The Presidents of the United States, 1789-1914/Benjamin Harrison


BENJAMIN HARRISON


Benjamin Harrison, twenty-third president of the United States, born in North Bend, Ohio, August 20, 1833; died in Indianapolis, Ind., March 13, 1901. He was the third son of John Scott Harrison (who was a son of President Harrison). It has been stated that his lineage can be traced to Harrison the regicide. He came directly from the Virginia Harrisons, who were distinguished in the early history of that colony; his great-grandfather, Benjamin Harrison, was one of the seven Virginia delegates to the congress which made the Declaration of Independence.[1] The Harrisons owned large landed estates on the bank of the Ohio near the mouth of the Big Miami. Benjamin assisted in the work on his father's farm, which contained about four hundred acres. The products of the farm were annually shipped in flat boats to New Orleans, and his father usually went with the cargo, the crew being composed of men from the neighborhood who were familiar with the perils of transportation on the Mississippi river. His first studies were prosecuted in the log school-house, and at the age of fifteen he went to Farmers (now Belmont) College, at College Hill, a suburb of Cincinnati. After a two years' stay there he became a student at Miami University, Oxford, where an acquaintance formed at College Hill ripened into a permanent attachment for Miss Caroline L. Scott, who afterward became his wife. The young lady had faith in his star, and did not hesitate to ally her fortunes with his. They were married while he was yet a law student and before he had attained his majority. He graduated fourth in his class in 1852, Milton Sayler taking first honors and David Swing standing second. As a boy he distinguished himself as an off-hand debater in the Union Literary Society.


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From the first he showed an aptitude for thinking on his legs, and a gift of utterance which enabled him to express himself in apt words. At a town meeting, where an abolitionist abused Webster and Clay for the part they took in the Compromise measures of 1850, the citizens were amazed to see a slender, tow-headed boy of seventeen mount a bench and make a vigorous speech in vindication of the great statesmen. He studied law with Storer & Gwynne, of Cincinnati, and in 1853 married and was admitted to the bar. In 1854 he put up his sign as attorney at law in Indianapolis, where he kept his residence ever after. It was not long before his ability became known. His first effort at the bar was in prosecuting a man charged with burglary. He received a few dollars by acting as crier for the United States Court, and was glad to take a five-dollar fee now and then for a case before a country justice, though one half of the fee was necessary to pay for the hire of a horse to take him to the place of trial. Whoever employed him could count on his doing his very best, whether the interests involved were small or great. Promptness and thoroughness are characteristics which have been manifest in his whole career, professional and political. In 1855 he formed a partnership with William Wallace, and when that gentleman was elected county clerk in 1861 he formed a partnership with W. P. Fishback, which was interrupted by his enlisting in the army in 1862, but the connection was resumed again in 1865, when the firm became Porter, Harrison & Fishback, and so continued until 1870, when Mr. Fishback retired, Judge Hines taking his place. Gov. Porter retiring, W. H. H. Miller became a partner in the firm, and upon Judge Hines retiring, Mr. John B. Elam became a member of the firm of Harrison, Miller & Elam, which continued until it was dissolved by Gen. Harrison's election to the presidency in 1888. While not always the senior in years, he was the senior in fact in every firm of which he was a member; such is the ungrudging testimony of all those who have been his partners.

Though breaking the chronological order of events somewhat, it is as well to complete here the sketch of his professional career. He has been concerned in the most important litigation in Indiana for nearly thirty years. He was employed in all sorts of cases, such as came to attorneys engaged in general practice before the era of professional specialists. The panorama of human life with all its disappointments and successes is unrolled before the busy lawyer who has such a practice. The executive devotion to special branches makes men strong in their lines; it narrows them also, and the lawyer whose work has a wider range acquires greater breadth of view, a happy versatility, and a flexibility of mind which enable him to pass from one subject to another without weariness and without distraction. Benjamin Harrison has amazed his associates in professional and official life by the ease and ability with which he despatches so much important business in a masterly style. For the exigencies of high station the discipline of his professional life was an excellent preparation. As a lawyer he was thorough in the preparation and study of his cases, in the preliminary statement he was clear and exhaustive, putting court and jury in full possession of his theory of the case; as an examiner of witnesses he had no rival; and as an advocate his performances were characterized by clearness, cogency, and completeness which left nothing further to be said on his side of the case. It often happened that his colleagues who had prepared to assist in the argument threw away their notes and rested the case upon his single speech. As a cross-examiner he was unsurpassed. No rascally witness escaped him. No trumped-up story or false alibi could pass muster under his searching scrutiny.

