Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Harrison, Benjamin (statesman)

774363Collier's New Encyclopedia — Harrison, Benjamin (statesman)

HARRISON, BENJAMIN, an American statesman, 23d President of the United States; born in North Bend, O., Aug. 20, 1833. He was a great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and grandson of William Henry Harrison, 9th President of the United States. He was graduated at Miami University; studied law in Cincinnati; removed to Indianapolis, Ind., in 1854, and laid the foundation of a fine legal practice; entered the Union army in 1862, serving with conspicuous gallantry in the Atlanta campaign, finally returning to civil life at the close of the war with the rank of brevet Brigadier-General; was the Republican candidate for governor of Indiana in 1876, but was defeated; was elected to the United States Senate in 1881, where he added to his reputation as a sound thinker and a polished debator; at the Republican Convention held in Chicago, June, 1888, he was nominated for the presidency of the United States; elected in the ensuing November; and inaugurated March 4, 1889. His administration was quiet, successful, and measurably popular. It was marked by the amicable settlement of the trouble with Chile and by the passage of the McKinley Tariff Bill. In 1892 he received again the nomination in the National Republican Convention, but by this time the able and persistent attacks of the Democracy on the high tariff policy led to a general revulsion against it, and he was defeated at the election by Cleveland. He thereupon pursued a private law practice, occasionally giving public addresses. He died in Indianapolis, Ind., March 13, 1901.