of an Englishman, named Benjamin Harrison, at Jamestown, Virginia in 1630. The future president Benjamin was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Hamilton County, Ohio, as the second of eight children of John Scott Harrison (later a U.S. Congressman from Ohio) and Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin. Benjamin was a grandson of President William Henry Harrison and great-grandson of revolutionary leader and former Virginia governor Benjamin Harrison V.[1] Harrison was seven years old when his grandfather was elected President, but he did not attend the inauguration.[2] Although Harrison's family was old and distinguished, he did not grow up in a wealthy household, as most of John Scott Harrison's farm income was expended on his children's education.[3] Despite the meager income, Harrison's boyhood was enjoyable, with much of it spent outdoors fishing or hunting.[4]

Benjamin Harrison's early schooling took place in a one-room schoolhouse near his home, but he was later provided with a tutor to help him with college preparatory studies.[5] Harrison and his brother, Irwin, enrolled in Farmer's College near Cincinnati, Ohio in 1847.[6] Harrison attended the college for two years.[7] In 1850, he transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he was a member of the fraternity Phi Delta Theta and graduated in 1852.[8] Harrison attended Miami University with John Alexander Anderson,[9] who would become a six term congressman, and Whitelaw Reid, who would be Harrison's vice presidential candidate in his reelection campaign. While attending Miami University, was greatly influenced by one his professors, Robert Hamilton Bishop, who instructed him in history and political economy.[10] At Miami, Harrison joined a Presbyterian church and, like his mother, he would remain a member for the rest of his life.[11] After completing college Harrison took up the study of law in the Cincinnati law office of Storer & Gwynne, but before completing his law studies he returned to Oxford to marry.[12]

While at Farmer's College, Harrison met Caroline Lavinia Scott, the daughter of the University's president, John W. Scott, a Presbyterian minister.[13] On October 20, 1853, they married in Oxford, Ohio, with Caroline's father performing the ceremony. [9] The Harrisons had two children, Russell Benjamin Harrison (August 12, 1854 – December 13, 1936) and Mary "Mamie" Scott Harrison McKee (April 3, 1858 – October 28, 1930).[14]

[edit] Early legal career After his marriage in 1853, Harrison returned to live on his father's farm where he finished his law studies. In the same year, he inherited $800 after the death of an aunt, using the money to move to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1854.[15] He was admitted to the bar there and began practicing law in the office of John H. Ray. The same year he became a crier for the Federal Court in Indianapolis, making $2.50 per day. He was responsible for passing through the streets and declaring announcements from the court.[14]

While in Indianapolis, Benjamin Harrison was both the first President of the University Club, a private gentlemen's club, and the first President of the Phi Delta Theta Alumni Club of Indianapolis, the fraternity's first such club. Both clubs were still in existence in 2008.[16] Harrison grew up in a Whig household and was himself a supporter of Whig politics in his early life. He joined the Republican Party shortly after its formation in 1856 and that year campaigned on behalf of the Republican presidential candidate John C. Frémont.[17] He won election to become Indianapolis City Attorney in the same election, a position that paid an annual salary of $400.[18]

In 1858 Harrison entered into a law partnership, opening an office as Wallace & Harrison.[19] Harrison was the Republican candidate for the position of reporter of the Indiana Supreme Court in 1860, his first foray into politics. Although this office was not political, he was an active supporter of his party's platform. During the election he debated Thomas Hendricks, the Democratic candidate for governor and future Vice President of the United States, on behalf of the Republican Party.[20] After his law partner William Wallace was elected county clerk in 1860, Harrison opened a new firm with William Fishback, named Fishback & Harrison, where he worked until his entry into the army.[21]

Brig. Gen. Benjamin HarrisonAt the outbreak of the Civil War, Harrison wished to join the Union Army, but initially resisted, as he was concerned that his young family would need his financial support.[22] In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued a call for more recruits. While visiting Governor Oliver Morton, Harrison found him distressed over the shortage of men answering the latest call. Harrison told the governor, "If I can be of any service, I will go".[23] Morton then asked Harrison if he could help to recruit a regiment, though he would not ask him to serve. Harrison proceeded to raise a regiment, recruiting throughout northern Indiana. Morton offered its command to Harrison, but he declined because of his lack of military experience, and instead was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. In August 1862, when the regiment left Indiana to join the Union Army at Louisville, Kentucky, Harrison was promoted by Morton to the rank of Colonel, and his regiment was commissioned as the 70th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry.[24]

The 70th Indiana first saw action in the Battle of Perryville, but spent most of the next two years performing reconnaissance duty and guarding railroads in Kentucky and Tennessee. In 1864, Harrison and his regiment joined William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign and moved to the front lines. On January 2, 1864, Harrison was promoted to command the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division of the XXI Army Corps. He commanded the brigade at the Battles of Resaca, Cassville, New Hope Church, Lost Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Marietta, Peachtree Creek and Atlanta. Harrison was later transferred to the Army of the Cumberland and participated in the Battle of Nashville.[25] On March 22, 1865, Harrison earned his final promotion, to the rank of Brigadier General, and marched in the Grand Review in Washington, D.C. before mustering out of the army on June 8, 1865.[25]

[edit] Indiana politics While serving in the army in October 1864, Harrison was reelected reporter of the Supreme Court of Indiana and served four more years.[26] The position was not politically powerful, but did afford Harrison a steady income.[26] Harrison's public profile was raised when President Grant appointed him to represent the federal government in a civil claim brought by Lambdin P. Milligan, whose wartime conviction for treason had been reversed by the Supreme Court. Due to Harrison's advocacy, the damages awarded against the government were minimal.[27] Local Republicans urged Harrison to run for Congress, but he initially confined his political activities to speaking on behalf of other Republican candidates, a task for which he received high praises from his colleagues.[28]

Benjamin Harrison Home in IndianapolisIn 1872, Harrison entered the race for the Republican nomination for governor of Indiana. He was unable to get the support of former Governor Oliver Morton, who favored his opponent, Thomas M. Browne, and ultimately Harrison lost his bid for statewide office.[29] Harrison returned to his law practice where, despite the Panic of 1873, he was financially successful enough to build a grand new home in Indianapolis in 1874.[30] He continued to make speeches on behalf of Republican candidates and policies.[31]

In 1876 Harrison did not initially seek his party's nomination for governor, but when the original nominee dropped out of the race, Harrison accepted the Republicans' invitation to take his place on the ticket.[32] His campaign was based strongly on economic policy, and he was in favor of deflating the national currency. His policies proved popular with his base, but he was ultimately defeated by a plurality to James D. Williams, losing by 5,084 votes out of a total 434,457 cast.[33] Harrison remained a prominent Republican in Indiana following his defeat, and when the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 reached Indianapolis, he helped to mediate between the workers and management and to preserve public order.[34]

When Senator Morton died in 1878, the Republicans nominated Harrison to run for the seat, but the party failed to gain a majority in the state legislature, and the Democratic majority elected Daniel W. Voorhees instead.[35] President Hayes appointed Harrison to the Mississippi River Commission in 1879, which was founded to facilitate internal improvements on that river.[36] He was a delegate at the 1880 Republican National Convention the following year.[37]

[edit] United States Senator

Walter Q. Gresham, Harrison's rival within the Indiana Republican PartyAfter Harrison led the Republican delegation to the National Convention, he was again mentioned as a possible Senate candidate.[38] He gave speeches in favor of Garfield in Indiana and New York, further raising his profile in the party. When the Republicans retook the state legislature, Harrison's election to the Senate was threatened by his intra-party rival Judge Walter Q. Gresham, but the contest was decided in favor of Harrison.[38] After President James Garfield's victory in 1880, Harrison was offered a cabinet position, but he declined in order to begin his term as senator.[39]

Harrison served in the Senate from March 4, 1881, to March 4, 1887. He was chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard (47th Congress) and U.S. Senate Committee on Territories (48th and 49th Congresses).[40] The major issue confronting Senator Harrison in 1881 was the budget surplus. Democrats wished to reduce the tariff, thus limiting the amount of money the government took in Republicans instead wished to spend the money on internal improvements and pensions for Civil War veterans. Harrison took his party's side and advocated for generous pensions for veterans and their widows.[41] Harrison also supported, unsuccessfully, aid for education of Southerners, especially the children of the slaves freed in the Civil War, believing that education was necessary to make the white and black populations truly equal in political and economic power.[42] Harrison differed from his party in opposing the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, believing that it violated existing treaties with China.[43]

In 1884, Harrison and Gresham again opposed each other, this time for influence at the 1884 Republican National Convention.[44] The delegation ended up supporting James G. Blaine, the eventual nominee.[44] In the Senate, Harrison achieved passage of his Dependent Pension Bill only to see it vetoed by President Grover Cleveland.[45] His efforts to further the admission of new western states were stymied by Democrats, who feared that the new states would elect Republicans to Congress.[45]

In 1885, the Democrats redistricted the Indiana state legislature, which resulted in an increased Democratic majority in 1886, despite an overall Republican majority statewide.[46] Harrison was defeated in his bid for reelection, the result being determined against him after a deadlock in the state senate, with the legislature eventually choosing Democrat David Turpie.[47] Harrison returned to Indianapolis and his law practice, but stayed active in state and national politics.[48]

[edit] Election of 1888 Main article: United States presidential election, 1888

Harrison-Morton campaign poster

Inauguration of Benjamin Harrison, March 4, 1889

Results of the 1888 election, with states won by Harrison in red, and those won by Cleveland in blue. The initial favorite for the Republican nomination was the previous nominee, James G. Blaine of Maine. After Blaine wrote several letters denying any interest in the nomination, his supporters divided among other candidates, with John Sherman of Ohio as the leader among them.[49] Others, including Chauncey Depew of New York, Russell Alger of Michigan, and Harrison's old nemesis Walter Q. Gresham, now a federal appellate court judge in Chicago, also sought the delegates' support at the 1888 Republican National Convention.[49] Blaine did not choose any of the candidates as a successor, so none entered the convention with a majority of the Blaine supporters.

