Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Harrison, William Henry

HARRISON, WILLIAM HENRY, an American statesman, 9th President of the United States; born in Berkeley, Va., Feb. 9, 1773. He served in the Indian War on General Wayne's staff, 1791-1792, and in 1797 was appointed captain in command of Fort Washington, on the present site of Cincinnati, O. On the conclusion of the war, he became Secretary of the Northwest Territory (1798), resigning the next year to enter Congress as delegate from that Territory. In 1801 he was appointed governor of Indiana Territory, and made superintendent of Indian Affairs. He made important treaties with the Indians, and won considerable fame by a victory over a force of Indians, in the battle of Tippecanoe, in 1811. In 1812 he was intrusted with full military command on the Northwest frontier, with the rank of Brigadier-General, and the following year was promoted to Major-General. During this year he distinguished himself by his defense of Fort Meigs, and in the battle of the Thames. After the War of 1812, he was sent to Congress, 1816; to the Ohio State Senate, 1819; to to United States Senate, 1825; and as United States minister to Columbia, 1828. After a retirement of 12 years, he was nominated for the presidency by the Whig party, against Van Buren, in the famous “log-cabin” and “hard cider” campaign. Harrison was said by his opponents to live in a log cabin and to be given to the habit of drinking hard cider. These reproaches were turned into watch-words by the Whigs, and aroused unprecedented enthusiasm. He died April 4, 1841, just a month after his inauguration, leaving the presidency to the Vice-President, John Tyler.