121 Facts About Benjamin Harrison


Benjamin Harrison was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 23rd president of the United States from 1889 to 1893.


Hallmarks of Benjamin Harrison's administration were unprecedented economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff, which imposed historic protective trade rates, and the Sherman Antitrust Act.


Benjamin Harrison facilitated the creation of the national forest reserves through an amendment to the Land Revision Act of 1891.


Benjamin Harrison returned to private life and his law practice in Indianapolis.


Benjamin Harrison traveled to the court in Paris as part of the case and after a brief stay returned to Indianapolis.


Benjamin Harrison died at his home in Indianapolis in 1901 of complications from influenza.


Benjamin Harrison was born on August 20,1833, in North Bend, Ohio, the second of Elizabeth Ramsey and John Scott Benjamin Harrison's ten children.


Benjamin Harrison's ancestors included immigrant Benjamin Harrison, who arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, circa 1630 from England.


Benjamin Harrison was of entirely English ancestry, all of his ancestors having emigrated to America during the early colonial period.


Benjamin Harrison was seven years old when his grandfather was elected US president, but he did not attend the inauguration.


Benjamin Harrison's family was distinguished, but his parents were not wealthy.


Benjamin Harrison attended the college for two years and while there met his future wife, Caroline "Carrie" Lavinia Scott, a daughter of John Witherspoon Scott, the school's science professor, who was a Presbyterian minister.


Benjamin Harrison transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1850, and graduated in 1852.


Benjamin Harrison joined the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, which he used as a network for much of his life.


Benjamin Harrison was a member of Delta Chi, a law fraternity that permitted dual membership.


At Miami, Benjamin Harrison was strongly influenced by history and political economy professor Robert Hamilton Bishop.


Benjamin Harrison joined a Presbyterian church at college and, like his mother, became a lifelong Presbyterian.


Benjamin Harrison was admitted to the Ohio bar in early 1854, the same year he sold property that he had inherited after the death of an aunt for $800, and used the funds to move with Caroline to Indianapolis, Indiana.


Benjamin Harrison served as a Commissioner for the US Court of Claims.


Benjamin Harrison became a founding member and first president of both the University Club, a private gentlemen's club in Indianapolis, and the Phi Delta Theta Alumni Club.


In 1857 Benjamin Harrison was elected Indianapolis city attorney, a position that paid an annual salary of $400.


In 1858, Benjamin Harrison entered into a law partnership with William Wallace to form the law office of Wallace and Benjamin Harrison.


Benjamin Harrison was an active supporter of the Republican Party's platform and served as Republican State Committee's secretary.


The new partners worked together until Benjamin Harrison entered the Union Army after the start of the American Civil War.


In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued a call for more recruits for the Union Army; Benjamin Harrison wanted to enlist, but worried about how to support his young family.


Morton offered him the command, but Benjamin Harrison declined, as he had no military experience.


Benjamin Harrison was initially commissioned as a captain and company commander on July 22,1862.


On January 2,1864, Benjamin Harrison was promoted to command the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division of the XX Corps.


Benjamin Harrison commanded the brigade at the battles of Resaca, Cassville, New Hope Church, Lost Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Marietta, Peachtree Creek, and Atlanta.


At the Battle of Resaca on May 15,1864, Benjamin Harrison faced Confederate Captain Max Van Den Corput's artillery battery, which occupied a position "some eighty yards in front of the main Confederate lines".


Benjamin Harrison, leading the 70th Indiana Infantry Regiment, massed his troops in a ravine opposite Corput's position, along with the rest of Brigadier General Ward's brigade.


At Peachtree Creek, Benjamin Harrison's brigade comprised the 102nd, 105th, and 129th Illinois Infantry Regiments, the 79th Ohio Infantry Regiment, and his 70th Indiana Regiment; his brigade deployed in about the center of the Union line, engaging Maj.


Benjamin Harrison was promoted because of his success at the battles of Resaca and Peachtree Creek.


Benjamin Harrison finally returned to his old regiment the same day that news of President Lincoln's assassination was received.


Benjamin Harrison rode in the Grand Review in Washington, DC before mustering out with the 70th Indiana on June 8,1865.


Benjamin Harrison became a skilled orator and known as "one of the state's leading lawyers".


In 1869 President Ulysses S Grant appointed Harrison to represent the federal government in a civil suit filed by Lambdin P Milligan, whose controversial wartime conviction for treason in 1864 led to the landmark US Supreme Court case Ex parte Milligan.


Benjamin Harrison initially confined his political activities to speaking on behalf of other Republican candidates, a task for which he received high praise from his colleagues.


In 1872, Benjamin Harrison campaigned for the Republican nomination for governor of Indiana.


Former governor Oliver Morton favored his opponent, Thomas M Browne, and Harrison lost his bid for statewide office.


Benjamin Harrison returned to his law practice and, despite the Panic of 1873, was financially successful enough to build a grand new home in Indianapolis in 1874.


Benjamin Harrison continued to make speeches on behalf of Republican candidates and policies.


In 1876, when a scandal forced the original Republican nominee, Godlove Stein Orth, to drop out of the gubernatorial race, Benjamin Harrison accepted the party's invitation to take his place on the ticket.


