23rd President of the United States- Benjamin Harrison


220px-Benjamin Harrison head and shoulders bw photo 1896

Benjamin Harrison

 

 

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-Benjamin Harrison, (1833-1901), was the only grandson of a president who also became president. He defeated President Grover Cleveland in 1888, but Cleveland regained the presidency by beating Harrison in 1892.

 

-Childhood. Benjamin Harrison was born on Aug. 20, 1833, on his grandfather's farm in North Bend, Ohio. He was named for his great-grandfather, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

 

-Harrison's family. Harrison and "Carrie" Scott were married in 1853. They had two children, Russell Benjamin (1854-1936) and Mary (1858-1930).

 

-Lawyer. After reading law with a Cincinnati firm, Harrison was admitted to the bar in 1854.

 

-Political beginnings. As the son of a Whig congressman and the grandson of a Whig president, Harrison had a name that was familiar to many voters. Although his father wrote him that "none but knaves should ever enter the political arena," Harrison ran successfully for city attorney of Indianapolis in 1857.

 

-Army commander. In 1862, Governor Oliver P. Morton asked Harrison to recruit and command the 70th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers in the American Civil War. As he and Morton walked down the steps of the state Capitol, Harrison recruited his first soldier—his former law partner, William Wallace.

 

-National politics. After the war, Harrison won national prestige as a lawyer. In 1876, he ran unsuccessfully for the office of governor of Indiana.

 

-Election of 1888. James G. Blaine, who had lost the 1884 presidential election to Cleveland, refused to run in 1888. The Republicans nominated Harrison, because of his war record, his popularity with veterans, his ability to express the Republican Party’s views, and the fact that he lived in Indiana. In the election, Harrison trailed Grover Cleveland by more than 90,000 popular votes. But, by carrying Indiana, New York, and other "doubtful states," Harrison won the election in the Electoral College.

 

-Domestic affairs. During the campaign, Harrison had promised to extend the civil service law to cover more jobs. He kept his promise by increasing the number of classified positions from 27,000 to 38,000.

 

-Bid for reelection. The Republicans renominated Harrison in 1892 and chose Whitelaw Reid, U.S. minister to France and editor of the New York Tribune, as his running mate. The Democrats again nominated Cleveland for president and named Adlai E. Stevenson, a former Illinois congressman, for vice president. Harrison received 5,182,690 popular votes to Cleveland's 5,555,426. Personal tragedy struck Harrison just two weeks before the national elections of 1892. His wife died on October 25.

 

-Later Years. In 1897, Harrison wrote This Country of Ours, a book about the federal government. In 1899, he represented Venezuela in the arbitration of a dispute with United Kingdom over the British Guiana boundary. Harrison died in his home on March 13, 1901, and was buried in Indianapolis.

 

Works Cited:

 

Calhoun, Charles W. "Harrison, Benjamin." World Book Student. World Book, 2012. Web. 22 Jan. 2012.

 

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