In a case where Gov. Hendricks was defending a man in the Federal Court against a charge of conspiring to violate the election laws, the Governor injudiciously put his client in the witness box. He denied his participation in the crime in the most positive manner; but little by little under Harrison's cross-examination he was driven to admit fact after fact, the cumulative force of which drove him at last to a practical confession of his guilt. In the celebrated Clem murder case several alibis, fabricated for the principal actor in the conspiracy, were pulverized by his cross-examination. It was not his plan to confuse or persecute a witness, but to quietly, persistently, and courteously press for a full disclosure of the facts. He never attempted to brow-beat a witness, never excited the sympathy of a jury for a witness by any show of unfairness. His skill as a nisi prius lawyer was surpassed by his power before the higher and appellate courts. He put himself on paper admirably, and his briefs are models of strength and conciseness. He was deferential to the courts, courteous to his opponents, generous to his colleagues. He showed no fussy fear that he would be shouldered to the rear. It was not necessary. It soon became evident to his opponents and associates that he was the conspicuous figure in the fight. Unlike many able attorneys, he cared more for success than for an exhibition of his own powers. Lawyers who had never met him were sometimes led to think that his abilities had been overrated; no lawyer who ever encountered him in a forensic fight came out of it with such an opinion. His commanding abilities as a lawyer stood him in good stead in his political career, which began with the organization of the Republican party.

He became conspicuous in Indiana politics in 1860, when, as a candidate for the office of reporter of the Supreme Court, he made a thorough canvass of the State. His first debate with Gov. Hendricks was in that year. By some mistake of the campaign committees he and Hendricks were announced to speak the same day in Rockville. Hendricks was then the Democratic candidate for governor, and was in the zenith of his fame as stump speaker. He courteously invited Harrison to divide time with him and made the opening speech. The local Republican managers were amazed at the temerity of a stripling who dared to measure strength with the Goliath of the Indiana Democracy, and showed their distrust of his ability by leaving the courthouse. Harrison, who had been seasoned and warmed for the work by speaking every day for weeks, assumed the aggressive, and as his few political friends began to show their appreciation by applause, the audience increased until the courtroom was packed with enthusiastic Republicans, who crowded about the speaker when he closed and showered their congratulations upon him. Mr. Voorhees was present, and, feeling the force of the impression made by Harrison, arose when the speech was finished and said he would answer the speech that night in the same place.

Since 1860 he has taken an active part in every political canvass in Indiana. In that year he was elected reporter of the Supreme Court, and his official work may be found in ten volumes of the Indiana reports. His official and professional labors were onerous, but the tasks were lightened by the thought that he was paying for the modest cottage home which he had bought on credit. Then came the war, and Gov. Morton's call upon him to raise a regiment of volunteers. He enlisted, and in a few weeks was commissioned colonel of the 70th Indiana infantry. He made arrangements to have the duties of his office of reporter performed in his absence, several of his professional brethren undertaking to do the work without cost to him, so that his home could be paid for. The Democrats put the name of a candidate for the office on their State ticket in 1862. The Republicans, supposing that Harrison would be allowed to serve out his term, made no nomination. No votes were cast except for the Democrat, and in a mandamus suit brought by him to compel the clerk to give him the manuscript opinions of the judges, the Supreme Court, composed of Democrats, decided that Harrison's enlistment vacated the office, and that the Democrat who was elected by default should fill it for the unexpired term. At the next election, in 1864, while Harrison was still in the field, he was re-elected by an overwhelming majority, and after the close of the war assumed the office and served out his full term.

