43 Facts About Anna Harrison


Anna Tuthill Harrison was the first lady of the United States in 1841 as the wife of President William Henry Harrison.


Anna Harrison served in the role for only one month, as her husband was afflicted with pneumonia and died shortly after his term began.


Anna Harrison was the paternal grandmother of President Benjamin Harrison.


Anna Harrison never entered the White House during her tenure as first lady, remaining the only presidential wife to never visit the capital during her husband's presidency.


At age 65 at the start of her husband's presidential term, Harrison was the oldest woman ever to assume the role of first lady, a record held until Jill Biden became first lady at age 69 in 2021.


Anna Harrison has the distinction of holding the title for the shortest length of time, and the first first lady to be widowed while holding the title.


Anna Harrison was the last first lady to have been born before the inauguration of George Washington.


Anna Harrison was raised by her grandparents in Long Island and given an education better than that of most women.


Anna Harrison married military officer William Henry Harrison against her father's wishes in 1795, and she raised their family of ten children in the frontier of Ohio and Indiana while William pursued a political career.


Anna Harrison became first lady when William became president in 1841, though she did not attend his inauguration.


William died while Anna Harrison was preparing to travel to Washington, DC, only one month into his term.


Anna Harrison lived the remainder of her life in Ohio, first in their family log cabin, and then with her only surviving son.


Anna Harrison was the second child of Anna Tuthill and John Cleves Symmes, an associate justice on the Supreme Court of New Jersey.


Anna Harrison's mother died one year later, on her first birthday, and Anna Harrison was raised solely by her father for the following three years.


Anna Harrison was raised by her grandparents, who ensured that she was well-educated.


Anna Harrison attended Clinton Academy in East Hampton on Long Island, and the private school of Isabella Graham in New York City.


Anna Harrison's grandparents raised her as a Presbyterian, and her education had a strong religious component.


Anna Harrison's father visited her at the end of the war in 1783, but he then moved to the Northwest Territory and founded the town of North Bend, Ohio.


Anna Harrison joined her father and her stepmother Susannah Livingston in 1794, at the age of 19.


Anna's father disapproved, as Harrison was a military officer with no other established career, and Anna's father feared that he would not be able to provide for a family.


Anna Harrison had a low opinion of soldiers in the Northwest Territory, seeing them as little more than criminals.


Anna Harrison eventually demanded to know how William intended to support a family with Anna, with William responding that he would use his sword.


Anna Harrison lived as an army wife and sometimes traveled with her husband.


William and Anna Harrison would go on to have ten children over a period of 18 years, with the first born in 1796.


Anna Harrison read extensively on political topics while living there, seeking out whatever newspapers and journals she could find.


Anna Harrison's father died in 1814, and she inherited his land in North Bend.


Anna Harrison personally educated her children, and she eventually founded a school in North Bend, though the children's religious upbringing was handled by a circuit rider.


Anna Harrison was followed by several more of their children: a daughter Lucy died in 1826 and their son William died in 1830, followed by the deaths of three more sons in 1838,1839, and 1840.


Anna Harrison's influence was felt when William declined to campaign on Sundays due to her observance of the Sabbath.


Anna Harrison ended her involvement abruptly after the death of her son in 1840, and she became reclusive.


William was inaugurated in 1841, but Anna Harrison did not accompany him to Washington, citing her illness and the harsh weather.


Anna Harrison declined to travel to Washington for her husband's state funeral.


Anna Harrison was granted a pension by the federal government in June 1841, but it was spent paying debts that her husband had accumulated.


Anna Harrison became more religious and more politically engaged later in life.


Anna Harrison took an abolitionist stance during the Civil War, and she was supportive of her grandsons that served in the Union Army.


Anna Harrison's cabin was destroyed in a fire in 1855, after which she moved in with her son John.


Anna Harrison died on February 25,1864, and she was buried beside her husband in North Bend.


Anna Harrison was the first in a long series of first ladies that were unwilling or unable to carry out the duties associated with the role.


Anna Harrison had little time to develop a reputation, as her husband died before she arrived at the White House.


Anna Harrison was the first first lady to receive a formal education, and she was the last first lady to be born before the inauguration of George Washington.


Anna Harrison was the oldest woman to become first lady at the time, doing so at the age of 65.


Anna Harrison held this record until 2021, when Jill Biden became first lady at the age of 69.


Anna Harrison holds records due to her husband's short term: she served the shortest tenure of any first lady, only holding the title for 31 days, and she is the only first lady to have never been to the capital during her husband's presidency.