Benjamin Harrison: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Benjamin Harrison

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Benjamin Harrison

In office
March 4, 1889 – March 4, 1893
Vice President Levi P. Morton
Preceded by Grover Cleveland
Succeeded by Grover Cleveland

In office
March 4, 1881 – March 4, 1887
Preceded by Joseph E. McDonald
Succeeded by David Turpie

Born August 20, 1833(1833-08-20)
North Bend, Ohio
Died March 13, 1901 (aged 67)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Caroline Lavinia Scott Harrison (1st wife)
Mary Scott Lord Dimmick Harrison (2nd wife)
Children Russell Benjamin Harrison
Mary Scott Harrison McKee
Elizabeth Harrison Walker
Alma mater Miami University (Ohio)
Occupation Lawyer
Religion Presbyterian
Military service
Service/branch Union Army
Rank Brigadier General
Unit Army of the Cumberland
Commands 70th Indiana Infantry
1st Brigade of the 1st Division of the XX Corps
Battles/wars American Civil War

Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 – March 13, 1901) was the 23rd President of the United States, serving one term from 1889 to 1893. Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio, and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana at the age of 21, where he became a prominent state politician. During the American Civil War Harrison served as a Brigadier General in the XX Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. After the war he unsuccessfully ran for the governorship of Indiana, but was later appointed to the U.S. Senate from that state.

Harrison, a Republican, was elected to the presidency in 1888, defeating the Democratic incumbent, Grover Cleveland. He is the only president from the state of Indiana. His presidential administration is most remembered for its economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act, and for annual federal spending that reached one billion dollars for the first time. Democrats attacked the "Billion Dollar Congress", and used the issue, along with the growing unpopularity of the high tariff, to defeat the Republicans, both in the 1890 mid-term elections and in Harrison's bid for reelection in 1892. He also saw the admittance of six states into the Union.

After failing to win reelection he returned to private life at his home in Indianapolis where he remarried, wrote a book, and later represented the Republic of Venezuela in an international case against the United Kingdom. In 1900 he traveled to Europe as part of the case and, after a brief stay, returned to Indianapolis where he died the following year from complications arising from influenza.


Early life

Family and education

The Harrisons were among the First Families of Virginia, with their presence in the New World dating back to the arrival of an Englishman, named Benjamin Harrison, at Jamestown, Virginia in 1630. The future president Benjamin was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Hamilton County, Ohio, as the second of eight children of John Scott Harrison (later a U.S. Congressman from Ohio) and Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin. Benjamin was a grandson of President William Henry Harrison and great-grandson of revolutionary leader and former Virginia governor Benjamin Harrison V.[1] Harrison was seven years old when his grandfather was elected President, but he did not attend the inauguration.[2] Although Harrison's family was old and distinguished, he did not grow up in a wealthy household, as most of John Scott Harrison's farm income was expended on his children's education.[3] Despite the meager income, Harrison's boyhood was enjoyable, with much of it spent outdoors fishing or hunting.[4]

Benjamin Harrison's early schooling took place in a one-room schoolhouse near his home, but he was later provided with a tutor to help him with college preparatory studies.[5] Harrison and his brother, Irwin, enrolled in Farmer's College near Cincinnati, Ohio in 1847.[6] Harrison attended the college for two years.[7] In 1850, he transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he was a member of the fraternity Phi Delta Theta and graduated in 1852.[8] Harrison attended Miami University with John Alexander Anderson,[9] who would become a six term congressman, and Whitelaw Reid, who would be Harrison's vice presidential candidate in his reelection campaign. While attending Miami University, Harrison was greatly influenced by one his professors, Robert Hamilton Bishop, who instructed him in history and political economy.[10] At Miami, Harrison joined a Presbyterian church and, like his mother, he would remain a member for the rest of his life.[11] After completing college Harrison took up the study of law in the Cincinnati law office of Storer & Gwynne, but before completing his law studies he returned to Oxford to marry.[12]

While at Farmer's College, Harrison met Caroline Lavinia Scott, the daughter of the University's president, John W. Scott, a Presbyterian minister.[13] On October 20, 1853, they married in Oxford, Ohio, with Caroline's father performing the ceremony.[9] The Harrisons had two children, Russell Benjamin Harrison (August 12, 1854 – December 13, 1936), and Mary "Mamie" Scott Harrison McKee (April 3, 1858 – October 28, 1930).[14]

Early legal career

After his marriage in 1853, Harrison returned to live on his father's farm where he finished his law studies. In the same year, he inherited $800 after the death of an aunt, using the money to move to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1854.[15] He was admitted to the bar there and began practicing law in the office of John H. Ray. The same year he became a crier for the Federal Court in Indianapolis, making $2.50 per day. He was responsible for passing through the streets and declaring announcements from the court.[14]

While in Indianapolis, Benjamin Harrison was both the first President of the University Club, a private gentlemen's club, and the first President of the Phi Delta Theta Alumni Club of Indianapolis, the fraternity's first such club. Both clubs were still in existence in 2008.[16] Harrison grew up in a Whig household and was himself a supporter of Whig politics in his early life. He joined the Republican Party shortly after its formation in 1856 and that year campaigned on behalf of the Republican presidential candidate John C. Frémont.[17] He won election to become Indianapolis City Attorney in the same election, a position that paid an annual salary of $400.[18]