The following is a brief summary of his military record: Benjamin Harrison was mustered into service as colonel of the 70th regiment of Indiana infantry volunteers with the field and staff of that regiment at Indianapolis, Ind., to date from Au gust 7, 1862, to serve three years. The following remarks appear opposite his name on the muster-in roll of the field and staff: “Mustered into service as 2d lieutenant, July 14, 1862; as captain, July 22, 1862; and as colonel, August 7, 1862.” He was in command of his regiment from date of muster-in to August 20, 1863; of the brigade, 3d division, reserve corps, to about September 20, 1863; of his regiment to January 9, 1864; of the 1st brigade, 1st division, 11th army corps, to April 18, 1864; of his regiment to June 29, 1864; and of the 1st brigade, 3d division, 20th army corps, to September 23, 1864, when he was detailed for special duty in the State of Indiana. The exact date that he returned to duty in the field is not shown; but on November 12, 1864, he was directed to report in person to the general commanding at Nashville, Tenn., and subsequently commanded the 1st brigade, provisional division, army of the Cumberland, to January 16, 1865, when, upon his own application, he was relieved and directed to rejoin his proper command for duty in Gen. Sherman's army at Savannah, Ga. On his way via New York to rejoin his command at Savannah, he was stricken down with a severe fever and lay for several weeks at Narrowsburg, N. Y. When able to leave his bed he started for Savannah, but arrived too late to join Gen. Sherman, and was assigned to command the camp of convalescents and recruits at Blair's Landing, S. C., on the Pocotaligo river, and soon after joined Gen. Sherman's army at Raleigh. He resumed command of the 1st brigade, 3d division, 20th army corps, April 21, 1865; was relieved therefrom June 8, 1865, upon the discontinuance of the brigade by reason of the muster out of the troops composing it; and on the same date, June 8, 1865, was mustered out and honorably discharged as colonel with the field and staff of his regiment, near Washington, D. C. He was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers January 23, 1865, “for ability and manifest energy and gallantry in command of brigade.” As a regimental commander he was in action at Russellville, Ky., September 30, 1862; in the Atlanta campaign, at Resaca, Ga., May 14-15, 1864; at Cassville, Ga., May 24, 1864; at New Hope, Ga., May 25, 1864; at Dallas, Ga., May 27-28, 1864; and at Kenesaw Mountain, Ga., June 10-28, 1864. As a brigade commander he participated in the operations at Kenesaw Mountain, Ga., June 29 to July 3, 1864; in the battle of Peach Tree creek, Ga., July 20, 1864; in the siege of Atlanta, Ga., July 21 to September 2, 1864; and in the battle of Nashville, Tenn., December 15-16, 1864; and was present at the surrender of Gen. Johnston's army at Durham's Station, N. C., April 26, 1865.

At the close of his term of office as reporter of the Supreme Court he resumed the law practice and soon had his hands full of work, being retained in almost every important case in the Federal and State courts at Indianapolis. In 1876 Godlove S. Orth, the Republican candidate for governor, with drew from the canvass while Gen. Harrison was taking a vacation on the north shore of Lake Superior. Without consulting him, his name was put upon the ticket as candidate for governor, and when he arrived from the North an enthusiastic crowd met him at the station and escorted him to his home. The trading of horses while crossing the river did not work well, and though Gen. Harrison made a splendid canvass, running two thousand ahead of his ticket, the popularity of Gov. Hendricks, who was on the National ticket, pulled the whole Democratic State ticket through by a plurality of three thousand. The gallant fight made by Gen. Harrison in that losing battle imposed a debt of gratitude upon his party which has not been forgotten. In 1879 President Hayes appointed him a member of the Mississippi River Commission. In 1880 he was chairman of the Indiana delegation in the convention which nominated James A. Garfield. Some of his friends presented his name for the nomination in that convention, but he insisted that it should be withdrawn. His canvass of Indiana and other States during the campaign of 1880 was brilliant and effective.

