President William Henry Harrison Fast Facts
Fast Facts: President William Harrison
Born: William Henry Harrison
Date of Birth: February 9, 1773
Place of birth: Charles City County, Virginia
Death: April 4, 1841
Burial Place: Harrison Tomb State Memorial, North Bend, Ohio
Parents: Benjamin Harrison V and Elizabeth Harrison
Education: University of Pennsylvania
Spouse: Anna Symmes (married in 1795)
Children: 10 children
Most famous grandchild: Benjamin Harrison (23rd President of the United States)
Political Party: Whig
Offices held prior to his presidency: 3rd U.S. Minister to Gran Colombia (1828-1829); US Senator from Ohio (1825-1828); U.S. House of Representative from Ohio’s 1st district (1816-1819); 1st Governor of the Indiana Territory (1801-1812); Secretary of the Northwest Territory (1798-1799)
US Presidency: 9th President of the United States (March 4, 1841-April 4, 1841)
Predecessor: Martin Van Buren
Successor: John Tyler
14 Interesting Facts about President William Henry Harrison
- 9th U.S. President William Harrison is most favorably remembered for courageous exploits in battles such as Battle of Fallen Timbers; Battle of Tippecanoe; and the Battle of the Thames.
- The results of the 1840 presidential election showed that William Henry Harrison strolled to victory by getting 174 more electoral votes than incumbent president Martin Van Buren. What many people don’t know is the fact that he only secured 1,274,624 votes for the popular votes. This was approximately 147,000 more votes than Van Buren’s 1,127,781.
- “Tippecanoe and Tyler too” was a very popular term in American politics back then. It shows just how much of an impact the Battle of Tippecanoe had on William Henry Harrison’s reputation in the lead up to his victory in the 1840 presidential election.
- Did you know that in addition to the 10 children Harrison had with his wife Anna Tuthill Symmes Harrison, the 9th president of the United States had 6 children with an African-American slave called Dilsia. The Harrisons were a very large family. Harrison himself was the seventh and youngest child of his parents.
- A gaping constitutional crisis ensued after the death of William Henry Harrison. Prior to his death, no American president had died in office. As a result of this it was very much a complex issue. Should the vice president take up the position of the president? Or should he just perform the duties without necessarily having the title of the president? Questions of these sorts were what racked the minds of politicians all across the country. In the end, Vice President John Tyler simply had himself sworn in as president, thereby ending the crisis. This act of John Tyler set a precedent that is still followed to this day. Vice presidents are the second in command and hence are the ones sworn in after a president dies.
- William Henry Harrison is one of those few presidents of the United States whose direct descendant has gone on to become U.S. presidents. Harrison’s grandson, Benjamin Harrison (1833 – 1901) was elected the 23rd president of the United States. Notable mentions include: John Adams (2nd President of the U.S.) and John Quincy Adams (6th President of the U.S.); George H. W. Bush (43rd President of the U.S.); and George W. Bush (43rd President of the U.S.)
- During his 32-day stay in office, Harrison came under huge pressure from Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. Daniel Webster was even his secretary of state. Webster was also the one who edited Harrison’s inaugural speech.
- As president, Harrison wanted to be involved in the day-to-day upkeep of the White House. Historians state that he even tried buying supplies for the White House.
- His wife Anna Harrison was not even at Washington for the inauguration. She could not join him during his brief stay at the White House because she was nesting herself back to recovery after an illness. In those 32 days in office, Harrison’s daughter-in-law Jane Irwin Harrison served as the first lady in the White House.
- William Henry Harrison was the first U.S. president to lie in state in the capitol.
- Being the president with the shortest period served, Harrison’s 32 days is dwarfed by the record-breaking four terms of Franklin D. Roosevelt (32nd U.S. President).
- At Richmond, Harrison was mate with Benjamin Rush – a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
- Harrison’s death invariably led to the demise of the Whig Party.
- Some historians believe that instead of pneumonia, what actually killed Harrison was typhoid fever.