Harrison placed fourth on the first ballot, with Sherman in the lead, and the next few ballots showed little change.[50] The Blaine supporters shifted their support around among the candidates they found acceptable, and when they shifted to Harrison, they found a candidate who could attract the votes of many delegates.[51] He was nominated on the eighth ballot by 544 to 108 votes, winning the Republican presidential nomination.[52] Levi P. Morton of New York was chosen as his running mate.[53]

[edit] Election over Cleveland Harrison's opponent in the general election was incumbent President Grover Cleveland. He ran a front-porch campaign, typical of the era, in which the candidate does not campaign but only receives delegations and makes pronouncements from his home town.[54] The Republicans campaigned heavily on the issue of protective tariffs, turning out protectionist voters in the important industrial states of the North. The election focused on the swing states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Harrison's home state of Indiana.[55] Harrison and Cleveland split these four states, with Harrison winning by means of notoriously fraudulent balloting in New York and Indiana.[56] Voter turnout was 79.3% because of a large interest in the campaign issue, and nearly eleven million votes were cast.[57] Although Harrison received 90,000 fewer popular votes than Cleveland, he carried the Electoral College 233 to 168.[58]

Although he had made no political bargains, his supporters had given many pledges upon his behalf. When Boss Matthew Quay of Pennsylvania, who rebuffed for a Cabinet position for his political support during the convention, heard that Harrison ascribed his narrow victory to Providence, Quay exclaimed that Harrison would never know "how close a number of men were compelled to approach. the penitentiary to make him President."[59] Harrison was known as the Centennial President because his inauguration celebrated the centenary of the first inauguration of George Washington in 1789.[60]

[edit] Civil service reform and pensions

Political footballCivil service reform was a prominent issue following Harrison's election. Harrison had campaigned as a supporter of the merit system, as opposed to the spoils system.[61] Although some of the civil service had been classified under the Pendleton Act by previous administrations, Harrison spent much of his first months in office deciding on political appointments.[62] Congress was widely divided on the issue and Harrison was reluctant to address the issue in hope of preventing the alienation of either side. The issue became a political football of the time and was immortalized in a cartoon captioned "What can I do when both parties insist on kicking?"[63] Harrison appointed Theodore Roosevelt and Hugh Smith Thompson, both reformers, to the Civil Service Commission, but otherwise did little to further the reform cause.[64]

Harrison quickly saw the enactment of the Dependent and Disability Pension Act in 1890, a cause he had championed while in Congress.[65] In addition to providing pensions to disabled Civil War veterans (regardless of the cause of their disability,) the Act depleted some of the troublesome federal budget surplus.[65] Pension expenditures reached $135 million under Harrison, the largest expenditure of its kind to that point in American history, a problem exacerbated by Pension Bureau commissioner James R. Tanner's expansive interpretation of the pension laws.[65]

Harrison and the Billion-Dollar Congress are portrayed as wasting the surplus in this cartoon from Puck.The issue of tariff levels had been a major point of contention in American politics since before the Civil War, and tariffs became the most prominent issue of the 1888 election.[66] The high tariff rates had created a surplus of money in the Treasury, which led many Democrats (as well as the growing Populist movement) to call for lowering the rates.[67] Most Republicans wished the rates to remain high, and to spend the surplus on internal improvements as well as the elimination of some internal taxes.[67]

Representative William McKinley and Senator Nelson W. Aldrich framed the McKinley Tariff that would raise the tariff even higher, including making some rates intentionally prohibitive.[68] At Secretary of State James Blaine's urging, Harrison attempted to make the tariff more acceptable by urging Congress to add reciprocity provisions, which would allow the President to reduce rates when other countries reduced their rates on American exports.[66] The tariff was removed from imported raw sugar, and sugar growers in the United States were given a two cent per pound subsidy on their production.[68] Even with the reductions and reciprocity, the McKinley Tariff enacted the highest average rate in American history, and the spending associated with it contributed to the reputation of the Billion-Dollar Congress.[66]

Senator John Sherman worked closely with Harrison, writing bills regulating monopolies and monetary policy.Members of both parties were concerned with the growth of the power of trusts and monopolies, and one of the first acts of the 51st Congress was to pass the Sherman Antitrust Act, sponsored by Senator John Sherman of Ohio.[69] The Act passed by wide margins in both houses, and Harrison signed it into law.[69] The Sherman Act was the first Federal act of its kind, and marked a new use of federal government power.[70] While Harrison approved of the law and its intent, there is no evidence he ever sought to enforce it very vigorously.[71] The government successfully concluded only one case during Harrison's time in office (against a Tennessee coal company),[72] although it did pursue cases against several other trusts.[71]

[edit] Silver One of the most volatile issues of the 1880s was whether the currency should be backed by gold and silver, or by gold alone.[73] The issue cut across party lines, with western Republicans and southern Democrats joining together in the call for the free coinage of silver, and both parties' representatives in the northeast holding firm for the gold standard.[74] Because silver was worth less than its legal equivalent in gold, taxpayers paid their government bills in silver, while international creditors demanded payment in gold, resulting in a depletion of the nation's gold supply.[74] Owing to worldwide deflation in the late nineteenth century, however, a strict gold standard had resulted in reduction of incomes without the equivalent reduction in debts, pushing debtors and the poor to call for silver coinage as an inflationary measure.[74]

The silver coinage issue had not been much discussed in the 1888 campaign, so Harrison's exact position on the issue was initially unclear, but his appointment of a silverite Treasury Secretary, William Windom, encouraged the free silver supporters.[75] Harrison attempted to steer a middle course between the two positions, advocating a free coinage of silver, but at its own value, not at a fixed ratio to gold.[76] This served only to disappoint both factions. In July 1890, Senator Sherman achieved passage of a compromise bill, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, in both houses.[76] Harrison thought that the bill would end the controversy, and he signed it into law.[77] The effect of the bill, however, was the increased depletion of the nation's gold supply, a problem that would persist until the second Cleveland administration resolved it.[78]

[edit] Technology In Harrison's time in office, the United States was continuing to experience advances in science and technology. Harrison was the earliest President whose voice is known to be preserved. That thirty-six-second recording (help·info) was originally made on a wax phonograph cylinder in 1889 by Giuseppe Bettini.[79] Harrison also had electricity installed in the White House for the first time by Edison General Electric Company, but he and his wife would not touch the light switches for fear of electrocution and would often go to sleep with the lights on.[80]

[edit] Foreign policy The First International Conference of American States met in Washington in 1889, establishing an information center that later became the Pan American Union.[81] The conference failed to achieve any diplomatic breakthrough, but that failure led the Secretary of State Blaine to focus on tariff reciprocity with Latin American nations, which was more successful.[82] Harrison sent Frederick Douglass as ambassador to Haiti, but failed in his attempts to establish a naval base there.[83]

The first international crisis Harrison had to face occurred over fishing rights on the Alaskan coast. Canada claimed fishing and sealing rights around many of the Aleutian Islands, in violation of U.S. law.[84] As a result, the United States Navy seized several Canadian ships.[84] In 1891, the administration began negotiations with the British that would eventually lead to a compromise over fishing rights after international arbitration, with the British government paying compensation in 1898.[85]

Sailors from the USS Baltimore caused the major foreign affairs crisis of Harrison's administration.In 1891, a diplomatic crisis arose in Chile, later called the Baltimore Crisis. The American minister to Chile, Patrick Egan, granted asylum to Chileans who were seeking refuge from Chilean Civil War.[86] This raised tensions between Chile and the United States, and when sailors from the Baltimore took shore leave in Valparaiso, a fight broke out, resulting in the deaths of two dozen American sailors and three dozen arrested.[87] With Blaine out of town, Harrison himself drafted a demand for reparations.[88] The Chilean minister of foreign affairs replied that Harrison's message was "erroneous or deliberately incorrect," and said that the Chilean government was treating the affair the same as any other criminal matter.[88] Tensions increased as Harrison threatened to break off diplomatic relations unless the United States received a suitable apology.[88] Ultimately, after Blaine returned to the capital, the administration made conciliatory overtures to the Chilean government. After the letter was withdrawn, war was averted.[89]

In the last days of his administration, Harrison dealt with the issue of Hawaiian annexation. Following a coup d'état against Queen Liliuokalani, the new government of Hawaii led by Sanford Dole petitioned for annexation by the United States.[90] Harrison was interested in expanding American influence in Hawaii and in establishing a naval base at Pearl Harbor but had not previously expressed an opinion on annexing the islands.[91] The United States consul in Hawaii John L. Stevens recognized the new government on February 1, 1893 and forwarded their proposals to Washington. With just one month left before leaving office, the administration signed a treaty on February 14 and submitted it to the Senate the next day with Harrison's recommendation.[90] The Senate failed to act, and President Cleveland withdrew the treaty shortly after taking office.[92]

[edit] Cabinet The Harrison Cabinet Office Name Term

President Benjamin Harrison 1889� Vice President Levi P. Morton 1889�

Secretary of State James G. Blaine 1889� John W. Foster 1892�

Secretary of Treasury William Windom 1889� Charles W. Foster 1891�

Secretary of War Redfield Proctor 1889� Stephen B. Elkins 1891�

Attorney General William H. H. Miller 1889�

Postmaster General John Wanamaker 1889�

Secretary of the Navy Benjamin F. Tracy 1889�

Secretary of the Interior John W. Noble 1889�

Secretary of Agriculture Jeremiah M. Rusk 1889�

Harrison's cabinet in 1889 Front row, left to right: Harrison, William Windom, John Wanamaker, Redfield Proctor, James G. Blaine Back row, left to right: William H. H. Miller, John W. Noble, Jeremiah M. Rusk, Benjamin F. Tracy [edit] Judicial appointments

Harrison appointed four Supreme Court justices, including David Josiah Brewer.Harrison appointed four justices to the Supreme Court of the United States. His first nominee was David Josiah Brewer, a judge on the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Brewer, the nephew of Justice Field, had previously been considered for a cabinet position.[93] Shortly after Brewer's nomination, Justice Matthews died, creating another vacancy. Harrison had considered Henry Billings Brown, a Michigan judge and admiralty law expert, for the first vacancy and now nominated him for the second.[93] For the third vacancy, which arose in 1892, Harrison nominated George Shiras. Shiras's appointment was somewhat controversial because his age—sixty—was older than usual for a newly appointed Justice.[93] Shiras also drew the opposition of Senator Matthew Quay of Pennsylvania because they were in different factions of the Pennsylvania Republican party, but his nomination was nonetheless approved.[93] Finally, at the end of his term, Harrison nominated Howell Edmunds Jackson to replace Justice Lamar, who died in January 1893. Harrison knew the incoming Senate would be controlled by Democrats, so he selected Jackson, a respected Tennessee Democrat with whom he was friendly to ensure his nominee would not be rejected.[93] Jackson's nomination was indeed successful, but he died after only two years on the Court.[93]

[edit] Other courts Main article: Benjamin Harrison judicial appointments In addition to his Supreme Court appointments, Harrison appointed ten judges to the courts of appeals, two judges to the circuit courts, and 26 judges to the district courts. Because Harrison was in office at the time that Congress eliminated the circuit courts in favor of the courts of appeals, he and Grover Cleveland were the only two Presidents to have appointed judges to both bodies.