President Garfield offered him a place in his cabinet, which he declined. He was chosen United States senator in 1881, and served until 1887. His course in the senate was such as to win the esteem and friendship of his Republican colleagues and to command the respect of his political opponents. This was his first experience in a legislative body, but he soon took rank among the foremost debaters of the senate. Chairman of the Committee on Territories, he was persistent in his demand for the admission to statehood of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, and Idaho, and, though not succeeding at the time, he had the pleasure afterward of putting his presidential signature to the laws making them all States of the Union. In his speeches in the senate he criticised Mr. Cleveland's vetoes of the pension bills, voted and spoke in favor of an increase of the navy, the reform of the civil service, a judicious tariff reform; he favored every measure of public policy which had received the approval of his party. He had always been a strong partisan, and had believed and acted in the belief that since the Republican party was organized it has done nothing of which Republicans should be ashamed, or at least nothing to justify a change of allegiance from it to the Democratic party. From one point of view, such a course in a public man may be criticised. It may be doubted, however, if any Indiana Republican who has been confronted with the type of Democrats which have dominated that party for the last thirty years is to be censured for standing by his own party.


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Fac-simile letter from Benjamin Harrison to Gen. James Grant Wilson ]


The Republican party leaders saw in 1888 that the only hope of winning against Cleveland was to put up a candidate who could carry some of the doubtful States. Early in the year the Republican leaders in Indiana and almost the entire Republican press of the State pronounced in favor of Harrison, and his name was presented by the solid delegation to the convention at Chicago. On the first ballot he received 83 votes, standing fifth on the list, John Sherman standing first with 225. Seven more ballots were taken, during which Chauncey M. Depew withdrew and his supporters went to Harrison, giving him the nomination on the eighth ballot by a vote of 544.

There was great rejoicing on the part of his friends in Indiana, and as soon as the result was known there began a series of demonstrations which are without parallel in the history of presidential campaigns. On the day of the nomination a large delegation came to Indianapolis from Hendricks county in a special train and proceeded at once to Gen. Harrison's residence and called him out for a speech, and from that day until the election delegations kept coming from different parts of Indiana, from Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, and other States, all of which were received and welcomed by him in impromptu speeches which, by their appropriateness, variety, force, and elegance of style, won the approval of our best literary critics as well as of the public. In these ninety-four speeches he made no slip. He said nothing that needed apology or explanation from his friends. Verbatim reports of the addresses were printed from day to day in all the leading papers of the country, and he never in anything he said gave his political opponents ground for unfriendly criticism. It is an open secret that some of the members of the National Republican committee were terrified when they learned that the “Hoosier” candidate had commenced the campaign by these free-spoken, off-hand talks with his neighbors. They proposed that some one should go to Indianapolis and put a stop to the business. A gentleman who knew Gen. Harrison's ability told them not to be alarmed, and at the end of a week the fearful gentlemen had changed their minds and said that if they would allow Gen. Harrison to go on in that way he would elect himself in spite of any blundering of the committee or campaign managers.

A few extracts from some of these speeches may give an idea of their quality. To the California delegation the day after the nomination he said: “I feel sure, too, my fellow-citizens, that we have joined now a contest of great principles, and that the armies which are to fight out this great contest before the American people will encamp upon the high plains of principle and not in the low swamps of personal defamation or detraction.” To a number of veterans of the Union army: “We went not as partisans but patriots into the strife which involved the national life. . . . The army was great in its assembling. It came with an impulse that was majestic and terrible. It was as great in its muster out as in the brilliant work which it had done in the field. . . . When the war was over . . . every man had in some humble place a chair by some fireside where he was loved and toward which his heart went forward with a quick step.” To the Tippecanoe club, composed of men who had voted for his grandfather in 1840 : “I came among you with the heritage, I trust, of a good name, such as all of you enjoy. It is the only inheritance that has been transmitted in our family.”

