US Map > List of US Presidents > 9th President of the US – William Henry Harrison

9th President of the US – William Henry Harrison

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The ninth President of the United States of America, William Henry Harrison was an American military leader. He had a long and diverse political career in which he served as a Governor,…

The ninth President of the United States of America, William Henry Harrison was an American military leader. He had a long and diverse political career in which he served as a Governor, a US Representative,

a Senator and finally as the President of the United States of America. the first claim to fame for William Henry Harrison was the leadership that he provided to the US Army against the American Indians in the battle of Tippecanoe. This victory was followed by a win at the battle of Thames.

Belonging to an aristocratic family of Virginia, William Henry Harrison was born in the year 1773 at Berkeley. He was a lover of classical studies and history, and was educated at the Hampden-Sydney College.

Harrison, William Henry was recruited as ensign in the Regular Army’s First Infantry. Posted in the Northwest Territory, Harrison spent much of his life there.

William Henry Harrison resigned from the Army in the year 1798 and became the Secretary of the Northwest Territory. As the Secretary of the Northwest Territory, he gave his best efforts to obtain the legislation that divided the Northwest and Indiana Territories. the year 1801 saw Harrison becoming the Governor of the Indiana Territory, a post he served for 12 long years.

After serving in the US House of Representatives from Ohio, the Ohio State Senate and as a member of the US Senate and Minister to Colombia, William Henry Harrison was nominated as a Presidential candidate of the party of Northern Whigs for the 1836 elections. He lost initially, but recorded a sweeping victory in the election of 1840. His huge popularity was reflected in his receiving an excess of 1 million popular votes. He was the first US President to secure so many popular votes.


Full Name: William Henry Harrison
Date of Birth: February 9, 1773, Charles City County, Virginia
Died on: April 4, 1841, Washington, D.C.
Burial site: William Henry Harrison Memorial State Park, North Bend, Ohio
Parents: Benjamin and Elizabeth Bassett Harrison
Spouse: Anna Tuthill Symmes (1775-1864; m. 1795)
Children: Elizabeth Bassett (1796-1846); John Cleves Symmes (1798-1830); Lucy Singleton (1800-1826); William Henry Jr. (1802-1838); John Scott (1804-1878); Benjamin (1806-1840); Mary Symmes (1809-1842); Carter Bassett (1811-1839); Anna Tuthill (1813-1865); James Fi
Religion: Episcopalian
Education: Attended Hampden-Sydney College and University of Pennsylvania Medical School
Profession(s): Soldier
Government ranks: Secretary of the Northwest Territory; territorial delegate to U.S. Congress; territorial governor of Indiana; governor of Louisiana territory; state senator from Ohio; U.S. Congressman and senator from Ohio; minister to Colombia
Political Party: Whig
President Term: March 4, 1841-April 4, 1841
Age when assumed office: 68

Outcome of the Elections

1840 Presidential / Vice Presidential Candidates Popular votes Electoral votes
William Henry Harrison / John Tyler (Whig) 1275016 234
Martin Van Buren / Richard M. Johnson (Democratic) 1129102 60

Snapshot of William Henry Harrison’s life

1773 Born in Virginia
1791 Drops his studies in medicine in favor of becoming a soldier; leads group of eighty men from Philadelphia to protect settlers in the Northwest Territory (present-day Ohio)
1794 Cited for bravery in the Battle of Fallen Timbers, during which Native American forces are defeated by General Anthony Wayne
1798-1801 Serves as secretary of the Northwest Territory, and then territorial delegate to Congress
1801-12 Serves as territorial governor of Indiana
1811 Breaks Indian confederacy led by Shawnee Chief Tecumseh in the Battle of Tippecanoe in present-day Indiana
1813 After retaking Fort Detroit, which had been surrendered to the British in 1812, Brigadier General Harrison defeats an alliance of British and Native American forces in the Battle of the Thames in present-day Ontario, Canada
1816-19 Serves as U.S. Congressman from Ohio
1819-21 Serves as Ohio state senator
1825-28 Serves as U.S. Senator
1828 Named minister to Colombia by President John Quincy Adams; recalled in 1829 by President Andrew Jackson
1836 As one of four regional Whig candidates, Harrison wins seven states and seventy-three electoral votes in the presidential election but loses to Martin Van Buren
1841 Elected ninth U.S. President; one month later, becomes the first president to die in office

Presidential Term and its details

Dates: March 4, 1841-April 4, 1841
Vice President: John Tyler (1841)

However, Harrison had the shortest term as an American President: one of 30 days, 11 hours and 30 minutes. He caught cold and developed pneumonia, presumably during the two hour long inaugural speech that he delivered to the nation.

This speech (8,445 words) is held to be the longest one by any US President till date. the disease ultimately took away his life on the 4th of April 1841. He became the first American President to pass away while in office. His only official act as the President of the United States of America was calling a special session of the Congress.

Some of the plans that Harrison had chalked out prior to being the US President included :

  • Implementing the American System earlier proposed by Kentucky’s Henry Clay
  • To issue a revenue tariff

However, his plans could not be executed because of his sudden death.

A few of the notable quotations by William Henry Harrison include :

  • The only legitimate right to govern is an express grant of power from the governed”
  • I contend that the strongest of all governments is that which is most free”
  • To Englishmen, life is a topic, not an activity”

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