[edit] States admitted to the Union When Harrison took office, no new states had been admitted in more than a decade, owing to Congressional Democrats' reluctance to admit states that they believed would return Republican members. Early in Harrison's term, however, the lame duck Congress passed bills that admitted four states to the union: North Dakota and South Dakota on November 2, 1889, Montana on November 8, and Washington on November 11.[94] The following year two more states held constitutional conventions and were admitted: Idaho on July 3 and Wyoming on July 10, 1890.[94] The initial Congressional delegations from all six states were solidly Republican.[94] More states were admitted under Harrison's presidency than any other since George Washington's.

[edit] Reelection campaign in 1892

Official White House portrait of Benjamin Harrison, painted by Eastman JohnsonLong before the end of the Harrison Administration, the treasury surplus had evaporated and the nation's economic health was worsening with the approach of the conditions that would lead to the Panic of 1893.[95] Congressional elections in 1890 went against the Republicans, several party leaders withdrew their support for President Harrison, although he had cooperated with Congressional Republicans on legislation, and it was clear that Harrison would not be re-nominated unanimously.[96] Many of Harrison's detractors pushed for the nomination of Blaine, until Blaine publicly proclaimed himself not to be a candidate in February 1892.[96] Some party leaders still hoped to draft Blaine into running, and speculation increased when Blaine resigned as Secretary of State in June.[97] At the convention in Minneapolis, Harrison prevailed on the first ballot, but not without significant opposition.[98]

Results of the 1892 election, with states won by Harrison in red, those won by Cleveland in blue, and those won by Weaver in green.The Democrats renominated former President Cleveland, making the 1892 election a rematch of the one four years earlier. The issue of the tariff had worked to the Republicans' advantage in 1888, but the revisions of the past four years had made imported goods so expensive that now many voters shifted to the reform position.[99] Many westerners, traditionally Republican voters, defected to the new Populist Party candidate, James Weaver, who promised free silver, generous veterans' pensions, and an eight-hour work day.[100] The effects of the suppression of the Homestead Strike rebounded against the Republicans as well, even though no federal action was involved.[100]

Just two weeks before the election, on October 25, Harrison's wife Caroline died after a long battle with tuberculosis.[101] Harrison did not actively campaign on his own behalf during his reelection bid and remained with his wife. Their daughter Mary Harrison McKee continued the duties of the First Lady after her mother's death.[102]

Neither Harrison nor Cleveland actively campaigned during the election—the first time no candidate campaigned in a presidential election.[103] Cleveland ultimately won the election with 227 electoral votes to Harrison's 145. Cleveland also won in the popular vote 5,556,918 to 5,176,108.[104]

Grave of President Harrison and his two wives in Indianapolis, IndianaAfter he left office, Harrison returned to Indiana. From July 1895 to March 1901, Harrison was on the Board of Trustees of Purdue University. Harrison Hall, a campus dormitory, was named in his honor.[105] In 1896 he remarried, to Mary Scott Lord Dimmick, the niece of his deceased wife, and 25 years his junior. Harrison's two adult children, Russell, 41 years old at the time, and Mary (Mamie), 38, did not attend the wedding because they disagreed with their father's marriage. Benjamin and Mary had one child, Elizabeth (February 21, 1897 – December 26, 1955).[106] In 1899 Harrison went to the First Peace Conference at The Hague. He wrote a series of articles about the Federal government and the presidency, which were re-published in 1918 as a book titled This Country of Ours.[107] For a few months in 1894, he moved to San Francisco, California, and taught and gave law lectures at Stanford University.[108] In 1896 some of Harrison's friends in the Republican party tried to convince him to seek the presidency again, but he declined and openly supported William McKinley and traveled around the nation making appearances and speeches on McKinley's behalf.[109]

In 1900 Harrison served as an attorney for the Republic of Venezuela in their boundary dispute with the United Kingdom.[110] The two nations disputed the border between Venezuela and British Guiana. An international trial was agreed upon and the Venezuelan government hired Harrison to represent them in the case. He filed an 800-page brief on their behalf and traveled to Paris where he spent more than 25 hours arguing in court. Although he lost the case, his legal arguments won him international renown.[111]

Harrison developed a heavy cold in February 1901. Despite treatment by steam vapor inhalation, his condition only worsened, and he died from influenza and pneumonia at his home on Wednesday, March 13, 1901, at the age of 67. Harrison is interred in Indianapolis's Crown Hill Cemetery, along with both of his wives. [112]

23rd prsident of the United States of America. Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd president of the United States, and grandson of the 9th president, William Henry Harrison. Nominated for President on the eighth ballot at the 1888 Republican Convention, Benjamin Harrison conducted one of the first "front-porch" campaigns, delivering short speeches to delegations that visited him in Indianapolis. As he was only 5 feet, 6 inches tall, Democrats called him "Little Ben" Republicans replied that he was big enough to wear the hat of his grandfather, "Old Tippecanoe."

Born in 1833 on a farm by the Ohio River below Cincinnati, Harrison attended Miami University in Ohio and read law in Cincinnati. He moved to Indianapolis, where he practiced law and campaigned for the Republican Party. He married Caroline Lavinia Scott in 1853. After the Civil War--he was Colonel of the 70th Volunteer Infantry--Harrison became a pillar of Indianapolis, enhancing his reputation as a brilliant lawyer.

The Democrats defeated him for Governor of Indiana in 1876 by unfairly stigmatizing him as "Kid Gloves" Harrison. In the 1880's he served in the United States Senate, where he championed Indians. homesteaders, and Civil War veterans.

In the Presidential election, Harrison received 100,000 fewer popular votes than Cleveland, but carried the Electoral College 233 to 168. Although Harrison had made no political bargains, his supporters had given innumerable pledges upon his behalf.

When Boss Matt Quay of Pennsylvania heard that Harrison ascribed his narrow victory to Providence, Quay exclaimed that Harrison would never know "how close a number of men were compelled to approach. the penitentiary to make him President."

Harrison was proud of the vigorous foreign policy which he helped shape. The first Pan American Congress met in Washington in 1889, establishing an information center which later became the Pan American Union. At the end of his administration Harrison submitted to the Senate a treaty to annex Hawaii to his disappointment, President Cleveland later withdrew it.

Substantial appropriation bills were signed by Harrison for internal improvements, naval expansion, and subsidies for steamship lines. For the first time except in war, Congress appropriated a billion dollars. When critics attacked "the billion-dollar Congress," Speaker Thomas B. Reed replied, "This is a billion-dollar country." President Harrison also signed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act "to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies," the first Federal act attempting to regulate trusts.

The most perplexing domestic problem Harrison faced was the tariff issue. The high tariff rates in effect had created a surplus of money in the Treasury. Low-tariff advocates argued that the surplus was hurting business. Republican leaders in Congress successfully met the challenge. Representative William McKinley and Senator Nelson W. Aldrich framed a still higher tariff bill some rates were intentionally prohibitive.

Harrison tried to make the tariff more acceptable by writing in reciprocity provisions. To cope with the Treasury surplus, the tariff was removed from imported raw sugar sugar growers within the United States were given two cents a pound bounty on their production.

Long before the end of the Harrison Administration, the Treasury surplus had evaporated, and prosperity seemed about to disappear as well. Congressional elections in 1890 went stingingly against the Republicans, and party leaders decided to abandon President Harrison although he had cooperated with Congress on party legislation. Nevertheless, his party renominated him in 1892, but he was defeated by Cleveland.

After he left office, Harrison returned to Indianapolis, and married the widowed Mrs. Mary Dimmick in 1896. A dignified elder statesman, he died in 1901.

Benjamin Harrison Picture - 23rd President.

Nominated for President on the eighth ballot at the 1888 Republican Convention, Benjamin Harrison conducted one of the first "front-porch" campaigns, delivering short speeches to delegations that visited him in Indianapolis. As he was only 5 feet, 6 inches tall, Democrats called him "Little Ben" Republicans replied that he was big enough to wear the hat of his grandfather, "Old Tippecanoe."

Born in 1833 on a farm by the Ohio River below Cincinnati, Harrison attended Miami University in Ohio and read law in Cincinnati. He moved to Indianapolis, where he practiced law and campaigned for the Republican Party. He married Caroline Lavinia Scott in 1853. After the Civil War--he was Colonel of the 70th Volunteer Infantry--Harrison became a pillar of Indianapolis, enhancing his reputation as a brilliant lawyer.

The Democrats defeated him for Governor of Indiana in 1876 by unfairly stigmatizing him as "Kid Gloves" Harrison. In the 1880's he served in the United States Senate, where he championed Indians. homesteaders, and Civil War veterans.

In the Presidential election, Harrison received 100,000 fewer popular votes than Cleveland, but carried the Electoral College 233 to 168. Although Harrison had made no political bargains, his supporters had given innumerable pledges upon his behalf.

When Boss Matt Quay of Pennsylvania heard that Harrison ascribed his narrow victory to Providence, Quay exclaimed that Harrison would never know "how close a number of men were compelled to approach. the penitentiary to make him President."

Harrison was proud of the vigorous foreign policy which he helped shape. The first Pan American Congress met in Washington in 1889, establishing an information center which later became the Pan American Union. At the end of his administration Harrison submitted to the Senate a treaty to annex Hawaii to his disappointment, President Cleveland later withdrew it.