Gen. Harrison was not in the habit of boasting of his lineage, of which he had reason to be proud. If it was ever the subject of conversation in his presence he never introduced it. To a delegation of farmers: “The law throws the ægis of its protection over us all. It stands sentinel about your country homes; ... it comes into our more thickly populated community and speaks its mandate for individual security and public order. There is an open avenue through the ballot for the modification or repeal of laws which are unjust or oppressive. To the law we bow with reverence. It is the one king that commands our allegiance.” To a delegation of railway employees: “Heroism has been found at the throttle and brake as well as upon the battlefield, and as well worthy of song and marble. The trainman crushed between the platforms, who used his last breath not for prayer or messages of love, but to say to the panic-stricken who gathered around him, ‘Put out the red light for the other train,’ inscribed his name very high upon the shaft where the names of the faithful and brave are written.” To an Illinois delegation: “It was on the soil of Illinois that Lovejoy died, a martyr to free speech. . . . Another great epoch in the march of liberty found on the soil of Illinois the theatre of its most influential event. I refer to that high debate in the presence of your people, but before the world, in which Douglas won the senatorship and Lincoln the presidency and immortal fame. . . . The wise work of our fathers in constituting this Government will stand all tests of internal dissension and revolution and all tests of external assault, if we can only preserve a pure, free ballot.”

To a delegation of coal-miners: “I do not care now to deal with statistics. One fact is enough for me. The tide of emigration from all European countries has been and is toward our shores. The gates of Castle Garden swing inward; they do not swing outward to any American laborer seeking a better country than this. . . . Here there are better conditions, wider and more hopeful prospects for workmen than in any other land. . . . The more work there is to do in this country the higher the wages that will be paid for the doing of it. . . . A policy which will transfer work from our mines and our factories to foreign mines and foreign factor ies inevitably tends to a depression of wages here. These are truths that do not require profound study.” To an Indiana delegation: “I hope the time is coming, and has even now arrived, when the great sense of justice which possesses our people will teach men of all parties that party success is not to be promoted at the expense of an injustice to any of our citizens.” As early as July 31, 1888, he said: “But we do not mean to be content with our own market; we should seek to promote closer and more friendly commercial relations with the Central and South American states, . . . those friendly political and commercial relations which shall promote their interests equally with ours.” Addressing a company of survivors of his own regiment, he said: “It is no time now to use an apothecary's scale to weigh the rewards of the men who saved the country.” To a club of railroad employees: “The laboring men of this land may safely trust every just reform in which they are interested to public discussion and to the tests of reason; they may surely hope upon these lines, which are open to them, to accomplish, under our American institutions, all those right things they have conceived to be necessary to their highest success and well-being.” Addressing a meeting on the day of Sheridan's funeral: “He was one of those great commanders who, upon the field of battle, towered a very god of war. . . . He rested and refreshed his command with the wine of victory, and found recuperation in the dispersion of the enemy that confronted him.” To a delegation of farmers: “I congratulate you not so much upon the rich farms of your country as upon your virtuous and happy homes. The home is the best, as it is the first, school of citizenship.”

All these campaign speeches, with a description of the circumstances of their delivery, are collected in a volume published by Lovell & Co., of New York. But more remarkable than these are the one hundred and forty addresses delivered during his trip to the Pacific coast and back — a journey of 10,000 miles, which was accomplished in thirty-one days, from April 15 to May 15, 1890, without the variation of one minute from the prearranged schedule for arriving and departing from the hundreds of stations on the way. These addresses were non-political, and breathe throughout a spirit of high patriotism and a call to the high responsibilities of citizenship. In a letter to an American friend who had sent him the volume containing these speeches, the late Lord Coleridge says: “The speeches give me a very high idea of Mr. Harrison. We know very little here of your politicians, and it is pleasant to be brought face to face with any one so manly and high-minded as Mr. Harrison shows himself in the book you sent me. The perpetual demand which American customs make upon anyone of the least position in the way of speech-making must be very trying. In a degree (not within 1,000 miles of the president) I found it so myself when I was in America. But a private foreigner may say what he likes; a president, of course, must watch his words.”

