William Henry Harrison Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1773 - 1841 *** Full Name: William Henry Harrison *** Occupation: American Military Officer, Politician and 9th President of the United States *** Date of Birth: William Henry Harrison was born on February 9th 1773 *** Place of Birth: William Henry Harrison was born on the Berkeley Plantation in Charles City County, Virginia *** Early life and childhood: He grew up as the youngest of seven children *** Education: William Henry Harrison attend the Presbyterian Hampden-Sydney College aged fourteen and later attended Southampton County boys’ academy and after that when to study medicine at the University of Pennsylvania *** Death: William Henry Harrison died on April 4, 1841
William Henry Harrison Fact 1: William Henry Harrison was born on February 9, 1773. Family background: His father was Benjamin Harrison V and his mother was Elizabeth Bassett. His father had been a planter and a Continental Congress delegate from a family with a prominent political background. His father had also been one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence ***
William Henry Harrison Fact 2: While attending Southampton County he began to become aware of antislavery it is though from the Methodist and Quakers which angered his proslavery father.
William Henry Harrison Fact 3: While living in Philadelphia studying medicine he lived with Robert Morris who would become his guardian when his father died in 1791 and with no money left to finish his training.
William Henry Harrison Fact 4: A friend of his fathers, Governor Henry Lee of Virginia heard of William’s predicament and suggested he join the military when the two met, within twenty four hours William had joined the army and was commissioned as a ensign.
William Henry Harrison Fact 5: He would end up serving under General “Mad Anthony” Wayne and would learn how to become a successful commander.
William Henry Harrison Fact 6: At the age of twenty two years William met Anna Tuthill Symmes, the daughter of a prominent judge, who he married on November 25th 1795 after the eloped and they would have ten children together with only one child not surviving infancy.
William Henry Harrison Fact 7: He resigned from the army in 1798. He then began to campaign to become a politician with a post in the Northwest Territorial government.
William Henry Harrison Fact 8: With ambitions to become a congressman and with some very influential friends, Harrison was also the owner of a successful horse breeding business that gained him a good reputation. Aware of the concerns over land prices in the Territory and the fact that the U.S. Congress wanted to keep the land prices high, Harrison pledged to work to bring prices down which would encourage more people into the territory.
William Henry Harrison Fact 9: At the Sixth United States Congress Harrison became the first delegate for the Northwest Territory. However, a territory was not a state and his powers were very limited. However he did bring in the Harrison Land Act which would make it easier for the land in the Territory to be bought.
William Henry Harrison Fact 10: Unaware of what had been done, President John Adams had nominated Harrison for the position of governor of the new territory and he was confirmed the following day by the Senate. He accepted.William Henry Harrison Fact 17: His pledges included the reinstatement of the Bank of the United States, to use his veto powers sparingly and to undo the spoils system that Jackson had so blatantly used to his own betterment. Instead Harrison wished to create a qualified staff who knew what they were doing.
William Henry Harrison Fact 11: As governor he had far more power which included appointing his own officials and obtaining title to lands inhabited by the Indians.
William Henry Harrison Fact 12: He also lobbied for the Indiana Territory to permit slavery in the hopes that it would make the area appeal to more people to make the journey to settle there.
William Henry Harrison Fact 13: The Indian populations were very unhappy with the way the Americans were taking over so much of their land and territories and tension in the area grew increasingly to the point where war was almost inevitable.
William Henry Harrison Fact 14: During 1812 as war broke out with the British so in the Territories the Indian nations were siding with the British against the Americans.
William Henry Harrison Fact 15: Having fought one of the biggest battles of the conflict and come away the victor, he resigned in 1814 after which the when the war was over his resignation was investigated and found that he had been mistreated by the Secretary of War and was awarded a gold medal.
William Henry Harrison Fact 16: Having settled in North Bend in his adopted state of Ohio, where he spent the next forty years of his life until 1836 when he made his first bid for the presidency as the Whig candidate but would not be successful until 1840 when he made another attempt in which he would succeed not as the wealthy slave owning Virginian but as a hero frontiersman.
William Henry Harrison Fact 18: Henry Clay was the Whigs leader and so he felt would have much influence over Harrison but found the contrary to be true, especially on one occasion when Harrison retorted on one particular occasion “Mr Clay, you forget that I am President.”.
William Henry Harrison Fact 19: Harrison took his pledge very serious when it came to reforming the executive appointments and this would cause much strife.
William Henry Harrison Fact 20: Within weeks of becoming President, Harrison fell ill with what was thought to be a cold.
William Henry Harrison Fact 21: William Henry Harrison died in the White House on April 4, 1841 nine days after becoming ill, aged sixty eight years. His body laid to rest in the public vault of the Congressional Cemetery in Washington D.C. before being re-interred in North Bend, Ohio.
Influence & Legacy: William Henry Harrison was the last President to be born in British America and the first President have his photograph taken during his inauguration. Unfortunately he served so short a term that he had little opportunity to leave much of a presidential legacy.
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