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William Henry Harrison

Catalog of American Portraits

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

Catalog of American Portraits

William Henry Harrison

Catalog of American Portraits

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

Catalog of American Portraits

William Henry Harrison

Catalog of American Portraits

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery
Born Berkeley, Charles County, Virginia

The first battle of the War of 1812 actually occurred in 1811, with the Battle of Tippecanoe in the Indiana wilderness. As governor of the territory, William Henry Harrison faced increased resistance from Indian tribes forced from their homes by new settlers. Harrison met with Shawnee warrior chief Tecumseh at a tense council that nearly ended in violence and led in part to Tecumseh’s alliance with the British during the subsequent war. With tensions rising, Tecumseh’s brother Tenskwatawa (the Prophet) attacked Harrison’s forces near Tippecanoe. The surprise strike resulted in heavy casualties for Harrison; however, the Indians left the field and Harrison then destroyed Tecumseh’s stronghold, Prophet’s Town, claiming the victory. A year later, Harrison commanded the American forces at the Battle of the Thames, where Tecumseh was killed. In 1840 the slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler too!” propelled Harrison to the presidency.

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery
Ninth president, March–April 1841

The candidacy of William Henry Harrison indicates that American politics were moving in a more populist direction as the country expanded. A twoterm congressman and former territorial governor, Harrison had no noteworthy political abilities, but for the Whig Party in 1840, he was the perfect figurehead: a military hero in the War of 1812 and a frontier Indian fighter. Harrison’s supporters celebrated his military prowess and combined it with homespun frontier imagery, such as log cabins and hard cider, in a presidential campaign that was unprecedented for its carnival-like hoopla. While discussion of real issues was scant, that ballyhoo of the race proved sufficient in itself to win Harrison the presidency. Jubilance over his victory, however, was short lived. On April 4, 1841, exactly one month after delivering a very long inaugural address in extremely harsh weather conditions, Harrison became the first president to die in office. Until recently, the cause of his death was thought to have been pneumonia, but now, there is new evidence suggesting that he may have suffered from enteric fever and septic shock.

9o presidente, marzo–abril de 1841

La candidatura de William Henry Harrison indica que la política estadounidense se movía en una dirección más populista a medida que el país se expandía. Legislador durante dos términos y exgobernador territorial, Harrison no poseía notables habilidades políticas, pero en 1840 era la perfecta imagen pública para el Partido Whig: héroe militar de la Guerra de 1812 y combatiente de las luchas fronterizas contra los indígenas. Sus seguidores celebraban su destreza militar y la combinaron con imágenes de la vida en la frontera, tales como la sidra y las cabañas de troncos, en una campaña presidencial sin precedentes por su carnavalesco bombo y platillo. Aunque apenas se abordaron asuntos de verdadera importancia, el despliegue propagandístico fue suficiente para ganarle a Harrison la presidencia. Sin embargo, poco duró el júbilo de la victoria. El 4 de abril de 1841, exactamente un mes después de pronunciar un largo discurso inaugural bajo pésimas condiciones del tiempo, Harrison fue el primer president que murió en posesión del cargo. Hasta hace poco se pensaba que había muerto de neumonía, pero ahora hay pruebas que sugieren que, Harrison puede haber muerto de fiebre tifoidea y septicemia.

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery

William Henry Harrison

National Portrait Gallery
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