It was assumed that with Mr. Blaine in the cabinet President Harrison would be a very inconspicuous and unimportant person in the administration. It is one of the marked characteristics of the man that when he is assigned to a place he assumes all its responsibilities. As a lawyer he never shouldered himself to the front, but when placed in the lead he was the leader. The simple fact is, he was not for a moment overshadowed by any member of his cabinet. He insisted upon knowing what was going on in each department and maintained an intelligent supervision of them all. Nor is it detracting from the just fame of Mr. Blaine to say that by reason of that gentleman's failing health the work of the State Department was much more than usual the work of the president. Those who have known him long did not fail to see his hand in the discussion of the legal rights of aliens domiciled here, contained in the dignified note to the Italian government concerning the New Orleans massacre. The statement of the basis of our liability for wrong inflicted upon the subjects of friendly nations when they are the result of dereliction of duty by the local authorities was masterly, and the dignified manner in which that government was informed that the United States would be just, but would not be forced to a hasty decision, was admirable. In the Chile affair, in which that government denied its responsibility for the assaults upon our sailors at Santiago and refused safe conduct to some of the members of the Balmaceda administration who had taken refuge at the United States legation, President Harrison was earnest and persistent in his demands, and, as the correspondence shows, after waiting patiently for a response, and becoming weary at last of the vacillating conduct of the Chilian government, made a peremptory request, which was promptly and satisfactorily answered. It is due to the republic of Chile to say that during the whole of the controversy the rival parties in that country kept it in a state of constant revolution. The evidence in the case showed that our sailors were outraged because they belonged to the U. S. navy, and that the authorities of Chile permitted, if they did not connive at it. In such a case it would have been pusillanimous on the part of the Government to have failed to demand reparation.

The Bering sea controversy, now happily in settlement by arbitration, was full of difficulty when Mr. Blaine's sudden illness threw the burden of the matter for a time upon President Harrison. Lord Salisbury was delaying, the season for pelagic sealing was coming on, no modus vivendi had been agreed upon. President Harrison took measures for intercepting the Canadian sealers, and it was not long until the terms of the treaty were arranged. The statement of the “five points” submitted to the arbitrators by the treaty is a good specimen of President Harrison's thorough and comprehensive work. Eastern journals that were not friendly to President Harrison have generously united in endorsing the conduct of the State Department during his administration, and have especially commended it for being thoroughly patriotic and American. And it may be said from the time of his nomination until he retired from the presidential office he sustained himself with a dignity and ability commensurate with the responsibilities of his exalted station. His policy in regard to the tariff has been censured, but he simply maintained the views held by the majority of the Republican party, with which he has always been in sympathy. He is what may properly be called an out-and-out protectionist. His firm stand in favor of honest money gave confidence to the business interests of the country when they were imperilled by the wild schemes of the advocates of free-silver coinage. He was renominated for the presidency by the Republican national convention at Minneapolis without serious opposition. He failed of re-election.


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THE HOME OF BENJAMIN HARRISON, INDIANAPOLIS, IND.


Public opinion has been much divided as to the causes of this result. It was certainly not on account of any failure upon the part of President Harrison to carry out the policy of his party, or to realize the expectation of his friends in the ability shown by him in performing the duties of his station. The fatal illness of Mrs. Harrison, and her death a few days before the election, cast a shadow over the closing months of his official life. His administration as a whole was business-like in its management of our domestic affairs, dignified, firm, and patriotic in its foreign policy, promoting the prosperity of our people at home and keeping peace with all nations. In his last message to congress, on December 6, 1892, after giving a summary of the operations of the different departments, he said: “This exhibit of the work of the executive departments is submitted to congress and to the public in the hope that there will be found in it a due sense of responsibility, and an earnest purpose to maintain the national honor and to promote the happiness and prosperity of all our people. And this brief exhibit of the growth and prosperity of the country will give us a level from which to note the increase or decadence that new legislative policies may bring to us. There is no reason why the national influence, power, and prosperity should not observe the same rates of increase that have characterized the past thirty years. We carry the great impulse and increase of these years into the future. There is no reason why, in many lines of production, we should not surpass all other nations, as we have already done in some. There are no near frontiers to our possible development. Retrogression would be a crime.”