Substantial appropriation bills were signed by Harrison for internal improvements, naval expansion, and subsidies for steamship lines. For the first time except in war, Congress appropriated a billion dollars. When critics attacked "the billion-dollar Congress," Speaker Thomas B. Reed replied, "This is a billion-dollar country."

President Harrison also signed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act "to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies," the first Federal act attempting to regulate trusts.

The most perplexing domestic problem Harrison faced was the tariff issue. The high tariff rates in effect had created a surplus of money in the Treasury. Low-tariff advocates argued that the surplus was hurting business. Republican leaders in Congress successfully met the challenge. Representative William McKinley and Senator Nelson W. Aldrich framed a still higher tariff bill some rates were intentionally prohibitive.

Harrison tried to make the tariff more acceptable by writing in reciprocity provisions. To cope with the Treasury surplus, the tariff was removed from imported raw sugar sugar growers within the United States were given two cents a pound bounty on their production.

Long before the end of the Harrison Administration, the Treasury surplus had evaporated, and prosperity seemed about to disappear as well. Congressional elections in 1890 went stingingly against the Republicans, and party leaders decided to abandon President Harrison although he had cooperated with Congress on party legislation. Nevertheless, his party renominated him in 1892, but he was defeated by Cleveland.

After he left office, Harrison returned to Indianapolis, and married the widowed Mrs. Mary Dimmick in 1896. A dignified elder statesman, he died in 1901.

Benjamin Harrison was President from 1889-1893.

President of the United States Benjamin was the twenty-third President of the United States, serving one term from 1889 to 1893. He was born in North Bend, Ohio, and at age 21 moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he became a prominent state politician. During the American Civil War Harrison served as a Brigadier General in the XXI Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. After the war he unsuccessfully ran for the governorship of Indiana, but was later elected to the U.S. Senate from that state. He was elected to the presidency in 1888. He was the first and only president from the state of Indiana. His presidential administration is best known for its economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act. The Harrisons were among the First Families of Virginia, with their presence in the New World dating back to the arrival of an Englishman, also named Benjamin Harrison, at Jamestown, Virginia in 1630. The future president Benjamin was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Hamilton County, Ohio, as the second of eight children of John Scott Harrison (later a U.S. Congressman from Ohio) and Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin. Benjamin was a grandson of President William Henry Harrison and great-grandson of revolutionary leader and former Virginia governor Benjamin Harrison. He maintained a membership in the Sons of the American Revolution. His early schooling took place in a one-room schoolhouse near his home. In 1845 he was provided with a tutor to help him with college preparatory studies. In 1847 he was enrolled in Farmer's College, previously known as Carey's Academy, near Cincinnati, Ohio, which he attended for two years. In 1850 Harrison transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he was a member of the fraternity Phi Delta Theta and graduated in 1852. Harrison attended Miami with John Alexander Anderson who would become a six term congressman, and Whitelaw Reid, who would be Harrison's vice presidential candidate in his reelection campaign. While attending Miami University, Harrison joined a Presbyterian church and, like his mother, he would remain a member for the rest his life. Benjamin Harrison was a Civil War general and a Republican senator from Indiana before defeating incumbent Grover Cleveland in the 1888 presidential election. His presidency was undistinguished, but his family tree was not: Harrison's great-grandfather was a signer of the Declaration of Independence his grandfather was William Henry Harrison, ninth president of the United States and his father was a congressman from Ohio. In a try for a second term, Harrison was defeated by Grover Cleveland in a rematch of their 1888 race. Harrison's first wife, Caroline, died less than a month before Harrison lost his re-election bid. He was the 23rd president. SOURCE: Who2.com

the 23rd President of the United States, serving one term from 1889 to 1893. Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio, and at age 21 moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he became a prominent state politician. During the American Civil War Harrison served as a Brigadier General in the XXI Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. After the war he unsuccessfully ran for the governorship of Indiana, but was later elected to the U.S. Senate from that state.

Harrison, a Republican, was elected to the presidency in 1888, defeating the Democratic incumbent, Grover Cleveland. He is the only president elected from the state of Indiana. His presidential administration is best known for its economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act, and for annual federal spending that reached one billion dollars for the first time. Democrats attacked the "Billion Dollar Congress", and used the issue, along with the growing unpopularity of the high tariff, to defeat the Republicans, both in the 1890 mid-term elections and in Harrison's bid for re-election in 1892.

After failing to win reelection he returned to private life at his home in Indianapolis where he remarried, wrote a book, and later represented the Republic of Venezuela in an international case against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1900 he traveled to Europe as part of the case and, after a brief stay, returned to Indianapolis where he died the following year from complications arising from influenza. Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 – March 13, 1901) was the twenty-third President of the United States, serving one term from 1889 to 1893. Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio, and at age 21 moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he became a prominent state politician. During the American Civil War Harrison served as a Brigadier General in the XXI Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. After the war he unsuccessfully ran for the governorship of Indiana, but was later elected to the U.S. Senate.

Harrison, a Republican, was elected to the presidency in 1888, defeating the Democrat Grover Cleveland. He was the first, and to date only, president from the state of Indiana. His presidential administration is best known for its economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act, and for annual federal spending that reached one billion dollars for the first time. Democrats attacked the "Billion Dollar Congress", and used the issue to defeat the Republican Party, both in the 1890 mid-term elections and in Harrison's bid for reelection in 1892.

Harrison's wife died near the end of his presidential term. After failing to win reelection he returned to private life at his home in Indianapolis where he remarried, authored a book, and later represented the Republic of Venezuela in an international case against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1900 he traveled to Europe as part of the case and, after a brief stay, returned to Indianapolis where he died the following year, from complications arising from influenza. Our linkage to this US President is very weak in that it relies upon the linkage of Eleazar Holton back to William Fiske son of Robert Fiske, for which I have no references to any sort of documentation. Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 – March 13, 1901) was the 23rd President of the United States, serving one term from 1889 to 1893. Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio, and at age 21 moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he became a prominent state politician. During the American Civil War Harrison served as a Brigadier General in the XXI Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. After the war he unsuccessfully ran for the governorship of Indiana, but was later elected to the U.S. Senate from that state.

Harrison, a Republican, was elected to the presidency in 1888, defeating the Democratic incumbent, Grover Cleveland. He is the only president elected from the state of Indiana. His presidential administration is best known for its economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act, and for annual federal spending that reached one billion dollars for the first time. Democrats attacked the "Billion Dollar Congress", and used the issue, along with the growing unpopularity of the high tariff, to defeat the Republicans, both in the 1890 mid-term elections and in Harrison's bid for re-election in 1892.

After failing to win reelection he returned to private life at his home in Indianapolis where he remarried, wrote a book, and later represented the Republic of Venezuela in an international case against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1900 he traveled to Europe as part of the case and, after a brief stay, returned to Indianapolis where he died the following year from complications arising from influenza.

The Harrisons were among the First Families of Virginia, with their presence in the New World dating back to the arrival of an Englishman, named Benjamin Harrison, at Jamestown, Virginia in 1630. The future president Benjamin was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Hamilton County, Ohio, as the second of eight children of John Scott Harrison (later a U.S. Congressman from Ohio) and Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin. Benjamin was a grandson of President William Henry Harrison and great-grandson of revolutionary leader and former Virginia governor Benjamin Harrison V.[1] Harrison was seven years old when his grandfather was elected President, but he did not attend the inauguration.[2] Although Harrison's family was old and distinguished, he did not grow up in a wealthy household, as most of John Scott Harrison's farm income was expended on his children's education.[3] Despite the meager income, Harrison's boyhood was enjoyable, with much of it spent outdoors fishing or hunting.[4]

Benjamin Harrison's early schooling took place in a one-room schoolhouse near his home, but he was later provided with a tutor to help him with college preparatory studies.[5] Harrison and his brother, Irwin, enrolled in Farmer's College near Cincinnati, Ohio in 1847.[6] Harrison attended the college for two years.[7] In 1850, he transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he was a member of the fraternity Phi Delta Theta and graduated in 1852.[8] Harrison attended Miami University with John Alexander Anderson,[9] who would become a six term congressman, and Whitelaw Reid, who would be Harrison's vice presidential candidate in his reelection campaign. While attending Miami University, was greatly influenced by one his professors, Robert Hamilton Bishop, who instructed him in history and political economy.[10] At Miami, Harrison joined a Presbyterian church and, like his mother, he would remain a member for the rest of his life.[11] After completing college Harrison took up the study of law in the Cincinnati law office of Storer & Gwynne, but before completing his law studies he returned to Oxford to marry.[12]

While at Farmer's College, Harrison met Caroline Lavinia Scott, the daughter of the University's president, John W. Scott, a Presbyterian minister.[13] On October 20, 1853, they married in Oxford, Ohio, with Caroline's father performing the ceremony. [9] The Harrisons had two children, Russell Benjamin Harrison (August 12, 1854 – December 13, 1936) and Mary "Mamie" Scott Harrison McKee (April 3, 1858 – October 28, 1930).[14]

[edit] Early legal career After his marriage in 1853, Harrison returned to live on his father's farm where he finished his law studies. In the same year, he inherited $800 after the death of an aunt, using the money to move to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1854.[15] He was admitted to the bar there and began practicing law in the office of John H. Ray. The same year he became a crier for the Federal Court in Indianapolis, making $2.50 per day. He was responsible for passing through the streets and declaring announcements from the court.[14]

While in Indianapolis, Benjamin Harrison was both the first President of the University Club, a private gentlemen's club, and the first President of the Phi Delta Theta Alumni Club of Indianapolis, the fraternity's first such club. Both clubs were still in existence in 2008.[16] Harrison grew up in a Whig household and was himself a supporter of Whig politics in his early life. He joined the Republican Party shortly after its formation in 1856 and that year campaigned on behalf of the Republican presidential candidate John C. Frémont.[17] He won election to become Indianapolis City Attorney in the same election, a position that paid an annual salary of $400.[18]

