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WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON,
THE NINTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
ILLIAM HENRY HARRISON was born at Berkley, about twenty-five miles from Richmond, Virginia, on the 9th of February, 1773. His father, Benjamin Harrison, was an active patriot of the Revolution,* and was subsequently governor
of Virginia. WILLIAM Henry was the youngest of three sons, and the favorite of his father. After completing a collegiate course at Hampden Sydney, he was sent to Philadelphia to prosecute the study of medicine. He had scarcely arrived there, when the shocking news of his father's death reached him, and damped his ardor for his profession. Contrary to the wishes and advice of his guardian (the celebrated Robert Morris), he resolved to enter the army;
and having obtained from Washington an ensign's commission, he departed for the western wilderness, to engage in the Indian wars of that region. He reached Fort Washington (now Cincinnati) in time to hear of the defeat of the whites, and the slaughter of brave leaders and their men.
When General Wayne, in 1794, took the command in the north west, young Harrison was soon noticed for his valor, and made one of his aids. He was promoted to captain; and after the treaty of Greenville, in 1795, he was left in command of Fort Washington. He soon after married the daughter of Judge Symmes, the proprietor of the Miami purchase, and, resigning his military commission, entered upon civil official duties as eecretary of the north western territory.
. In 1799, Harrison was elected the first delegate to Congress from the northwestern territory. Through his influence in Congress, such salutary regulations respecting the sale and occupancy of public lands at the west were effected, that emigration rapidly filled the country with settlers.
When, soon after,. Indiana was erected into a territory, Harri
son was appointed governor thereof by President Adams. He was clothed with extraordinary powers, which subsequently became necessary, for in their exercise he was instrumental in saving the settlers of
• He was a representative from Virginia in the continental Congress, and was chairman of the committee of the whole house when the Declaration of Independence was agreed to. He was also one of the
signers of that instrument. # Now comprising the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and the then undefined territory now known as Iowa and Wisconsin. "The venerable General St. Clair was the gova ernor of the territory..
6 Oct. 5.
Battle of T'ippecanoe.-- Elected president of the United States. - His character and death. that frontier from the hatchet of the savages, whetted by British intrigue.* When the war of 1812 broke out, Harrison found the Indians ripe for conflict, under the teachings of the brave Tecumseh and his prophetbrother. Before that event he took the field in person, and, by his skill and bravery, obtained a decisive victory over the savages at Tippecanoe, the village of Tecumseh. In 1812, he received the appointment of brevet major-general in the Kentucky militia, and on the surrender of Hull, he was appointed a major-general in the army of the United States.
In October, 1813, he achieved the battle of the Thames.t
In 1814, he resigned his commission, in consequence of a misunderstanding with General Armstrong, the secretary of war. President Madison, who held him in the greatest esteem, deeply deplored the act of resignation. General Harrison retired to his farm at North Bend, in Ohio, but the voice of the people called him forth to represent them at various times, both in the state legislature and in the Congress of the United States. In 1824, he was elected to the senate of the United States; and in 1828, he was appointed minister to the republic of Colombia, in South America. In consequence
of difference of views respecting the Panama question, General Jackson recalled him. He retired to his estate at North Bend, with the intention of passing the remainder of his days there in the bosom of his family. But the voice of the people again called him forth, and in 1840 he was elected president of the United States by an overwhelming majority — 234 against 60. John Tyler, of Virginia, was elected vice-president.
General Harrison was inaugurated on the 4th of March, 1841, and made his cabinet appointments from among his political friends. The sound of rejoicing that attended his elevation had scarcely died upon the ear, when a funeral-knell was heard, and the beloved and veteran statesman was a corpse in the presidential mansion! On the 4th of April, just one month after his inauguration, he expired, aged sixty-eight years. I
In person, he was tall and slender, and always enjoyed great bodily vigor. His dark eye was remarkable for its keenness and intelligence. Throughout a long life, he was distinguished for stern integrity, purity of purpose, and patriotism without alloy.
* Among other duties, was that of commissioner to treat with the Indians. He concluded fifteen treaties, and purchased their titles to upward seventy millions of acres of land.
† The victory was achieved by the famous charge of Colonel R. M. Johnson at the head of mounted infantry, a maneuvre originating with General Harrison. Tecumseh was killed by Johnson's own hand. Congress voted a gold medal to be presented to Harrison.
# He appointed Daniel Webster, of Massachusetts, secretary of state ; Thomas Ewing, of Ohio, secretary of the treasury; John Bell, of Tennessee, secretary of war; George E. Badger, of North Carolina, secretary of the navy; Francis Granger, of New York, postmaster-general; and John J. Crittenden, of Kentucky, attorney-general.
|| He fell a victim to the fatigue incident to the attention paid to ceaseless clamor for office, which greatly increased a slight disease caused by a cold. His last words were, “Sir, I wish you to understand the principles of the government. I wish them carried out. I ask nothing
THE TENTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
GAIN, for the sixth time, we record the birthplace of a president in Virginia. The ancestors of John TYLER were among the early English settlers of that state.*
His father was the intimate friend of Jefferson; Patrick 3
Henry, Edmund Randolph, and other leading Virginia patriots, and he was one of the most active “rebels” of the Revolution. He held some of the highest offices (among which was governor) in Virginia, and was a man greatly beloved by the people.
The subject of this sketch was born on the 29th of March, 1790, in Charles City county, Virginia. While a mere child, he was studious, and at the age of twelve years he entered William and Mary college. He graduated at the age of seventeen years, with distinguished-honor, and at once applied himself to the study of law, at first with his father, and afterward with Edmund Randolph.
At nineteen he was ad. mitted to the bar, without any inquiry having been made respecting his
age; and so successful were his efforts, that within three months he was retained in almost every case brought before the court of his native county.
At the age of twenty-one years, young Tyler was elected, by an almost unanimous vote, a member of the Virginia legislature. He was attached to the democratic party, and became exceedingly popular in his state as an orator and sound statesman. He sup
* His lineage connected him with the famous popular leader known as Wat Tyler, who, in the fourteenth century, headed an insurrection in England, and demanded from Richard II. a recognition of the rights of the people. He lost his life in the effort.
+ He was a representative five successive years. On one occasion he received all the votes polled in his district except five; and afterward, when a candidate for Congress, he received one hundred and ninety-nine votes out of two hundred. In the Virginia legislature, he asserted the correctness of the doctrine of instruction, which, twenty-five years afterward, he did not forget, but acted upon the principles he then laid down.