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23rd President of the US – Benjamin Harrison

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Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States of America. His tenure as the President commenced from 1889 and continued till 1893. He was elected as the President for…

Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States of America. His tenure as the President commenced from 1889 and continued till 1893. He was elected as the President for only one term. A prominent Republican of his time, Harrison won the Presidential contest against Grover Cleveland of the Democrats and Clinton B. Fisk of the Prohibition Party.

Benjamin Harrison was born on 20th August 1833 in the Hamilton County, Ohio. He had a rich ancestral line. His grandfather was the ninth American President William Henry Harrison, while his father was John Scott Harrison. Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin was his mother. He attended quality education both at the primary level as well as at the higher education level. He was a student of the Miami University, Oxford and finally graduated in 1852. He was also a student of Law and studied in Cincinnati and Indianapolis. After graduating in law, he began his own practice. Benjamin Harrison married Caroline Lavinia Scott on October 20th 1853. Benjamin Harrison participated actively in the American Civil War and was made a Colonel in 1862 of the 70th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment. After this, he was given more responsibilities and was promoted to the rank of a Brigadier General.

He was also transferred from the Union Army to the Army of Cumberland. His political life started from the time when he was engaged in the US Army.

It was in 1864 that he was nominated as the reporter of the Indiana Supreme Court. He also contested the elections for the post of the Governor of Indiana State in 1876, but was unfortunately defeated by his opponent, James D Williams.

Benjamin Harrison was appointed to several important designations in the United States of America. In 1879, he had been made a member in the Mississippi River Commission. He was also an integral part of the United States Senate from 1881 to 1887. He was the Chairman of important committees that include the US Senate Committee on Territories and US Senate Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard. He was elected as a President in the year 1889, though the election of 1888 was shrouded in controversy. the number of popular votes received by Benjamin Harrison were lesser than incumbent Presidential candidate Grover Cleveland, but he exceeded in the number of electoral votes by a wide margin.


Full Name: Benjamin Harrison
Date of Birth: August 20, 1833, North Bend, Ohio
Died on: March 13, 1901, Indianapolis, Indiana
Burial site: Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana
Parents: John and Elizabeth Irwin Harrison
Spouse: Caroline Lavinia Scott (1832-1892; m. 1853); Mary Scott Lord Dimmick (1858-1948; m.1896)
Children: Russell, Benjamin (1854-1936); Mary Scott (1858-1930); unnamed girl (died at birth in 1861); Elizabeth (1897-1955)
Religion: Presbyterian
Education: Miami (Ohio) University (B.A., 1852)
Profession(s): Lawyer
Government ranks: U.S. Senator from Indiana
Political party: Republican
President Term: March 4, 1889-March 4, 1893
Age when assumed office: 55

Presidential Term and its details

Dates: March 4, 1889-March 4, 1893
Vice President: Levi P. Morton (1889-93)

Snapshot of Benjamin Harrison’s life

1776 Benamin Harrison’s great-grandfather, also named Benjamin Harrison, is one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence
1833 Benjamin Harrison is born in Ohio
1840 William Henry Harrison, Benjamin’s grandfather, is elected president when young Ben is seven years old
1854 Benjamin Harrison opens law practice in Indianapolis
1862 Begins fighting in Civil War; finishes the war as brigadier general
1876 Loses Indiana governor’s race
1881-87 Serves in U.S. Senate
1888 Defeats incumbent Grover Cleveland to become the “centennial president”, elected to office one hundred years after George Washington became the first U.S. President
1889-93 Serves as twenty-third U.S. President
1892 Loses 1892 election to former president Cleveland
1901 Dies in Indiana

Outcome of the Elections

1888 Presidential / Vice Presidential Candidates Popular votes Electoral votes
Benjamin Harrison / Levi P. Morton (Republican) 5444337 233
Grover Cleveland / Allen G. Thurman (Democratic) 5540309 168

US President Benjamin Harrison was the initiator of a number of policies and Acts for the betterment of the general American masses. His impressive acumen as a diplomat was brought to the fore with the creation of the Pan American Union, which he initiated. Many bills had been passed in the Senate for the internal development and progress of the country. He successfully maneuvered the appropriation of a billion dollars for the development of various aspects of the country’s resources, a move that had its critics and detractors. This was the only time the Congress passed a bill for the appropriation of a billion dollars in times of peace.

Harrison was also deeply concerned regarding the trade and commerce of the country and was strictly against illegal controls and monopolies. As a result of this, he signed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. the tariff issue perplexed Harrison all throughout his tenure, as it was indirectly hurting the business in the country. However, the Republicans dealt with the problem tactfully and tried to solve it in the best possible manner. Tariffs were removed from select items and allowed to remain on some.

But the good times did not last long. the surplus in Treasury almost vanished by the end of his tenure and prosperity also saw a downfall. President Benjamin Harrison was nominated for the Presidential Elections by the Republicans, but unfortunately got defeated by Cleveland in 1892, thus bringing an end to this career as a US President.

After his tenure as the President of the United States, he went back to Indianapolis. He served as an attorney for Venezuela and wrote a book on Presidency and the Federal government. Benjamin Harrison suffered from severe pulmonary infection and finally died from pneumonia and influenza. He breathed his last on 13th March 1901. He is cremated at the Crown Hill Cemetery.

there are many interesting facts regarding President Benjamin Harrison, which are less known to people. Some of these incidents are as follows:

Benjamin Harrison was the introducer of electricity in the White House. Once he got an electric shock and after that his family got scared of electric lights and switches. On many days, all the lights of White House were kept on all through the night.

Apart from Benjamin Harrison, there is no US President, whose grandfather was a President and a great-grandfather as a signatory of the Declaration of Independence.

Benjamin was a good writer and scholar and had penned 140 different speeches in only 30 days.

Some of the famous quotes of Benjamin Harrison are as follows :

  • When and under what conditions is the black man to have a free ballot? When is he in fact to have those full civil rights which have so long been his in law ?”
  • there never has been a time in our history when work was so abundant or when wages were as high, whether measured by the currency in which they are paid or by their power to supply the necessaries and comforts of life”.
  • “Great lives never go out; they go on”.
  • I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process”.
  • the bud of victory is always in the truth”.
  • No other people have a government more worthy of their respect and love or a land so magnificent in extent, so pleasant to look upon, and so full of generous suggestion to enterprise and labor”.

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