*Includes accounts of Harrison's battles and Harrison's quotes about his career
*Includes online resources and a bibliography
"Old Tip he wore a homespun coat, he had no ruffled shirt: wirt-wirt,
But Matt he has the golden plate, and he's a little squirt: wirt-wirt!" - A Whig campaign slogan during the 1840 election
When one is looking quickly over the lives of the Presidents of the United States, it is easy to overlook William Henry Harrison. After all, he only served as the Chief Executive for 30 days, and he spent the majority of those in bed, fighting for his life and eventually losing. However, to ignore Harrison because he served such a short time in the White House is just as foolish as ignoring Patrick Henry or Alexander Hamilton because they were never elected to the nation's highest office.
In fact, like Henry, Hamilton, and many others from the early days of the Republic, Harrison served his country in many ways and was one of the most consequential figures both in politics and the military, which makes it all the more unfortunate that much the same way Hamilton is remembered for the duel with Aaron Burr, Harrison is remembered for being the first president to die in office.
The manner of Harrison's death, and the length of his inaugural address, have overshadowed the various facets of his life and career. For instance, few people know of his famous family, how he dropped out of medical school to become a soldier, and how he eloped with a young woman and went on to have 10 children with her. Harrison's early political career also remains relatively unknown; few realize that he spent much of his early adulthood in what was then still wilderness, first as a soldier, then as the Territorial Governor of the Indiana Territory. Older Americans may have heard the phrase used during his election - "Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too" - but even that battle was overshadowed by the War of 1812. Many people look at his austere portrait and do not realize that he served in both the United States House and Senate, and that he also lived in South America as an American diplomat. Even during his short presidency, he accomplished lasting work, laying the foundation for what later became the rules of the American Civil Service system. Thus, even while it is true that he had the shortest presidency in American history, Harrison managed to accomplish more for the long term good of the nation than other men have in a much longer time.
William Henry Harrison: The Life and Legacy of the First American President to Die in Office looks at one of America's foremost military heroes of the early 19th century. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about William Henry Harrison like never before.
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