In 1858 Harrison entered into a law partnership, opening an office as Wallace & Harrison.[19] Harrison was the Republican candidate for the position of reporter of the Indiana Supreme Court in 1860, his first foray into politics. Although this office was not political, he was an active supporter of his party's platform. During the election he debated Thomas Hendricks, the Democratic candidate for governor and future Vice President of the United States, on behalf of the Republican Party.[20] After his law partner William Wallace was elected county clerk in 1860, Harrison opened a new firm with William Fishback, named Fishback & Harrison, where he worked until his entry into the army.[21]

Brig. Gen. Benjamin HarrisonAt the outbreak of the Civil War, Harrison wished to join the Union Army, but initially resisted, as he was concerned that his young family would need his financial support.[22] In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued a call for more recruits. While visiting Governor Oliver Morton, Harrison found him distressed over the shortage of men answering the latest call. Harrison told the governor, "If I can be of any service, I will go".[23] Morton then asked Harrison if he could help to recruit a regiment, though he would not ask him to serve. Harrison proceeded to raise a regiment, recruiting throughout northern Indiana. Morton offered its command to Harrison, but he declined because of his lack of military experience, and instead was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. In August 1862, when the regiment left Indiana to join the Union Army at Louisville, Kentucky, Harrison was promoted by Morton to the rank of Colonel, and his regiment was commissioned as the 70th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry.[24]

The 70th Indiana first saw action in the Battle of Perryville, but spent most of the next two years performing reconnaissance duty and guarding railroads in Kentucky and Tennessee. In 1864, Harrison and his regiment joined William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign and moved to the front lines. On January 2, 1864, Harrison was promoted to command the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division of the XXI Army Corps. He commanded the brigade at the Battles of Resaca, Cassville, New Hope Church, Lost Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Marietta, Peachtree Creek and Atlanta. Harrison was later transferred to the Army of the Cumberland and participated in the Battle of Nashville.[25] On March 22, 1865, Harrison earned his final promotion, to the rank of Brigadier General, and marched in the Grand Review in Washington, D.C. before mustering out of the army on June 8, 1865.[25]

[edit] Indiana politics While serving in the army in October 1864, Harrison was reelected reporter of the Supreme Court of Indiana and served four more years.[26] The position was not politically powerful, but did afford Harrison a steady income.[26] Harrison's public profile was raised when President Grant appointed him to represent the federal government in a civil claim brought by Lambdin P. Milligan, whose wartime conviction for treason had been reversed by the Supreme Court. Due to Harrison's advocacy, the damages awarded against the government were minimal.[27] Local Republicans urged Harrison to run for Congress, but he initially confined his political activities to speaking on behalf of other Republican candidates, a task for which he received high praises from his colleagues.[28]

Benjamin Harrison Home in IndianapolisIn 1872, Harrison entered the race for the Republican nomination for governor of Indiana. He was unable to get the support of former Governor Oliver Morton, who favored his opponent, Thomas M. Browne, and ultimately Harrison lost his bid for statewide office.[29] Harrison returned to his law practice where, despite the Panic of 1873, he was financially successful enough to build a grand new home in Indianapolis in 1874.[30] He continued to make speeches on behalf of Republican candidates and policies.[31]

In 1876 Harrison did not initially seek his party's nomination for governor, but when the original nominee dropped out of the race, Harrison accepted the Republicans' invitation to take his place on the ticket.[32] His campaign was based strongly on economic policy, and he was in favor of deflating the national currency. His policies proved popular with his base, but he was ultimately defeated by a plurality to James D. Williams, losing by 5,084 votes out of a total 434,457 cast.[33] Harrison remained a prominent Republican in Indiana following his defeat, and when the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 reached Indianapolis, he helped to mediate between the workers and management and to preserve public order.[34]

When Senator Morton died in 1878, the Republicans nominated Harrison to run for the seat, but the party failed to gain a majority in the state legislature, and the Democratic majority elected Daniel W. Voorhees instead.[35] President Hayes appointed Harrison to the Mississippi River Commission in 1879, which was founded to facilitate internal improvements on that river.[36] He was a delegate at the 1880 Republican National Convention the following year.[37]

[edit] United States Senator

Walter Q. Gresham, Harrison's rival within the Indiana Republican PartyAfter Harrison led the Republican delegation to the National Convention, he was again mentioned as a possible Senate candidate.[38] He gave speeches in favor of Garfield in Indiana and New York, further raising his profile in the party. When the Republicans retook the state legislature, Harrison's election to the Senate was threatened by his intra-party rival Judge Walter Q. Gresham, but the contest was decided in favor of Harrison.[38] After President James Garfield's victory in 1880, Harrison was offered a cabinet position, but he declined in order to begin his term as senator.[39]

Harrison served in the Senate from March 4, 1881, to March 4, 1887. He was chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard (47th Congress) and U.S. Senate Committee on Territories (48th and 49th Congresses).[40] The major issue confronting Senator Harrison in 1881 was the budget surplus. Democrats wished to reduce the tariff, thus limiting the amount of money the government took in Republicans instead wished to spend the money on internal improvements and pensions for Civil War veterans. Harrison took his party's side and advocated for generous pensions for veterans and their widows.[41] Harrison also supported, unsuccessfully, aid for education of Southerners, especially the children of the slaves freed in the Civil War, believing that education was necessary to make the white and black populations truly equal in political and economic power.[42] Harrison differed from his party in opposing the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, believing that it violated existing treaties with China.[43]

In 1884, Harrison and Gresham again opposed each other, this time for influence at the 1884 Republican National Convention.[44] The delegation ended up supporting James G. Blaine, the eventual nominee.[44] In the Senate, Harrison achieved passage of his Dependent Pension Bill only to see it vetoed by President Grover Cleveland.[45] His efforts to further the admission of new western states were stymied by Democrats, who feared that the new states would elect Republicans to Congress.[45]

In 1885, the Democrats redistricted the Indiana state legislature, which resulted in an increased Democratic majority in 1886, despite an overall Republican majority statewide.[46] Harrison was defeated in his bid for reelection, the result being determined against him after a deadlock in the state senate, with the legislature eventually choosing Democrat David Turpie.[47] Harrison returned to Indianapolis and his law practice, but stayed active in state and national politics.[48]

[edit] Election of 1888 Main article: United States presidential election, 1888

Harrison-Morton campaign poster

Inauguration of Benjamin Harrison, March 4, 1889

Results of the 1888 election, with states won by Harrison in red, and those won by Cleveland in blue. The initial favorite for the Republican nomination was the previous nominee, James G. Blaine of Maine. After Blaine wrote several letters denying any interest in the nomination, his supporters divided among other candidates, with John Sherman of Ohio as the leader among them.[49] Others, including Chauncey Depew of New York, Russell Alger of Michigan, and Harrison's old nemesis Walter Q. Gresham, now a federal appellate court judge in Chicago, also sought the delegates' support at the 1888 Republican National Convention.[49] Blaine did not choose any of the candidates as a successor, so none entered the convention with a majority of the Blaine supporters.

Harrison placed fourth on the first ballot, with Sherman in the lead, and the next few ballots showed little change.[50] The Blaine supporters shifted their support around among the candidates they found acceptable, and when they shifted to Harrison, they found a candidate who could attract the votes of many delegates.[51] He was nominated on the eighth ballot by 544 to 108 votes, winning the Republican presidential nomination.[52] Levi P. Morton of New York was chosen as his running mate.[53]

[edit] Election over Cleveland Harrison's opponent in the general election was incumbent President Grover Cleveland. He ran a front-porch campaign, typical of the era, in which the candidate does not campaign but only receives delegations and makes pronouncements from his home town.[54] The Republicans campaigned heavily on the issue of protective tariffs, turning out protectionist voters in the important industrial states of the North. The election focused on the swing states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Harrison's home state of Indiana.[55] Harrison and Cleveland split these four states, with Harrison winning by means of notoriously fraudulent balloting in New York and Indiana.[56] Voter turnout was 79.3% because of a large interest in the campaign issue, and nearly eleven million votes were cast.[57] Although Harrison received 90,000 fewer popular votes than Cleveland, he carried the Electoral College 233 to 168.[58]

Although he had made no political bargains, his supporters had given many pledges upon his behalf. When Boss Matthew Quay of Pennsylvania, who rebuffed for a Cabinet position for his political support during the convention, heard that Harrison ascribed his narrow victory to Providence, Quay exclaimed that Harrison would never know "how close a number of men were compelled to approach. the penitentiary to make him President."[59] Harrison was known as the Centennial President because his inauguration celebrated the centenary of the first inauguration of George Washington in 1789.[60]

[edit] Civil service reform and pensions

Political footballCivil service reform was a prominent issue following Harrison's election. Harrison had campaigned as a supporter of the merit system, as opposed to the spoils system.[61] Although some of the civil service had been classified under the Pendleton Act by previous administrations, Harrison spent much of his first months in office deciding on political appointments.[62] Congress was widely divided on the issue and Harrison was reluctant to address the issue in hope of preventing the alienation of either side. The issue became a political football of the time and was immortalized in a cartoon captioned "What can I do when both parties insist on kicking?"[63] Harrison appointed Theodore Roosevelt and Hugh Smith Thompson, both reformers, to the Civil Service Commission, but otherwise did little to further the reform cause.[64]

Harrison quickly saw the enactment of the Dependent and Disability Pension Act in 1890, a cause he had championed while in Congress.[65] In addition to providing pensions to disabled Civil War veterans (regardless of the cause of their disability,) the Act depleted some of the troublesome federal budget surplus.[65] Pension expenditures reached $135 million under Harrison, the largest expenditure of its kind to that point in American history, a problem exacerbated by Pension Bureau commissioner James R. Tanner's expansive interpretation of the pension laws.[65]

Harrison and the Billion-Dollar Congress are portrayed as wasting the surplus in this cartoon from Puck.The issue of tariff levels had been a major point of contention in American politics since before the Civil War, and tariffs became the most prominent issue of the 1888 election.[66] The high tariff rates had created a surplus of money in the Treasury, which led many Democrats (as well as the growing Populist movement) to call for lowering the rates.[67] Most Republicans wished the rates to remain high, and to spend the surplus on internal improvements as well as the elimination of some internal taxes.[67]