In 1858 Harrison entered into a law partnership, opening an office as Wallace & Harrison.[19] Harrison was the Republican candidate for the position of reporter of the Indiana Supreme Court in 1860, his first foray into politics. Although this office was not political, he was an active supporter of his party's platform. During the election he debated Thomas Hendricks, the Democratic candidate for governor and future Vice President of the United States, on behalf of the Republican Party.[20] After his law partner William Wallace was elected county clerk in 1860, Harrison opened a new firm with William Fishback, named Fishback & Harrison, where he worked until his entry into the army.[21]

Civil War

Colonel Benjamin Harrison

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Harrison wished to join the Union Army, but initially resisted, as he was concerned that his young family would need his financial support.[22] In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued a call for more recruits. While visiting Governor Oliver Morton, Harrison found him distressed over the shortage of men answering the latest call. Harrison told the governor, "If I can be of any service, I will go".[23] Morton then asked Harrison if he could help to recruit a regiment, though he would not ask him to serve. Harrison proceeded to raise a regiment, recruiting throughout northern Indiana. Morton offered its command to Harrison, but he declined because of his lack of military experience, and instead was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. In August 1862, when the regiment left Indiana to join the Union Army at Louisville, Kentucky, Harrison was promoted by Morton to the rank of Colonel, and his regiment was commissioned as the 70th Indiana Infantry.[24]

The 70th Indiana spent most of its first two years of service performing reconnaissance duty and guarding railroads in Kentucky and Tennessee. In 1864, Harrison and his regiment joined William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign and moved to the front lines. On January 2, 1864, Harrison was promoted to command the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division of the XX Corps. He commanded the brigade at the Battles of Resaca, Cassville, New Hope Church, Lost Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Marietta, Peachtree Creek and Atlanta. When Sherman's main force made its March to the Sea, Harrison's brigade was transferred to the District of Etowah and participated in the Battle of Nashville.[25] On March 22, 1865, Harrison earned his final promotion, to the rank of Brigadier General, and marched in the Grand Review in Washington, D.C. before mustering out of the army on June 8, 1865.[25]

Post-war career

Indiana politics

While serving in the army in October 1864, Harrison was reelected reporter of the Supreme Court of Indiana and served four more years.[26] The position was not politically powerful, but did afford Harrison a steady income.[26] Harrison's public profile was raised when President Grant appointed him to represent the federal government in a civil claim brought by Lambdin P. Milligan, whose wartime conviction for treason had been reversed by the Supreme Court. Due to Harrison's advocacy, the damages awarded against the government were minimal.[27] Local Republicans urged Harrison to run for Congress, but he initially confined his political activities to speaking on behalf of other Republican candidates, a task for which he received high praises from his colleagues.[28]

Benjamin Harrison Home in Indianapolis

In 1872, Harrison entered the race for the Republican nomination for governor of Indiana. He was unable to get the support of former Governor Oliver Morton, who favored his opponent, Thomas M. Browne, and ultimately Harrison lost his bid for statewide office.[29] Harrison returned to his law practice where, despite the Panic of 1873, he was financially successful enough to build a grand new home in Indianapolis in 1874.[30] He continued to make speeches on behalf of Republican candidates and policies.[31]

In 1876 Harrison did not initially seek his party's nomination for governor, but when the original nominee dropped out of the race, Harrison accepted the Republicans' invitation to take his place on the ticket.[32] His campaign was based strongly on economic policy, and he favored deflating the national currency. His policies proved popular with his base, but he was ultimately defeated by a plurality to James D. Williams, losing by 5,084 votes out of a total 434,457 cast.[33] Harrison remained a prominent Republican in Indiana following his defeat, and when the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 reached Indianapolis, he helped to mediate between the workers and management and to preserve public order.[34]

When Senator Morton died in 1878, the Republicans nominated Harrison to run for the seat, but the party failed to gain a majority in the state legislature, and the Democratic majority elected Daniel W. Voorhees instead.[35] President Hayes appointed Harrison to the Mississippi River Commission in 1879, which was founded to facilitate internal improvements on that river.[36] He was a delegate at the 1880 Republican National Convention the following year.[37]

United States Senator

Walter Q. Gresham, Harrison's rival within the Indiana Republican Party

After Harrison led the Republican delegation to the National Convention, he was again mentioned as a possible Senate candidate.[38] He gave speeches in favor of Garfield in Indiana and New York, further raising his profile in the party. When the Republicans retook the state legislature, Harrison's election to the Senate was threatened by his intra-party rival Judge Walter Q. Gresham, but Harrison was ultimately chosen.[38] After President James Garfield's victory in 1880, Harrison was offered a cabinet position, but he declined to begin his term as senator.[39]

