William Henry Harrison

Ninth President 1841


Born: February 9, 1773 at Charles City County, Virginia.

Education: He studied classics and history at Hampden-Sydney College, then began the study of medicine in Richmond. When his father died in 1791, Harrison gave up medicine to join the Army.

Occupation: Soldier.


Family life: A clandestine marriage on November 25, 1795, united Anna Symmes and Lt. William Henry Harrison, an experienced soldier at 22. The Harrisons had ten children in all, of whom four lived to see Harrison become president. One son, John Scott Harrison, was the father of Benjamin Harrison, who became the 23rd president of the United States.

Political career: delegate to United States Congress from Northwest Territory. Served in Congress as representative, then senator from Ohio. Defeated as Whig candidate for president, 1836; won in 1840 with slogan" Tippe-canoe and Tyler Too." Harrison's popularity as well as an economic depression, which had begun in 1837, contributed to Van Buren's defeat. Harrison won an overwhelming victory, receiving 234 electoral votes to Van Buren's 60.

Highlights of his presidency: Died one month after inauguration.

Appearance: Tall and thin.

Died: Before he had been in office a month, he caught a cold that developed into pneumonia. On April 4, 1841, he died--the first President to die in office--and with him died the Whig program.

Buried: He is burried at North Bend, Hamilton, Ohio. Mrs. Harrison lived for twenty more years. She died at the home of her son John Scott Harrison.


  • Groliers Biography on William Henry Harrison
  • Inaugural Address
  • William Henry Harrison




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