Representative William McKinley and Senator Nelson W. Aldrich framed the McKinley Tariff that would raise the tariff even higher, including making some rates intentionally prohibitive.[68] At Secretary of State James Blaine's urging, Harrison attempted to make the tariff more acceptable by urging Congress to add reciprocity provisions, which would allow the President to reduce rates when other countries reduced their rates on American exports.[66] The tariff was removed from imported raw sugar, and sugar growers in the United States were given a two cent per pound subsidy on their production.[68] Even with the reductions and reciprocity, the McKinley Tariff enacted the highest average rate in American history, and the spending associated with it contributed to the reputation of the Billion-Dollar Congress.[66]

Senator John Sherman worked closely with Harrison, writing bills regulating monopolies and monetary policy.Members of both parties were concerned with the growth of the power of trusts and monopolies, and one of the first acts of the 51st Congress was to pass the Sherman Antitrust Act, sponsored by Senator John Sherman of Ohio.[69] The Act passed by wide margins in both houses, and Harrison signed it into law.[69] The Sherman Act was the first Federal act of its kind, and marked a new use of federal government power.[70] While Harrison approved of the law and its intent, there is no evidence he ever sought to enforce it very vigorously.[71] The government successfully concluded only one case during Harrison's time in office (against a Tennessee coal company),[72] although it did pursue cases against several other trusts.[71]

[edit] Silver One of the most volatile issues of the 1880s was whether the currency should be backed by gold and silver, or by gold alone.[73] The issue cut across party lines, with western Republicans and southern Democrats joining together in the call for the free coinage of silver, and both parties' representatives in the northeast holding firm for the gold standard.[74] Because silver was worth less than its legal equivalent in gold, taxpayers paid their government bills in silver, while international creditors demanded payment in gold, resulting in a depletion of the nation's gold supply.[74] Owing to worldwide deflation in the late nineteenth century, however, a strict gold standard had resulted in reduction of incomes without the equivalent reduction in debts, pushing debtors and the poor to call for silver coinage as an inflationary measure.[74]

The silver coinage issue had not been much discussed in the 1888 campaign, so Harrison's exact position on the issue was initially unclear, but his appointment of a silverite Treasury Secretary, William Windom, encouraged the free silver supporters.[75] Harrison attempted to steer a middle course between the two positions, advocating a free coinage of silver, but at its own value, not at a fixed ratio to gold.[76] This served only to disappoint both factions. In July 1890, Senator Sherman achieved passage of a compromise bill, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, in both houses.[76] Harrison thought that the bill would end the controversy, and he signed it into law.[77] The effect of the bill, however, was the increased depletion of the nation's gold supply, a problem that would persist until the second Cleveland administration resolved it.[78]

[edit] Technology In Harrison's time in office, the United States was continuing to experience advances in science and technology. Harrison was the earliest President whose voice is known to be preserved. That thirty-six-second recording (help·info) was originally made on a wax phonograph cylinder in 1889 by Giuseppe Bettini.[79] Harrison also had electricity installed in the White House for the first time by Edison General Electric Company, but he and his wife would not touch the light switches for fear of electrocution and would often go to sleep with the lights on.[80]

[edit] Foreign policy The First International Conference of American States met in Washington in 1889, establishing an information center that later became the Pan American Union.[81] The conference failed to achieve any diplomatic breakthrough, but that failure led the Secretary of State Blaine to focus on tariff reciprocity with Latin American nations, which was more successful.[82] Harrison sent Frederick Douglass as ambassador to Haiti, but failed in his attempts to establish a naval base there.[83]

The first international crisis Harrison had to face occurred over fishing rights on the Alaskan coast. Canada claimed fishing and sealing rights around many of the Aleutian Islands, in violation of U.S. law.[84] As a result, the United States Navy seized several Canadian ships.[84] In 1891, the administration began negotiations with the British that would eventually lead to a compromise over fishing rights after international arbitration, with the British government paying compensation in 1898.[85]

Sailors from the USS Baltimore caused the major foreign affairs crisis of Harrison's administration.In 1891, a diplomatic crisis arose in Chile, later called the Baltimore Crisis. The American minister to Chile, Patrick Egan, granted asylum to Chileans who were seeking refuge from Chilean Civil War.[86] This raised tensions between Chile and the United States, and when sailors from the Baltimore took shore leave in Valparaiso, a fight broke out, resulting in the deaths of two dozen American sailors and three dozen arrested.[87] With Blaine out of town, Harrison himself drafted a demand for reparations.[88] The Chilean minister of foreign affairs replied that Harrison's message was "erroneous or deliberately incorrect," and said that the Chilean government was treating the affair the same as any other criminal matter.[88] Tensions increased as Harrison threatened to break off diplomatic relations unless the United States received a suitable apology.[88] Ultimately, after Blaine returned to the capital, the administration made conciliatory overtures to the Chilean government. After the letter was withdrawn, war was averted.[89]

In the last days of his administration, Harrison dealt with the issue of Hawaiian annexation. Following a coup d'état against Queen Liliuokalani, the new government of Hawaii led by Sanford Dole petitioned for annexation by the United States.[90] Harrison was interested in expanding American influence in Hawaii and in establishing a naval base at Pearl Harbor but had not previously expressed an opinion on annexing the islands.[91] The United States consul in Hawaii John L. Stevens recognized the new government on February 1, 1893 and forwarded their proposals to Washington. With just one month left before leaving office, the administration signed a treaty on February 14 and submitted it to the Senate the next day with Harrison's recommendation.[90] The Senate failed to act, and President Cleveland withdrew the treaty shortly after taking office.[92]

[edit] Cabinet The Harrison Cabinet Office Name Term

President Benjamin Harrison 1889� Vice President Levi P. Morton 1889�

Secretary of State James G. Blaine 1889� John W. Foster 1892�

Secretary of Treasury William Windom 1889� Charles W. Foster 1891�

Secretary of War Redfield Proctor 1889� Stephen B. Elkins 1891�

Attorney General William H. H. Miller 1889�

Postmaster General John Wanamaker 1889�

Secretary of the Navy Benjamin F. Tracy 1889�

Secretary of the Interior John W. Noble 1889�

Secretary of Agriculture Jeremiah M. Rusk 1889�

Harrison's cabinet in 1889 Front row, left to right: Harrison, William Windom, John Wanamaker, Redfield Proctor, James G. Blaine Back row, left to right: William H. H. Miller, John W. Noble, Jeremiah M. Rusk, Benjamin F. Tracy [edit] Judicial appointments

Harrison appointed four Supreme Court justices, including David Josiah Brewer.Harrison appointed four justices to the Supreme Court of the United States. His first nominee was David Josiah Brewer, a judge on the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Brewer, the nephew of Justice Field, had previously been considered for a cabinet position.[93] Shortly after Brewer's nomination, Justice Matthews died, creating another vacancy. Harrison had considered Henry Billings Brown, a Michigan judge and admiralty law expert, for the first vacancy and now nominated him for the second.[93] For the third vacancy, which arose in 1892, Harrison nominated George Shiras. Shiras's appointment was somewhat controversial because his age—sixty—was older than usual for a newly appointed Justice.[93] Shiras also drew the opposition of Senator Matthew Quay of Pennsylvania because they were in different factions of the Pennsylvania Republican party, but his nomination was nonetheless approved.[93] Finally, at the end of his term, Harrison nominated Howell Edmunds Jackson to replace Justice Lamar, who died in January 1893. Harrison knew the incoming Senate would be controlled by Democrats, so he selected Jackson, a respected Tennessee Democrat with whom he was friendly to ensure his nominee would not be rejected.[93] Jackson's nomination was indeed successful, but he died after only two years on the Court.[93]

[edit] Other courts Main article: Benjamin Harrison judicial appointments In addition to his Supreme Court appointments, Harrison appointed ten judges to the courts of appeals, two judges to the circuit courts, and 26 judges to the district courts. Because Harrison was in office at the time that Congress eliminated the circuit courts in favor of the courts of appeals, he and Grover Cleveland were the only two Presidents to have appointed judges to both bodies.

[edit] States admitted to the Union When Harrison took office, no new states had been admitted in more than a decade, owing to Congressional Democrats' reluctance to admit states that they believed would return Republican members. Early in Harrison's term, however, the lame duck Congress passed bills that admitted four states to the union: North Dakota and South Dakota on November 2, 1889, Montana on November 8, and Washington on November 11.[94] The following year two more states held constitutional conventions and were admitted: Idaho on July 3 and Wyoming on July 10, 1890.[94] The initial Congressional delegations from all six states were solidly Republican.[94] More states were admitted under Harrison's presidency than any other since George Washington's.

[edit] Reelection campaign in 1892

Official White House portrait of Benjamin Harrison, painted by Eastman JohnsonLong before the end of the Harrison Administration, the treasury surplus had evaporated and the nation's economic health was worsening with the approach of the conditions that would lead to the Panic of 1893.[95] Congressional elections in 1890 went against the Republicans, several party leaders withdrew their support for President Harrison, although he had cooperated with Congressional Republicans on legislation, and it was clear that Harrison would not be re-nominated unanimously.[96] Many of Harrison's detractors pushed for the nomination of Blaine, until Blaine publicly proclaimed himself not to be a candidate in February 1892.[96] Some party leaders still hoped to draft Blaine into running, and speculation increased when Blaine resigned as Secretary of State in June.[97] At the convention in Minneapolis, Harrison prevailed on the first ballot, but not without significant opposition.[98]

Results of the 1892 election, with states won by Harrison in red, those won by Cleveland in blue, and those won by Weaver in green.The Democrats renominated former President Cleveland, making the 1892 election a rematch of the one four years earlier. The issue of the tariff had worked to the Republicans' advantage in 1888, but the revisions of the past four years had made imported goods so expensive that now many voters shifted to the reform position.[99] Many westerners, traditionally Republican voters, defected to the new Populist Party candidate, James Weaver, who promised free silver, generous veterans' pensions, and an eight-hour work day.[100] The effects of the suppression of the Homestead Strike rebounded against the Republicans as well, even though no federal action was involved.[100]