Harrison served in the Senate from March 4, 1881, to March 4, 1887 . He was chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard (47th Congress) and U.S. Senate Committee on Territories (48th and 49th Congresses).[40] The major issue confronting Senator Harrison in 1881 was the budget surplus. Democrats wished to reduce the tariff, thus limiting the amount of money the government took in; Republicans instead wished to spend the money on internal improvements and pensions for Civil War veterans. Harrison took his party's side and advocated for generous pensions for veterans and their widows.[41] Harrison also supported, unsuccessfully, aid for education of Southerners, especially the children of the slaves freed in the Civil War, believing that education was necessary to make the white and black populations truly equal in political and economic power.[42] Harrison differed from his party in opposing the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, believing that it violated existing treaties with China.[43]

In 1884, Harrison and Gresham again opposed each other, this time for influence at the 1884 Republican National Convention.[44] The delegation ended up supporting James G. Blaine, the eventual nominee.[44] In the Senate, Harrison achieved passage of his Dependent Pension Bill only to see it vetoed by President Grover Cleveland.[45] His efforts to further the admission of new western states were stymied by Democrats, who feared that the new states would elect Republicans to Congress.[45]

In 1885, the Democrats redistricted the Indiana state legislature, which resulted in an increased Democratic majority in 1886, despite an overall Republican majority statewide.[46] Harrison was defeated in his bid for reelection, the result being determined against him after a deadlock in the state senate, with the legislature eventually choosing Democrat David Turpie.[47] Harrison returned to Indianapolis and his law practice, but stayed active in state and national politics.[48]

Election of 1888


Harrison-Morton campaign poster
Inauguration of Benjamin Harrison, March 4, 1889. Cleveland held Harrison's umbrella.
Results of the 1888 election, with states won by Harrison in red, and those won by Cleveland in blue.

The initial favorite for the Republican nomination was the previous nominee, James G. Blaine of Maine. After Blaine wrote several letters denying any interest in the nomination, his supporters divided among other candidates, with John Sherman of Ohio as the leader among them.[49] Others, including Chauncey Depew of New York, Russell Alger of Michigan, and Harrison's old nemesis Walter Q. Gresham, now a federal appellate court judge in Chicago, also sought the delegates' support at the 1888 Republican National Convention.[49] Blaine did not choose any of the candidates as a successor, so none entered the convention with a majority of the Blaine supporters.

Harrison placed fourth on the first ballot, with Sherman in the lead, and the next few ballots showed little change.[50] The Blaine supporters shifted their support around among the candidates they found acceptable, and when they shifted to Harrison, they found a candidate who could attract the votes of many delegates.[51] He was nominated on the eighth ballot by 544 to 108 votes, winning the Republican presidential nomination.[52] Levi P. Morton of New York was chosen as his running mate.[53]

Election over Cleveland

Harrison's opponent in the general election was incumbent President Grover Cleveland. He ran a front-porch campaign, typical of the era, in which the candidate does not campaign but only receives delegations and makes pronouncements from his home town.[54] The Republicans campaigned heavily on the issue of protective tariffs, turning out protectionist voters in the important industrial states of the North. The election focused on the swing states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Harrison's home state of Indiana.[55] Harrison and Cleveland split these four states, with Harrison winning by means of notoriously fraudulent balloting in New York and Indiana.[56] Voter turnout was 79.3% because of a large interest in the campaign issue, and nearly eleven million votes were cast.[57] Although Harrison received 90,000 fewer popular votes than Cleveland, he carried the Electoral College 233 to 168.[58]

Although he had made no political bargains, his supporters had given many pledges upon his behalf. When Boss Matthew Quay of Pennsylvania, who rebuffed for a Cabinet position for his political support during the convention, heard that Harrison ascribed his narrow victory to Providence, Quay exclaimed that Harrison would never know "how close a number of men were compelled to approach...the penitentiary to make him President."[59] Harrison was known as the Centennial President because his inauguration celebrated the centenary of the first inauguration of George Washington in 1789.[60]

Presidency 1889–1893


Harrison was sworn into office on Monday, March 4, 1889 by Chief Justice Melville Fuller.[61] Harrison's inauguration ceremony took place during a rainstorm in Washington D.C.. Cleveland attended the ceremony and held the umbrella over Harrison's head while he gave the oath of office. His speech was brief and half as long as that of his grandfather, William Henry Harrison, who held the record with the longest Inaugural Address.[61] John Philip Sousa's Marine Corps band played at the Inaugural Ball inside the Pension Building with a large crowd attending.[62]

Civil service reform and pensions

Civil service reform was a prominent issue following Harrison's election. Harrison had campaigned as a supporter of the merit system, as opposed to the spoils system.[63] Although some of the civil service had been classified under the Pendleton Act by previous administrations, Harrison spent much of his first months in office deciding on political appointments.[64] Congress was widely divided on the issue and Harrison was reluctant to address the issue in hope of preventing the alienation of either side. The issue became a political football of the time and was immortalized in a cartoon captioned "What can I do when both parties insist on kicking?"[65] Harrison appointed Theodore Roosevelt and Hugh Smith Thompson, both reformers, to the Civil Service Commission, but otherwise did little to further the reform cause.[66]

Harrison quickly saw the enactment of the Dependent and Disability Pension Act in 1890, a cause he had championed while in Congress.[67] In addition to providing pensions to disabled Civil War veterans (regardless of the cause of their disability), the Act depleted some of the troublesome federal budget surplus.[67] Pension expenditures reached $135 million under Harrison, the largest expenditure of its kind to that point in American history, a problem exacerbated by Pension Bureau commissioner James R. Tanner's expansive interpretation of the pension laws.[67]


Harrison and the Billion-Dollar Congress are portrayed as wasting the surplus in this cartoon from Puck.