Upon retiring from the presidency, Gen. Harrison was engaged by the late Senator Stanford, to deliver a course of lectures at the Leland Stanford, Jr., university, in California, on constitutional law. These were delivered during the early months of 1894. Foreigners who have studied our institutions have expressed regrets that in America no provision is made for the dignified retirement of our ex-presidents, and they have suggested that some office with a life tenure be bestowed upon them with a suitable provision for their support out of the public treasury. The temper of our people and the genius of our institutions are not in accord with any such desire. The great volunteer generals of the war came back to the ranks and took their places with their fellow-citizens in the walks of private life. So our great political leaders, from the senate and from the presidency, when their term of office is over, come back to their homes and ordinary pursuits without any impairment of their dignity or their self-respect. In his retirement from the labors of his official station Gen. Harrison realized the truth of what he said in a speech on the day of his nomination in 1888: “Kings sometimes bestow decorations upon those whom they desire to honor, but that man is most highly decorated who has the affectionate regard of his neighbors and friends.” This he had in full measure. Judged by the standards of a few unprincipled and disappointed politicians who expected to thrive on the use and abuse of public patronage, Gen. Harrison was a cold-blooded man, But it is possible that such men are not as well qualified to judge of the temperature of a man's blood as his friends and intimates who have seen him in all the vicissitudes of his daily life, ministering with sympathy and self-sacrifice to relatives and friends who, overtaken by some great calamity, have found his heart as tender as a child's. The country takes little note of the petulant criticisms of its public servants, but it will hold at their true worth the great and useful virtues of ability, wisdom, integrity, courage, and patriotism whenever they are exhibited by men in high official station.

In April, 1896, the ex-president married Mrs. Mary Scott Lord Dimmock, and three years later he appeared as counsel in the Anglo-Venezuelan boundary arbitration commission, concluding his argument in Paris September 27, 1899. He is the author of “This Country of Ours” (New York, 1897). His life was written by Gen. Lewis Wallace (Philadelphia, 1888). A selection of Gen. Harrison's speeches, edited by Charles Hedges, appeared in 1888, and another collection was published four years later. He died in Indianapolis March 13, 1901.

His wife, Caroline Lavinia Scott, born in Oxford, Ohio, October 1, 1832; died in Washington, D. C., October 25, 1892, was the daughter of John W. Scott, who was a professor in Miami university at the time of her birth, and afterward became president of the seminary in Oxford. She was graduated at the seminary in 1852, the same year that Gen. Harrison took his degree at the university, and was married to him on October 20, 1853. She was a musician, and was also devoted to painting, besides which she was a diligent reader, and gave part of her time to literary clubs, of several of which she was a member. Mrs. Harrison was a manager of the orphan asylum in Indianapolis and a member of the Presbyterian church in that city, and until her removal to Washington taught a class in Sunday-school. They had two children. The son, Russell, was graduated at Lafayette in 1877 as a mining engineer, and served in Cuba in the war with Spain with the rank of major in the volunteers. The daughter, Mary, married James R. McKee, a prosperous merchant of Indianapolis, Ind., who has since removed to New York.


  1. The descent of Benjamin Harrison from Pocahontas, daughter of Powhatan, is outlined in a recent work by Wyndham Robinson, entitled “Pocahontas and her Descendants through her Marriage at Jamestown, Virginia, in April, 1614, with John Rolfe, Gentleman.” It may also be mentioned that he is among the eight presidents who have been of Welsh descent — John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, William Henry Harrison, James A. Garfield, and Benjamin Harrison. — Editor.