Just two weeks before the election, on October 25, Harrison's wife Caroline died after a long battle with tuberculosis.[101] Harrison did not actively campaign on his own behalf during his reelection bid and remained with his wife. Their daughter Mary Harrison McKee continued the duties of the First Lady after her mother's death.[102]

Neither Harrison nor Cleveland actively campaigned during the election—the first time no candidate campaigned in a presidential election.[103] Cleveland ultimately won the election with 227 electoral votes to Harrison's 145. Cleveland also won in the popular vote 5,556,918 to 5,176,108.[104]

Grave of President Harrison and his two wives in Indianapolis, IndianaAfter he left office, Harrison returned to Indiana. From July 1895 to March 1901, Harrison was on the Board of Trustees of Purdue University. Harrison Hall, a campus dormitory, was named in his honor.[105] In 1896 he remarried, to Mary Scott Lord Dimmick, the niece of his deceased wife, and 25 years his junior. Harrison's two adult children, Russell, 41 years old at the time, and Mary (Mamie), 38, did not attend the wedding because they disagreed with their father's marriage. Benjamin and Mary had one child, Elizabeth (February 21, 1897 – December 26, 1955).[106] In 1899 Harrison went to the First Peace Conference at The Hague. He wrote a series of articles about the Federal government and the presidency, which were re-published in 1918 as a book titled This Country of Ours.[107] For a few months in 1894, he moved to San Francisco, California, and taught and gave law lectures at Stanford University.[108] In 1896 some of Harrison's friends in the Republican party tried to convince him to seek the presidency again, but he declined and openly supported William McKinley and traveled around the nation making appearances and speeches on McKinley's behalf.[109]

In 1900 Harrison served as an attorney for the Republic of Venezuela in their boundary dispute with the United Kingdom.[110] The two nations disputed the border between Venezuela and British Guiana. An international trial was agreed upon and the Venezuelan government hired Harrison to represent them in the case. He filed an 800-page brief on their behalf and traveled to Paris where he spent more than 25 hours arguing in court. Although he lost the case, his legal arguments won him international renown.[111]

Harrison developed a heavy cold in February 1901. Despite treatment by steam vapor inhalation, his condition only worsened, and he died from influenza and pneumonia at his home on Wednesday, March 13, 1901, at the age of 67. Harrison is interred in Indianapolis's Crown Hill Cemetery, along with both of his wives. [112]

23rd prsident of the United States of America. -------------------- Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd president of the United States, and grandson of the 9th president, William Henry Harrison. -------------------- Nominated for President on the eighth ballot at the 1888 Republican Convention, Benjamin Harrison conducted one of the first "front-porch" campaigns, delivering short speeches to delegations that visited him in Indianapolis. As he was only 5 feet, 6 inches tall, Democrats called him "Little Ben" Republicans replied that he was big enough to wear the hat of his grandfather, "Old Tippecanoe."

Born in 1833 on a farm by the Ohio River below Cincinnati, Harrison attended Miami University in Ohio and read law in Cincinnati. He moved to Indianapolis, where he practiced law and campaigned for the Republican Party. He married Caroline Lavinia Scott in 1853. After the Civil War--he was Colonel of the 70th Volunteer Infantry--Harrison became a pillar of Indianapolis, enhancing his reputation as a brilliant lawyer.

The Democrats defeated him for Governor of Indiana in 1876 by unfairly stigmatizing him as "Kid Gloves" Harrison. In the 1880's he served in the United States Senate, where he championed Indians. homesteaders, and Civil War veterans.

In the Presidential election, Harrison received 100,000 fewer popular votes than Cleveland, but carried the Electoral College 233 to 168. Although Harrison had made no political bargains, his supporters had given innumerable pledges upon his behalf.

When Boss Matt Quay of Pennsylvania heard that Harrison ascribed his narrow victory to Providence, Quay exclaimed that Harrison would never know "how close a number of men were compelled to approach. the penitentiary to make him President."

Harrison was proud of the vigorous foreign policy which he helped shape. The first Pan American Congress met in Washington in 1889, establishing an information center which later became the Pan American Union. At the end of his administration Harrison submitted to the Senate a treaty to annex Hawaii to his disappointment, President Cleveland later withdrew it.

Substantial appropriation bills were signed by Harrison for internal improvements, naval expansion, and subsidies for steamship lines. For the first time except in war, Congress appropriated a billion dollars. When critics attacked "the billion-dollar Congress," Speaker Thomas B. Reed replied, "This is a billion-dollar country." President Harrison also signed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act "to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies," the first Federal act attempting to regulate trusts.

The most perplexing domestic problem Harrison faced was the tariff issue. The high tariff rates in effect had created a surplus of money in the Treasury. Low-tariff advocates argued that the surplus was hurting business. Republican leaders in Congress successfully met the challenge. Representative William McKinley and Senator Nelson W. Aldrich framed a still higher tariff bill some rates were intentionally prohibitive.

Harrison tried to make the tariff more acceptable by writing in reciprocity provisions. To cope with the Treasury surplus, the tariff was removed from imported raw sugar sugar growers within the United States were given two cents a pound bounty on their production.

Long before the end of the Harrison Administration, the Treasury surplus had evaporated, and prosperity seemed about to disappear as well. Congressional elections in 1890 went stingingly against the Republicans, and party leaders decided to abandon President Harrison although he had cooperated with Congress on party legislation. Nevertheless, his party renominated him in 1892, but he was defeated by Cleveland.

After he left office, Harrison returned to Indianapolis, and married the widowed Mrs. Mary Dimmick in 1896. A dignified elder statesman, he died in 1901.

Benjamin Harrison Picture - 23rd President.

Nominated for President on the eighth ballot at the 1888 Republican Convention, Benjamin Harrison conducted one of the first "front-porch" campaigns, delivering short speeches to delegations that visited him in Indianapolis. As he was only 5 feet, 6 inches tall, Democrats called him "Little Ben" Republicans replied that he was big enough to wear the hat of his grandfather, "Old Tippecanoe."

Born in 1833 on a farm by the Ohio River below Cincinnati, Harrison attended Miami University in Ohio and read law in Cincinnati. He moved to Indianapolis, where he practiced law and campaigned for the Republican Party. He married Caroline Lavinia Scott in 1853. After the Civil War--he was Colonel of the 70th Volunteer Infantry--Harrison became a pillar of Indianapolis, enhancing his reputation as a brilliant lawyer.

The Democrats defeated him for Governor of Indiana in 1876 by unfairly stigmatizing him as "Kid Gloves" Harrison. In the 1880's he served in the United States Senate, where he championed Indians. homesteaders, and Civil War veterans.

In the Presidential election, Harrison received 100,000 fewer popular votes than Cleveland, but carried the Electoral College 233 to 168. Although Harrison had made no political bargains, his supporters had given innumerable pledges upon his behalf.

When Boss Matt Quay of Pennsylvania heard that Harrison ascribed his narrow victory to Providence, Quay exclaimed that Harrison would never know "how close a number of men were compelled to approach. the penitentiary to make him President."

Harrison was proud of the vigorous foreign policy which he helped shape. The first Pan American Congress met in Washington in 1889, establishing an information center which later became the Pan American Union. At the end of his administration Harrison submitted to the Senate a treaty to annex Hawaii to his disappointment, President Cleveland later withdrew it.

Substantial appropriation bills were signed by Harrison for internal improvements, naval expansion, and subsidies for steamship lines. For the first time except in war, Congress appropriated a billion dollars. When critics attacked "the billion-dollar Congress," Speaker Thomas B. Reed replied, "This is a billion-dollar country."

President Harrison also signed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act "to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies," the first Federal act attempting to regulate trusts.

The most perplexing domestic problem Harrison faced was the tariff issue. The high tariff rates in effect had created a surplus of money in the Treasury. Low-tariff advocates argued that the surplus was hurting business. Republican leaders in Congress successfully met the challenge. Representative William McKinley and Senator Nelson W. Aldrich framed a still higher tariff bill some rates were intentionally prohibitive.

Harrison tried to make the tariff more acceptable by writing in reciprocity provisions. To cope with the Treasury surplus, the tariff was removed from imported raw sugar sugar growers within the United States were given two cents a pound bounty on their production.

Long before the end of the Harrison Administration, the Treasury surplus had evaporated, and prosperity seemed about to disappear as well. Congressional elections in 1890 went stingingly against the Republicans, and party leaders decided to abandon President Harrison although he had cooperated with Congress on party legislation. Nevertheless, his party renominated him in 1892, but he was defeated by Cleveland.

After he left office, Harrison returned to Indianapolis, and married the widowed Mrs. Mary Dimmick in 1896. A dignified elder statesman, he died in 1901.

Benjamin Harrison was President from 1889-1893.

President of the United States -------------------- Benjamin was the twenty-third President of the United States, serving one term from 1889 to 1893. He was born in North Bend, Ohio, and at age 21 moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he became a prominent state politician. During the American Civil War Harrison served as a Brigadier General in the XXI Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. After the war he unsuccessfully ran for the governorship of Indiana, but was later elected to the U.S. Senate from that state. He was elected to the presidency in 1888. He was the first and only president from the state of Indiana. His presidential administration is best known for its economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act. The Harrisons were among the First Families of Virginia, with their presence in the New World dating back to the arrival of an Englishman, also named Benjamin Harrison, at Jamestown, Virginia in 1630. The future president Benjamin was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Hamilton County, Ohio, as the second of eight children of John Scott Harrison (later a U.S. Congressman from Ohio) and Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin. Benjamin was a grandson of President William Henry Harrison and great-grandson of revolutionary leader and former Virginia governor Benjamin Harrison. He maintained a membership in the Sons of the American Revolution. His early schooling took place in a one-room schoolhouse near his home. In 1845 he was provided with a tutor to help him with college preparatory studies. In 1847 he was enrolled in Farmer's College, previously known as Carey's Academy, near Cincinnati, Ohio, which he attended for two years. In 1850 Harrison transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he was a member of the fraternity Phi Delta Theta and graduated in 1852. Harrison attended Miami with John Alexander Anderson who would become a six term congressman, and Whitelaw Reid, who would be Harrison's vice presidential candidate in his reelection campaign. While attending Miami University, Harrison joined a Presbyterian church and, like his mother, he would remain a member for the rest his life. -------------------- Benjamin Harrison was a Civil War general and a Republican senator from Indiana before defeating incumbent Grover Cleveland in the 1888 presidential election. His presidency was undistinguished, but his family tree was not: Harrison's great-grandfather was a signer of the Declaration of Independence his grandfather was William Henry Harrison, ninth president of the United States and his father was a congressman from Ohio. In a try for a second term, Harrison was defeated by Grover Cleveland in a rematch of their 1888 race. Harrison's first wife, Caroline, died less than a month before Harrison lost his re-election bid. He was the 23rd president. SOURCE: Who2.com

the 23rd President of the United States, serving one term from 1889 to 1893. Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio, and at age 21 moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he became a prominent state politician. During the American Civil War Harrison served as a Brigadier General in the XXI Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. After the war he unsuccessfully ran for the governorship of Indiana, but was later elected to the U.S. Senate from that state.