The issue of tariff levels had been a major point of contention in American politics since before the Civil War, and tariffs became the most prominent issue of the 1888 election.[68] The high tariff rates had created a surplus of money in the Treasury, which led many Democrats (as well as the growing Populist movement) to call for lowering the rates.[69] Most Republicans wished the rates to remain high, and to spend the surplus on internal improvements as well as the elimination of some internal taxes.[69]

Representative William McKinley and Senator Nelson W. Aldrich framed the McKinley Tariff that would raise the tariff even higher, including making some rates intentionally prohibitive.[70] At Secretary of State James Blaine's urging, Harrison attempted to make the tariff more acceptable by urging Congress to add reciprocity provisions, which would allow the President to reduce rates when other countries reduced their rates on American exports.[68] The tariff was removed from imported raw sugar, and sugar growers in the United States were given a two cent per pound subsidy on their production.[70] Even with the reductions and reciprocity, the McKinley Tariff enacted the highest average rate in American history, and the spending associated with it contributed to the reputation of the Billion-Dollar Congress.[68]

Antitrust laws

Senator John Sherman worked closely with Harrison, writing bills regulating monopolies and monetary policy.

Members of both parties were concerned with the growth of the power of trusts and monopolies, and one of the first acts of the 51st Congress was to pass the Sherman Antitrust Act, sponsored by Senator John Sherman of Ohio.[71] The Act passed by wide margins in both houses, and Harrison signed it into law.[71] The Sherman Act was the first Federal act of its kind, and marked a new use of federal government power.[72] While Harrison approved of the law and its intent, there is no evidence he ever sought to enforce it very vigorously.[73] The government successfully concluded only one case during Harrison's time in office (against a Tennessee coal company),[74] although it did pursue cases against several other trusts.[73]


One of the most volatile issues of the 1880s was whether the currency should be backed by gold and silver, or by gold alone.[75] The issue cut across party lines, with western Republicans and southern Democrats joining together in the call for the free coinage of silver, and both parties' representatives in the northeast holding firm for the gold standard.[76] Because silver was worth less than its legal equivalent in gold, taxpayers paid their government bills in silver, while international creditors demanded payment in gold, resulting in a depletion of the nation's gold supply.[76] Owing to worldwide deflation in the late nineteenth century, however, a strict gold standard had resulted in reduction of incomes without the equivalent reduction in debts, pushing debtors and the poor to call for silver coinage as an inflationary measure.[76]

The silver coinage issue had not been much discussed in the 1888 campaign, so Harrison's exact position on the issue was initially unclear, but his appointment of a silverite Treasury Secretary, William Windom, encouraged the free silver supporters.[77] Harrison attempted to steer a middle course between the two positions, advocating a free coinage of silver, but at its own value, not at a fixed ratio to gold.[78] This served only to disappoint both factions. In July 1890, Senator Sherman achieved passage of a compromise bill, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, in both houses.[78] Harrison thought that the bill would end the controversy, and he signed it into law.[79] The effect of the bill, however, was the increased depletion of the nation's gold supply, a problem that would persist until the second Cleveland administration resolved it.[80]

Civil Rights

Harrison endorsed the proposed Federal Elections Bill written by Representative Henry Cabot Lodge and Senator George Frisbie Hoar in 1890, but the bill was defeated in the Senate.[81] This was to be the last civil rights legislation attempted by Congress until the 1920s.[82] Following the failure to pass the bill, Harrison continued to speak in favor of African American civil rights in addresses to Congress. In 1892, Harrison went before Congress and declared, "…The frequent lynching of colored people is without the excuse...that the accused have an undo influence over courts and juries." However, Harrison believed the U.S. Constitution did not permit him to end the practice of lynching. Harrison did question the authority of the states in terms of establishing civil rights, arguing that if states have the authority over civil rights, then "we have a right to ask whether they are at work upon it."[81]


In Harrison's time in office, the United States was continuing to experience advances in science and technology. Harrison was the earliest President whose voice is known to be preserved. That About this sound thirty-six-second recording was originally made on a wax phonograph cylinder in 1889 by Giuseppe Bettini.[83] Harrison also had electricity installed in the White House for the first time by Edison General Electric Company, but he and his wife would not touch the light switches for fear of electrocution and would often go to sleep with the lights on.[84]

Foreign policy

The First International Conference of American States met in Washington in 1889, establishing an information center that later became the Pan American Union.[85] The conference failed to achieve any diplomatic breakthrough, but that failure led the Secretary of State Blaine to focus on tariff reciprocity with Latin American nations, which was more successful.[86] Harrison sent Frederick Douglass as ambassador to Haiti, but failed in his attempts to establish a naval base there.[87]

The first international crisis Harrison had to face occurred over fishing rights on the Alaskan coast. Canada claimed fishing and sealing rights around many of the Aleutian Islands, in violation of U.S. law.[88] As a result, the United States Navy seized several Canadian ships.[88] In 1891, the administration began negotiations with the British that would eventually lead to a compromise over fishing rights after international arbitration, with the British government paying compensation in 1898.[89]

Sailors from the USS Baltimore caused the major foreign affairs crisis of Harrison's administration.

