William Henry Harrison
by R.D. Monroe, Ph.D.


 William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) was born on a plantation in Charles City County, Virginia, to a prominent family. He studied medicine for a time before entering the army in 1791. His military and administrative career blossomed in the Northwest Territory. He was secretary and delegate to Congress for the territory and in 1800 was appointed governor of Indiana, conducting treaty negotiations with the indigenous tribes that sparked resentment at the immense land cessations. Harrison was commander of the Northwest army during the War of 1812 and won an important victory at the Thames River in 1813. After the war, he resigned his commission and served in the U.S. House and Senate. He was appointed minister to Columbia and later removed by President Andrew Jackson. He emerged as a presidential candidate for the young Whig party in 1835, made a good showing in the 1836 election and triumphed in 1840. He contracted pneumonia within a month of his inauguration and died on April 4, 1841.

Read the campaign biographies:
Burr, S.J. The Life and Times of William Henry Harrison. New York: L.W. Ransom, 1840.

Cushing, Caleb. Outlines of the Life and Public Services, Civil and Military, of William Henry Harrison. Boston: Eastburn's Press, 1840.