Harrison, a Republican, was elected to the presidency in 1888, defeating the Democratic incumbent, Grover Cleveland. He is the only president elected from the state of Indiana. His presidential administration is best known for its economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act, and for annual federal spending that reached one billion dollars for the first time. Democrats attacked the "Billion Dollar Congress", and used the issue, along with the growing unpopularity of the high tariff, to defeat the Republicans, both in the 1890 mid-term elections and in Harrison's bid for re-election in 1892.

After failing to win reelection he returned to private life at his home in Indianapolis where he remarried, wrote a book, and later represented the Republic of Venezuela in an international case against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1900 he traveled to Europe as part of the case and, after a brief stay, returned to Indianapolis where he died the following year from complications arising from influenza. -------------------- Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 – March 13, 1901) was the twenty-third President of the United States, serving one term from 1889 to 1893. Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio, and at age 21 moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he became a prominent state politician. During the American Civil War Harrison served as a Brigadier General in the XXI Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. After the war he unsuccessfully ran for the governorship of Indiana, but was later elected to the U.S. Senate.

Harrison, a Republican, was elected to the presidency in 1888, defeating the Democrat Grover Cleveland. He was the first, and to date only, president from the state of Indiana. His presidential administration is best known for its economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act, and for annual federal spending that reached one billion dollars for the first time. Democrats attacked the "Billion Dollar Congress", and used the issue to defeat the Republican Party, both in the 1890 mid-term elections and in Harrison's bid for reelection in 1892.

Harrison's wife died near the end of his presidential term. After failing to win reelection he returned to private life at his home in Indianapolis where he remarried, authored a book, and later represented the Republic of Venezuela in an international case against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1900 he traveled to Europe as part of the case and, after a brief stay, returned to Indianapolis where he died the following year, from complications arising from influenza. -------------------- Our linkage to this US President is very weak in that it relies upon the linkage of Eleazar Holton back to William Fiske son of Robert Fiske, for which I have no references to any sort of documentation. Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 – March 13, 1901) was the twenty-third President of the United States, serving one term from 1889 to 1893. Harrison was born inNorth Bend, Ohio, and at age 21 moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he became a prominent state politician. During the American Civil War Harrison served as aBrigadier General in the XXI Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. After the war he unsuccessfully ran for the governorship of Indiana, but was later elected to the U.S. Senate.

Harrison, a Republican, was elected to the presidency in 1888, defeating the Democrat Grover Cleveland. He was the first, and to date only, president from the state of Indiana. His presidential administration is best known for its economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act, and for annual federal spending that reached one billion dollars for the first time. Democrats attacked the "Billion Dollar Congress", and used the issue to defeat the Republican Party, both in the 1890 mid-term elections and in Harrison's bid for reelection in 1892.

Harrison's wife died near the end of his presidential term. After failing to win reelection he returned to private life at his home in Indianapolis where he remarried, authored a book, and later represented the Republic of Venezuela in an international case against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1900 he traveled to Europe as part of the case and, after a brief stay, returned to Indianapolis where he died the following year, from complications arising from influenza.

The Harrisons were among the First Families of Virginia, with the arrival of an Englishman, also named Benjamin Harrison, at Jamestown, Virginia in the Colony of Virginia in 1630. The future president Benjamin was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Hamilton County, Ohio, as the second of eight children of John Scott Harrison (later a U.S. Congressman from Ohio) and Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin. Benjamin was a grandson of President William Henry Harrison and great-grandson of revolutionary leader and former Virginia governor Benjamin Harrison V.[1][2]

His early schooling took place in a one-room schoolhouse near his home. In 1845 he was provided with a tutor to help him with college preparatory studies. In 1847 he was enrolled in a newly built farmer's college called Gary's Academy, near Cincinnati, Ohio, which he attended for two years.[3] In 1850 Harrison transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he was a member of the fraternity Phi Delta Theta and graduated in 1852.[4] Harrison attended Miami with John Alexander Anderson,[5] who would become a six term congressman, and Whitelaw Reid, who would be Harrison's vice presidential candidate in his reelection campaign. While attending Miami University, Harrison joined a Presbyterian church and, like his mother, he would remain a member for the rest his life.[6] After completing college Harrison took up the study of law in the Cincinnati law office of Storer & Gwynne, but before completing his law studies he returned to Oxford to marry.[7]

On October 20, 1853 Harrison, at the age of 20, married Caroline Lavinia Scott, 21, in Oxford, Ohio. She was the daughter of the University's president, Rev. John W. Scott,[5] who performed the wedding ceremony. The Harrisons had two children, Russell Benjamin Harrison (August 12, 1854 - December 13, 1936) and Mary "Mamie" Scott Harrison McKee (April 3, 1858 - October 28, 1930).[8]

[edit]Legal career After marriage, Harrison returned to live on his father's farm where he finished his law studies. That same year, he inherited $800 after the death of an aunt, using the money to move to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1854.[9] He was admitted to the bar there, and began practicing law in the office of John H. Ray. The same year he became a crier for the Federal Court in Indianapolis, making $2.50 per day. He was responsible for passing through the streets and declaring announcements from the court.[8] He was made an honorary member of Delta Chi, a legal professional fraternity at Michigan University.[10]

While in Indianapolis, Benjamin Harrison was both the first President of the University Club, a private gentlemen's club, and the first President of the Phi Delta Theta Alumni Club of Indianapolis, the fraternity's first such club. Both clubs were still in existence in 2008.[11] Harrison's grew up in a Whig household and was himself a supporter of Whig politics in his early life. He joined the Republican Party shortly after its formation in 1856 and that year campaigned on behalf of the Republican presidential candidate John C. Fremont. He won election to become Indianapolis City Attorney in the same election, a position that paid an annual salary of $400.[12]

In 1858 Harrison entered into a law partnership, opening an office as Wallace & Harrison.[13] Harrison was Republican candidate for the position of reporter of the Indiana Supreme Court in 1860, his first foray into politics. Although this office was not political, he was an active supporter of his party's platform. During the election he debated Thomas Hendricks, the Democratic candidate for governor and future Vice President of the United States, on behalf of the Republican Party.[14] After his law partner William Wallace was elected county clerk in 1860, Harrison opened a new firm with William Fishbank, named Fishback & Harrison, where he worked until his entry into the army.[15]

[edit]Civil WarBrig. Gen. Benjamin HarrisonIn 1862 President Abraham Lincoln issued a call for more recruits to join the Union Army. While visiting Governor Oliver Morton, Harrison found him distressed over the shortage of men answering the latest call. Harrison is quoted as saying to the governor, "If I can be of any service, I will go".[16][17] Morto n then asked Harrison if he could help to recruit a regiment, though he would not ask him to serve. Harrison then proceeded to raise a regiment, by recruiting throughout northern Indiana. He was offered its command by Morton, but he declined because of his lack of military experience, and instead was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. In August 1862, when the regiment left Indiana to join the Union Army at Louisville, Kentucky, Harrison was promoted by Morton to the rank of Colonel, and his regiment was commissioned as the 70th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment.[18][19]

The regiment first saw action in the Battle of Perryville. The unit performed reconnaissance duty and guarded railroads in Kentucky and Tennessee, until William T. Sherman'sAtlanta Campaign in 1864. On January 2, 1864, Harrison was promoted to command the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division of the XXI Army


The Election of 1892: Harrison vs. Cleveland

Grover Cleveland, circa 1892 | Library of Congress

According to historian Heather Cox Richardson, the Republicans moved aggressively after the election to ensure their hold on power. They had, after all, controlled the White House for decades. So, how to avoid another showing by a Democrat like Cleveland?

Add new states! That was the plan—add six new states, creating a Republican firewall. In 1889, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington joined the Union. In 1890, Idaho and Wyoming were established.

Republican operatives were sure this plan would work. But, as is wont in American politics, it backfired. In the 1890 midterm elections, the Democrats took the House of Representatives by a margin of 2:1. They swept to power bolstered by a bad economy and by the American West.

With the election of 1892 looming, Republicans threw their weight behind Harrison. But they weren’t happy with him. He could be cold and standoffish and refused to listen to advice. It’s possible that Harrison only ran for a second term out of spite—at the party convention, many Republicans tried to get James G. Blaine on the ticket instead of Harrison. Blaine refused.

After a quiet campaign, Cleveland swept to victory. For the first time since the Civil War, the Democrats won the presidency, the Senate, and the House.

We recently wrote about painful presidential transitions, and the Benjamin Harrison to Grover Cleveland transition deserves a place on that list. According to Richardson, it was the among the worst.

After his loss, Harrison threw up his hands. In Republican controlled newspapers, the embittered party told voters that Democrats didn’t know how to run the country—so everyone should take their money out of the stock market.

And thus began the Panic of 1893. Those who saw it coming begged Washington for help. But Harrison’s administration wouldn’t lift a finger. According to Harrison’s Treasury Secretary, they were only responsible for the economy until Cleveland’s inauguration.

In fact, the economy collapsed 10 days before Cleveland entered office. Cleveland was left to manage an economic crisis—which may have led him to regret returning to the presidency in the first place. According to the Miller Center, Cleveland left office a bitter man. When he died in 1908, his last words were “I have tried so hard to do right.”

What will happen in 2024? We don’t know—but it’s definitely too early for speculation. Or is it…?


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