In 1891, a diplomatic crisis arose in Chile, later called the Baltimore Crisis. The American minister to Chile, Patrick Egan, granted asylum to Chileans who were seeking refuge from Chilean Civil War.[90] This raised tensions between Chile and the United States, and when sailors from the Baltimore took shore leave in Valparaiso, a fight broke out, resulting in the deaths of two American sailors and three dozen arrested.[91] With Blaine out of town, Harrison himself drafted a demand for reparations.[92] The Chilean minister of foreign affairs replied that Harrison's message was "erroneous or deliberately incorrect," and said that the Chilean government was treating the affair the same as any other criminal matter.[92] Tensions increased as Harrison threatened to break off diplomatic relations unless the United States received a suitable apology.[92] Ultimately, after Blaine returned to the capital, the administration made conciliatory overtures to the Chilean government. After the letter was withdrawn, war was averted.[93]

In the last days of his administration, Harrison dealt with the issue of Hawaiian annexation. Following a coup d'état against Queen Liliuokalani, the new government of Hawaii led by Sanford Dole petitioned for annexation by the United States.[94] Harrison was interested in expanding American influence in Hawaii and in establishing a naval base at Pearl Harbor but had not previously expressed an opinion on annexing the islands.[95] The United States consul in Hawaii John L. Stevens recognized the new government on February 1, 1893 and forwarded their proposals to Washington. With just one month left before leaving office, the administration signed a treaty on February 14 and submitted it to the Senate the next day with Harrison's recommendation.[94] The Senate failed to act, and President Cleveland withdrew the treaty shortly after taking office.[96]


The Harrison Cabinet
Office Name Term
President Benjamin Harrison 1889–1893
Vice President Levi P. Morton 1889–1893
Secretary of State James G. Blaine 1889–1892
John W. Foster 1892–1893
Secretary of Treasury William Windom 1889–1891
Charles W. Foster 1891–1893
Secretary of War Redfield Proctor 1889–1891
Stephen B. Elkins 1891–1893
Attorney General William H. H. Miller 1889–1893
Postmaster General John Wanamaker 1889–1893
Secretary of the Navy Benjamin F. Tracy 1889–1893
Secretary of the Interior John W. Noble 1889–1893
Secretary of Agriculture Jeremiah M. Rusk 1889–1893
Harrison's cabinet in 1889
Front row, left to right: Harrison, William Windom, John Wanamaker, Redfield Proctor, James G. Blaine
Back row, left to right: William H. H. Miller, John W. Noble, Jeremiah M. Rusk, Benjamin F. Tracy

Judicial appointments

Supreme Court

Harrison appointed four Supreme Court justices, including David Josiah Brewer.

Harrison appointed four justices to the Supreme Court of the United States. His first nominee was David Josiah Brewer, a judge on the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Brewer, the nephew of Justice Field, had previously been considered for a cabinet position.[97] Shortly after Brewer's nomination, Justice Matthews died, creating another vacancy. Harrison had considered Henry Billings Brown, a Michigan judge and admiralty law expert, for the first vacancy and now nominated him for the second.[97] For the third vacancy, which arose in 1892, Harrison nominated George Shiras. Shiras's appointment was somewhat controversial because his age—sixty—was older than usual for a newly appointed Justice.[97] Shiras also drew the opposition of Senator Matthew Quay of Pennsylvania because they were in different factions of the Pennsylvania Republican party, but his nomination was nonetheless approved.[97] Finally, at the end of his term, Harrison nominated Howell Edmunds Jackson to replace Justice Lamar, who died in January 1893. Harrison knew the incoming Senate would be controlled by Democrats, so he selected Jackson, a respected Tennessee Democrat with whom he was friendly to ensure his nominee would not be rejected.[97] Jackson's nomination was indeed successful, but he died after only two years on the Court.[97]

Other courts

In addition to his Supreme Court appointments, Harrison appointed ten judges to the courts of appeals, two judges to the circuit courts, and 26 judges to the district courts. Because Harrison was in office when Congress eliminated the circuit courts in favor of the courts of appeals, he and Grover Cleveland were the only two Presidents to have appointed judges to both bodies.

States admitted to the Union

When Harrison took office, no new states had been admitted in more than a decade, owing to Congressional Democrats' reluctance to admit states that they believed would send Republican members. Early in Harrison's term, however, the lame duck Congress passed bills that admitted four states to the union: North Dakota and South Dakota on November 2, 1889, Montana on November 8, and Washington on November 11.[98] The following year two more states held constitutional conventions and were admitted: Idaho on July 3 and Wyoming on July 10, 1890.[98] The initial Congressional delegations from all six states were solidly Republican.[98] More states were admitted under Harrison's presidency than any other since George Washington's.

