Benjamin Harrison Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1833 - 1901 *** Full Name: Benjamin Harrison *** Occupation: American Lawyer, Politician and 23rd President of the United States *** Date of Birth: Benjamin Harrison was born on August 20th 1833 *** Place of Birth: Benjamin Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio, U.S. *** Family background: His father was John Scott Harrison and his mother was Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin. He was the second child of eight children born to his parents and he was also the grandson of the William Henry Harrison the 9th President of the United States he was as great grandson to Benjamin Harrison V, a governor of Virginia and one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. When his grandfather was President, he was a young boy of seven years old. His family were descendants of the early immigrants to Virginia in 1630. Although the family were of long standing in the community, they were not wealthy *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with brothers Archibald, Carter and John and sisters Mary and Anna. He grew up on the family farm and spent much of his time hunting and fishing and being outdoors *** Education: Benjamin Harrison attended school in a one-room schoolhouse close to the family home and would have a tutor engaged for him to help him prepare for college. He attended Farmerís College near Cincinnati for two years before transferring to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he graduated in 1852 ***
Benjamin Harrison Fact 1: Benjamin Harrison was born on August 20th 1833 and during the 19th century period in history when slavery would largely become abolished during this century with salve revolts in Britain, Haiti and France. In particular in America the Civil War of 1861 to 1864 saw the abolition of slavery and in England the Slavery Abolition Act saw the British Royal Navy put an end to the global slave trade.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 2: While attending college he met Caroline Scott and prior to completing his law studies they got married and together they had two children, a son Russell Benjamin and a daughter Mary.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 3: Having completed his studies and with the assistance of an inheritance after the death of an elderly aunt, the young family used the money to move to Indiana.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 4: Admitted to the bar in Indiana he joined the law office of John H Ray and began to practice law.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 5: In 1856 as the Republican Party was formed Benjamin became a member and campaigned on behalf of John C Fremont the Republican presidential candidate. That same year Harrison was elected as Indianapolis City Attorney.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 6: Two years later he switched law firms and joined the firm of William Wallace as partner. In 1860 he ran successfully as the Republican candidate for reporter of the Indiana Supreme Court.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 7: By 1862 the Civil War was underway and Abraham Lincoln was calling for more men to join the Union Army and he wished to enlist but found himself conflicted with how to support his family.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 8: Oliver Morton was the Governor of Indiana and whilst visiting Harrison, although he would not ask him to serve, he did however ask him to recruit for the war, which he was happy to do.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 9: Having recruited a regiment, he was offered command of those men, but with no military experience he declined. He would however be given a commission as captain and made company commander in July 1862.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 10: Morton later commissioned him to a colonel of the newly banded 70th Indiana and they were sent off to join the Union Army in Kentucky. By 1864 Harrison and his regiment joined the Atlanta Campaign and William T Sherman and made their way to front lines.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 11: With his increasing popularity he was urged to run for Congress. Although he did not succeed on his own he nevertheless continued to speak on behalf of the Republicans and in 1878 when Morton died Harrison was nominated to take his place. Benjamin Harrison Fact 20: After his term in office, he traveled, lived in San Francisco for a time and lectured at Stanford University before serving on the Board of Trustees of Purdue University.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 12: It would not be until 1881 that he was elected as Senator, a position he held from 1881 until 1887.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 13: James Giovanni Blaine of Maine had been the previous nominee but had made it clear he was not interested in a further term and did not come out and publicly endorse any other candidate, although in private he would say he thought Harrison was the best man for the job. His running mate was chosen to be Levi P Morton of New York.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 14: After a long campaign Benjamin Harrison won the election and as it so happened he would become known as the Centennial President as a result of his inauguration falling on the centenary of the first inauguration of George Washington in 1789.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 15: His cabinet choices were his own, with some disappointment from the Republican bosses. His choices largely were made on shared alliances of a political nature such as their service during the war, membership of the Presbyterian Church, of which Harrison had very strong ties, and citizenship of Indiana. In the long run, he did himself no favors for his future within the political arena, and managed to alienate critical Republican operatives.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 16: Tariffs became one of the main political issues of his administration. Some declared they were too high and called for them to be lowered but the Republicans would much prefer to maintain the rates and spend the surplus money on internal improvements and remove internal taxes.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 17: An area Benjamin Harrison was keen to resolve was the protection of civil rights for the black American population. The only problem with that was upholding the laws as violators may be prosecuted but with largely white juries they more often than not failed to convict.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 18: Prior to Harrison taking office no further states had joined the Union largely due to the Congressional Democrats unwillingness to have states join that may be Republican, however, under Harrisonís administration four new states would be admitted, North Dakota and South Dakota, Washington state and Montana all became part of the Union.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 19: During the next presidential election Benjamin Harrison would not prevail for a second term and Grover Cleveland would be re-elected President.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 21: After the death of his wife he remarried, Mary Scott Lord Dimmick, a widow almost half his age. Neither of his children approved and both refused to attend the wedding. They had one child together, their daughter Elizabeth.
Benjamin Harrison Fact 22: Benjamin Harrison died in his home on March 13th 1901 at 67 years of age. It is believed he died of Pneumonia and his body was laid to rest at the Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, beside his first wife. When Mary died, she was laid to rest beside him.
Influence & Legacy: His support of the civil rights for the black American was an issue that he has become largely remembered for, together with his foreign policies and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act which 120 years later is still one of the most important legislations ever passed.