The New Student's Reference Work/Harrison, Benjamin

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BENJAMIN HARRISON

Harrison, Benjamin, twenty-third president of the United States, was born at North Bend, Ohio, Aug. 20, 1833. His grand-father, William Henry Harrison, was the ninth president, and Benjamin's father was William Henry's third son. Benjamin Harrison graduated at Miami University, at Oxford, O., in 1852, and two years afterward earned his first money as a crier in the Federal court in Indianapolis, where he had gone to commence practice as a lawyer. He was elected supreme-court reporter of Indiana in 1860, but joined the army during his term. In 1862 he raised a company, of which he was made second lieutenant. As colonel of the 70th Indiana volunteers, he was ordered to Kentucky. He took part under Sherman in the Atlanta campaign, and distinguished himself at Resaca and at Peach Tree Creek. He also was engaged in the battle of Nashville in December, 1864, under Thomas; and in 1865 was made brevet brigadier-general. At the close of the war he again took up the practice of law. In 1876 he was nominated for governor of Indiana, but was defeated, though running 2,000 votes ahead of his ticket. He declined a seat in Garfield's cabinet in 1880. In 1881 he was chosen United States senator from Indiana. In 1888 he was nominated for president by the Republicans. The campaign turned largely on the question of protection and free-trade, and resulted in Harrison's election over Cleveland by the votes of all the northern states except New Jersey and Connecticut. His administration (1889-93) was an able one, especially in its dealings with foreign questions. Its main features were the Pan-American Congress, held at Washington to promote commerce and more friendly relations between the republics of North and South America; the dispute with Great Britain in regard to the right of the United States to protect the seals in Bering Sea; the McKinley tariff bill, including reciprocity in trade with foreign countries; the dispute with Chile, because of the attack on American sailors at Valparaiso; and the dispute with Italy, because of the lynching of Italians in New Orleans. He was renominated in 1892, but was defeated by Cleveland. He died at Indianapolis on March 13, 1901.