Reelection campaign in 1892

Official White House portrait of Benjamin Harrison, painted by Eastman Johnson

Long before the end of the Harrison Administration, the treasury surplus had evaporated and the nation's economic health was worsening with the approach of the conditions that would lead to the Panic of 1893.[99] Congressional elections in 1890 went against the Republicans, several party leaders withdrew their support for President Harrison, although he had cooperated with Congressional Republicans on legislation, and it was clear that Harrison would not be re-nominated unanimously.[100] Many of Harrison's detractors pushed for the nomination of Blaine, until Blaine publicly proclaimed himself not to be a candidate in February 1892.[100] Some party leaders still hoped to draft Blaine into running, and speculation increased when Blaine resigned as Secretary of State in June.[101] At the convention in Minneapolis, Harrison prevailed on the first ballot, but not without significant opposition.[102]

Results of the 1892 election, with states won by Harrison in red, those won by Cleveland in blue, and those won by Weaver in green.

The Democrats renominated former President Cleveland, making the 1892 election a rematch of the one four years earlier. The issue of the tariff had worked to the Republicans' advantage in 1888, but the revisions of the past four years had made imported goods so expensive that now many voters shifted to the reform position.[103] Many westerners, traditionally Republican voters, defected to the new Populist Party candidate, James Weaver, who promised free silver, generous veterans' pensions, and an eight-hour work day.[104] The effects of the suppression of the Homestead Strike rebounded against the Republicans as well, even though no federal action was involved.[104]

Just two weeks before the election, on October 25, Harrison's wife Caroline died after a long battle with tuberculosis.[105] Harrison did not actively campaign on his own behalf during his reelection bid and remained with his wife. Their daughter Mary Harrison McKee continued the duties of the First Lady after her mother's death.[106]

Neither Harrison nor Cleveland actively campaigned during the election—the first time no candidate campaigned in a presidential election.[107] Cleveland ultimately won the election with 227 electoral votes to Harrison's 145. Cleveland also won in the popular vote 5,556,918 to 5,176,108.[108]


Grave of President Harrison and his two wives in Indianapolis, Indiana

After he left office, Harrison returned to Indiana. From July 1895 to March 1901, Harrison was on the Board of Trustees of Purdue University. Harrison Hall, a campus dormitory, was named in his honor.[109] In 1896 he remarried, to Mary Scott Lord Dimmick, the niece of his deceased wife, and 25 years his junior. Harrison's two adult children, Russell, 41 years old at the time, and Mary (Mamie), 38, did not attend the wedding because they disagreed with their father's marriage. Benjamin and Mary had one child, Elizabeth (February 21, 1897 – December 26, 1955).[110] In 1899 Harrison went to the First Peace Conference at The Hague. He wrote a series of articles about the Federal government and the presidency, which were republished in 1897 as a book titled This Country of Ours.[111] For a few months in 1894, he moved to San Francisco, California, and taught and gave law lectures at Stanford University.[112] In 1896 some of Harrison's friends in the Republican party tried to convince him to seek the presidency again, but he declined and openly supported William McKinley and traveled around the nation making appearances and speeches on McKinley's behalf.[113]

In 1900 Harrison served as an attorney for the Republic of Venezuela in their boundary dispute with the United Kingdom.[114] The two nations disputed the border between Venezuela and British Guiana. An international trial was agreed upon and the Venezuelan government hired Harrison to represent them in the case. He filed an 800-page brief for them and traveled to Paris where he spent more than 25 hours arguing in court. Although he lost the case, his legal arguments won him international renown.[115]

Harrison developed a heavy cold in February 1901. Despite treatment by steam vapor inhalation, his condition only worsened, and he died from influenza and pneumonia at his home on Wednesday, March 13, 1901, at the age of 67. Harrison is interred in Indianapolis's Crown Hill Cemetery, along with both of his wives.[116]

