Interesting Facts About William Henry Harrison: Shortest-Serving US President!

William Henry Harrison (1773–1841) was an American military officer, a principal contributor in the War of 1812, and the ninth president of the United States (1841). He was the last president born before the American Revolution. He gained fame as an Indian fighter and military hero before becoming president.
Born in Virginia on February 9, 1773, William Henry Harrison became the ninth president of the United States in 1841. Elected at age 67, he was then the oldest man to take the office.
William grew up part of a wealthy family on a plantation in Charles City County, Virginia. He had six brothers and sisters. His father, Benjamin Harrison V, was a delegate to the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence. His father was also governor of Virginia for a time.
William attended various schools and was studying to become a doctor when his father died. After his father died, William ran out of funds and decided to join the army. He was assigned to the Northwest Territory to help battle Native Americans in the Northwest Indian War.
After Harrison left the army, he entered politics. His first position was as the Secretary of the Northwest Territory. He soon became the territory’s representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. Here he worked on the Harrison Land Act which helped people to buy land in smaller tracts. This helped the average person to buy land in the Northwest Territory and helped to further the expansion of the United States.
In 1801, he became Governor of the Northwest Territory after being nominated for the job by President John Adams. His job was to help settlers move into the new lands and then protect them from the Native Americans.
Read on to discover more interesting facts about William Henry Harrison that you probably didn’t know:
1. He was the first president to die in office. His untimely death sparked a brief constitutional crisis, but it also highlighted many unresolved questions about presidential succession in this type of situation, Constitutional amendments were agreed and put in place.
2. Harrison died 32 days after being inaugurated as president. This is the shortest time anyone has been president. He gave a long (well over an hour!) speech while standing in the cold rain during his inauguration. He didn’t wear a coat or wear a hat. He caught a bad cold which turned into pneumonia. He never recovered and died a month later.
3. When William asked his future wife’s father if he could marry his daughter, he refused. As a result, William and Anna eloped and got married in secret.
4. When war broke out with the British in the War of 1812, Harrison became a general in the army. He led his troops to one of the major victories in the war at the Battle of the Thames.
5. Won election of 1840 with 80% of the vote. Harrison first ran and lost the presidency in 1836.The Ballot to elect the 9th President of America proved to be a highly successful political process, four of every five eligible voters cast their vote and this is the third highest turnout in American history! In 1840, however, he easily won the election with 80% of the electoral vote. The election is seen as the first modern campaign complete with advertising and campaign slogans.
6. William Harrison built an expensive house that became a huge attraction because of its ornate beauty. It was brick built with windows from Europe, hand-carved woodwork, a circular stairway and thirteen large rooms.
7. Dropped out of medical school. Originally, Harrison wanted to be a doctor and actually attended the Pennsylvania Medical School. However, he could not afford the tuition and dropped out to join the military.

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