See also


  1. ^ Calhoun, pp. 7–8; Moore, p. 15. Although he was the eighth Benjamin Harrison in his family, Harrison is known simply as Benjamin Harrison, rather than Benjamin Harrison VIII.
  2. ^ Calhoun, p. 8
  3. ^ Calhoun, p. 9; Sievers, v. 1, pp. 21–23
  4. ^ Sievers, v. 1, pp. 22–23
  5. ^ Sievers, v. 1, pp. 24–29
  6. ^ Sievers, v. 1, pp. 29–30
  7. ^ Wallace, p. 53. The school was later known as Belmont College. After Belmont closed, the campus was transferred to the Ohio Military Institute, which closed in 1958.
  8. ^ Moore, pp. 21–23; Sievers, v. 1, p. 58
  9. ^ a b Calhoun, p. 23
  10. ^ Calhoun, pp. 10–11; Sievers, v. 1, pp. 31–34
  11. ^ Wallace, p. 58
  12. ^ Calhoun, pp. 11–12, p. 23
  13. ^ Calhoun, p. 10
  14. ^ a b Calhoun, pp. 27 & 29
  15. ^ Calhoun, p. 26
  16. ^ Calhoun, p. 22
  17. ^ Calhoun, p. 18
  18. ^ [#moore|Moore], p. 29
  19. ^ Calhoun, p. 28; Sievers, v. 1, p. 105
  20. ^ Calhoun, p. 59
  21. ^ Sievers, v. 1, p. 171
  22. ^ Calhoun, p. 20
  23. ^ Wallace, p. 180; Calhoun, p. 34
  24. ^ Wallace, pp. 180–181; Calhoun, pp. 21–23, p. 41, p. 44
  25. ^ a b Calhoun, pp. 36–44; Wallace, pp. 209–225
  26. ^ a b Calhoun, p.19
  27. ^ Wallace, pp. 93–94, p. 119
  28. ^ Calhoun, pp.27–28; Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 8
  29. ^ Moore, p. 28
  30. ^ Calhoun, p. 29
  31. ^ Calhoun, p. 30
  32. ^ Calhoun, p. 32; Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 8
  33. ^ Wallace, p. 266; Calhoun, pp. 32 & 58
  34. ^ Calhoun, pp. 33–34
  35. ^ Calhoun, pp. 35–36. Before the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Senators were elected by state legislatures.
  36. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 8
  37. ^ Calhoun, p. 36
  38. ^ a b Calhoun, p. 37
  39. ^ Calhoun, p. 60; Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 8
  40. ^ Wallace, pp. 265–267; Calhoun, p. 59
  41. ^ Calhoun, p. 39
  42. ^ Calhoun, pp. 39–40
  43. ^ Calhoun, p. 40
  44. ^ a b Calhoun, p. 41–42
  45. ^ a b Calhoun, p.42
  46. ^ Calhoun, pp. 43–44
  47. ^ Moore, p. 66
  48. ^ Calhoun, pp. 45–46
  49. ^ a b Calhoun, p. 47
  50. ^ Calhoun, p. 50
  51. ^ Calhoun, pp. 51–52
  52. ^ Wallace, p. 271
  53. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 9
  54. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 11
  55. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 10
  56. ^ Calhoun, p. 43; Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 13
  57. ^ Calhoun, p. 57
  58. ^ Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (November 5, 2008).
  59. ^ Calhoun, pp. 55, 60
  60. ^ Calhoun, pp. 47–54
  61. ^ a b Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 1–2
  62. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 5–6
  63. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 32
  64. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, pp.32–36
  65. ^ Moore, pp. 83, 86
  66. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 39–41
  67. ^ a b c Socolofsky & Spetter, pp.36–37; Calhoun, pp. 72–73
  68. ^ a b c Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 51
  69. ^ a b Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 49
  70. ^ a b Calhoun, pp. 100–104; Socolofsky & Spetter, pp. 51–52
  71. ^ a b Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 53
  72. ^ Calhoun, pp. 92–93
  73. ^ a b Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 54; Calhoun, p.94
  74. ^ The case was United States v. Jellico Mountain Coal, 46 Fed., 432. June 4, 1891
  75. ^ Calhoun, pp. 94–95
  76. ^ a b c Calhoun, pp. 94–95; Socolofsky & Spetter, pp. 55–59
  77. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, pp. 56–57
  78. ^ a b Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 58; Calhoun, p. 96
  79. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 59
  80. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 60
  81. ^ a b Wilson, Kirt H. (2005). "1". The Politics of Place and Presidential Rhetoric in the United States, 1875-1901. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  82. ^ Schneider, Mark (1997). Boston confronts Jim Crow, 1890-1920. pp. 29–30. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  83. ^ "President Benjamin Harrison". Vincent Voice Library. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  84. ^ Moore, p. 96
  85. ^ Moore, p. 108
  86. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 118
  87. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, pp. 126–128
  88. ^ a b Socolofsky & Spetter, pp. 137–138
  89. ^ Moore, pp. 135–136; Socolofsky & Spetter, pp. 139–143
  90. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 146
  91. ^ Calhoun, p. 127
  92. ^ a b c Calhoun, pp. 128–129; Socolofsky & Spetter, pp. 147–149
  93. ^ Moore, p. 134
  94. ^ a b Socolofsky & Spetter, pp. 204–205
  95. ^ Calhoun, pp. 125–126
  96. ^ Calhoun, p. 132; Moore, p. 147
  97. ^ a b c d e f Socolofsky & Spetter, pp. 188–190
  98. ^ a b c Socolofsky & Spetter, pp. 44–45
  99. ^ Calhoun, pp. 107, 126–127
  100. ^ a b Calhoun, pp. 134–137
  101. ^ Calhoun, pp. 138–139
  102. ^ Calhoun, pp. 140–141
  103. ^ Calhoun, pp. 147–150
  104. ^ a b Calhoun, pp. 145–147
  105. ^ Calhoun, p. 149
  106. ^ Calhoun, p. 156; Moore, pp. 143–145
  107. ^ Moore, p. 146
  108. ^ Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (February 22, 2008).
  109. ^ Moore, 150
  110. ^ Moore, 153
  111. ^ Harrison, Benjamin (1897). This Country of Ours. Charles Scribner's Sons. 
  112. ^ Calhoun, p. 158
  113. ^ Calhoun, pp. 160–161
  114. ^ Moore, 155
  115. ^ Calhoun, pp. 160–163
  116. ^ Moore, 156


Further reading

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Grover Cleveland
President of the United States
March 4, 1889–March 4, 1893
Succeeded by
Grover Cleveland
United States Senate
Preceded by
Joseph E. McDonald
United States Senator (Class 1) from Indiana
March 4, 1881–March 3, 1887
Served alongside: Daniel W. Voorhees
Succeeded by
David Turpie
Party political offices
Preceded by
James G. Blaine
Republican Party presidential candidate
1888, 1892
Succeeded by
William McKinley
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Rutherford B. Hayes
Oldest U.S. President still living
January 17, 1893–March 13, 1901
Succeeded by
Grover Cleveland


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Benjamin Harrison VI (1833-08-201901-03-13) was the 23rd (1889-1893) President of the United States.

Sourced Quotes

  • God forbid that the day should ever come when, in the American mind, the thought of man as a "consumer" shall submerge the old American thought of man as a creature of God, endowed with "unalienable rights."
    • "The Status of Annexed Territory and of Its Free Civilized Inhabitants" in North American Review, vol. 172, no. 530, January 1901, p. 22.
  • I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process.

Unsourced Quotes

  • I knew that my staying up would not change the election result if I were defeated, while if elected I had a hard day ahead of me. So I thought a night's rest was best in any event.
  • We Americans have no commission from God to police the world.
  • The virtues of courage and patriotism have given recent proof of their continued presence and increasing power in the hearts and over the lives of our people. [First Inaugural Address]

External links

Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Wikipedia has an article about:

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Database error article)

From LoveToKnow 1911

(There is currently no text in this page)


Up to date as of February 01, 2010
(Redirected to Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901) article)

From Familypedia

Benjamin Harrison
Birth August 20, 1833 in North Bend, Hamilton County, Ohio "North Bend, Ohio"
Death: March 13, 1901 in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana "Indianapolis, Indiana"
Father: John Scott Harrison (1804-1878)
Mother: Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin (1810-1850)
Skill(s): Lawyer
Wife: Caroline Lavinia Scott (1832-1892)
Wedding: 1853 in Oxford, Butler County, Ohio "Oxford, Ohio"
Wife (2): Mary Scott Lord (1858-1948)
Wedding2: 1896
Edit facts

For other uses of the name, see Benjamin Harrison (disambiguation)

Benjamin Harrison was born 20 August 1833 in North Bend, Hamilton County, Ohio to John Scott Harrison (1804-1878) and Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin (1810-1850) and died 13 March 1901 in Indianapolis, in Marion County, in Indiana, at the age of 67 years of unspecified causes. Benjamin married Caroline Lavinia Scott 1853 in Oxford, Butler County, Ohio.

For a detailed biography, see the Biography tab.


Offspring of  Benjamin Harrison and Caroline Lavinia Scott (1832-1892)
Name Birth Death
Russell Benjamin Harrison (1854-1936)
Mary Scott Harrison (1858-1930)
Edit facts

Offspring of  Benjamin Harrison and Mary Scott Lord (1858-1948)
Name Birth Death
Elizabeth Harrison (1897-1955)
Edit facts

Citations and remarks



This article uses material from the "Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901)" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Benjamin Harrison
File:President Benjamin Harrison

In office
March 4, 1889 – March 3, 1893
Vice President Levi P. Morton
Preceded by Grover Cleveland
Succeeded by Grover Cleveland

Born August 20, 1833
North Bend, Ohio
Died March 13, 1901
Indianapolis, Indiana
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse Caroline Scott Harrison (1st wife)
Mary Scott Lord Dimmick (2nd wife)

Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833March 13, 1901) was the 23rd President of the United States (1889-1893). He was the Grandson of William Henry Harrison. His home was Indianapolis, Indiana. He was a member of the Republican party. He was elected to the White House in 1888, beating Grover Cleveland, the 22nd President of the United States.

After Benjamin Harrison served one full four-year term as President, Cleveland ran again and, this time, beat Harrison. Benjamin Harrison's first wife was Carrie Harrison. After Carrie Harrison died, his second wife was Mary Dimmick Harrison. Besides being President, Benjamin Harrison was a successful lawyer. He argued many cases before the United States Supreme Court.


Benjamin Harrison as president wanted to increase tariffs (a tax on goods that come into the country) for two reasons:

  • First, it gave more money to the U.S. government, so it could fund important things.
  • Second, because he believed in protectionism. Protectionism was the belief that a high tariff would encourage Americans

to make more of their own things instead of buying them from foreign countries.

Harrison spent the money received from the tariffs to give money to injured American Civil War veterans.

Harrison was the first president to have a billion dollar budget for the government. People criticized him for that.

He also signed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act which gave the U.S. government the power to regulate big businesses.

Harrison did not use that power much.

Other websites

Error creating thumbnail: sh: convert: command not found
Wikimedia Commons has images, video, and/or sound related to:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address