Benjamin Harrison centered his campaign on economic policy and favored deflating the national currency.


Benjamin Harrison was defeated in a plurality by James D Williams, losing by 5,084 votes out 434,457 cast, but Harrison built on his new prominence in state politics.


When United States Senator Morton died in 1877, the Republicans nominated Harrison to run for the seat, but the party failed to gain a majority in the state legislature, which at that time elected senators; the Democratic majority elected Daniel W Voorhees instead.


Benjamin Harrison gave speeches in favor of Garfield in Indiana and New York, further raising his profile in the party.


Benjamin Harrison served in the Senate from March 4,1881, to March 3,1887, and chaired the US Senate Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard and the US Senate Committee on Territories.


In 1881, the major issue confronting Senator Benjamin Harrison was the budget surplus.


Benjamin Harrison took his party's side and advocated for generous pensions for veterans and their widows.


Benjamin Harrison unsuccessfully supported aid for the education of Southerners, especially children of the freedmen; he believed that education was necessary to help the black population rise to political and economic equality with whites.


Benjamin Harrison opposed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which his party supported, because he thought it violated existing treaties with China.


In 1887, largely as a result of the Democratic gerrymandering of Indiana's legislative districts, Benjamin Harrison was defeated in his bid for reelection.


Benjamin Harrison returned to Indianapolis and resumed his law practice, but stayed active in state and national politics.


Benjamin Harrison placed fifth on the first ballot, with Senator Sherman in the lead, and the next few ballots showed little change.


Blaine supporters shifted their support among candidates they found acceptable, and when they shifted to Benjamin Harrison, they found a candidate who could attract the votes of many other delegations.


Benjamin Harrison was nominated as the party's presidential candidate on the eighth ballot, by a count of 544 to 108 votes.


Benjamin Harrison reprised a more traditional front-porch campaign, abandoned by his immediate predecessors; he received visiting delegations to Indianapolis and made over 90 pronouncements from his hometown.


Benjamin Harrison received 90,000 fewer popular votes than Cleveland, but carried the Electoral College 233 to 168.


Benjamin Harrison neither defended nor repudiated Dudley, but allowed him to remain on the campaign for the remaining few days.


Benjamin Harrison had made no political bargains, but his supporters had made many pledges on his behalf.


Benjamin Harrison was known as the Centennial President because his inauguration celebrated the centenary of the first inauguration of George Washington in 1789.


Benjamin Harrison was sworn into office on Monday, March 4,1889, by Chief Justice Melville Fuller.


In foreign affairs, Benjamin Harrison reaffirmed the Monroe Doctrine as a mainstay of foreign policy, while urging modernization of the Navy and a merchant marine force.


Benjamin Harrison gave his commitment to international peace through noninterference in the affairs of foreign governments.


Benjamin Harrison began by delaying the presumed nomination of James G Blaine as Secretary of State so as to preclude Blaine's involvement in the formation of the administration, as had occurred in President Garfield's term.


Nevertheless, Benjamin Harrison had alienated pivotal Republican operatives from New York to Pennsylvania to Iowa with these choices and prematurely compromised his political power and future.


Benjamin Harrison made no comment on the matter for two weeks, then said he had always intended to purchase the cottage once Caroline approved.


Benjamin Harrison had campaigned as a supporter of the merit system, as opposed to the spoils system.


Congress was widely divided on the issue and Benjamin Harrison was reluctant to address the issue in hope of preventing the alienation of either side.


Benjamin Harrison quickly saw the enactment of the Dependent and Disability Pension Act in 1890, a cause he had championed while in Congress.


Benjamin Harrison, having accepted a dissenting congressional Republican investigation report that exonerated Raum, kept him in office for the rest of his administration.


One of the first appointments Harrison was forced to reverse was that of James S Clarkson as an assistant postmaster.


At Secretary of State James Blaine's urging, Benjamin Harrison attempted to make the tariff more acceptable by urging Congress to add reciprocity provisions, which would allow the president to reduce rates when other countries reduced their rates on American exports.


The Act passed by wide margins in both houses, and Benjamin Harrison signed it into law.


The silver coinage issue had not been much discussed in the 1888 campaign and Benjamin Harrison is said to have favored a bimetallist position.


Benjamin Harrison attempted to steer a middle course between the two positions, advocating a free coinage of silver, but at its own value, not at a fixed ratio to gold.


Benjamin Harrison thought that the bill would end the controversy, and he signed it into law.


Benjamin Harrison endorsed the proposed Federal Elections Bill written by Representative Henry Cabot Lodge and Senator George Frisbie Hoar in 1890, but the bill was defeated in the Senate.


Benjamin Harrison endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court ruling in the Civil Rights Cases that declared much of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional.


In March 1891 Congress enacted, and Benjamin Harrison signed, the Land Revision Act of 1891.


Benjamin Harrison was the first to give a prehistoric Indian Ruin, Casa Grande in Arizona, federal protection.


In reaction Harrison directed Major General Nelson A Miles to investigate and ordered 3,500 federal troops to South Dakota; the uprising was brought to an end.


Benjamin Harrison had electricity installed in the White House for the first time by Edison General Electric Company, but he and his wife would not touch the light switches for fear of electrocution and would often go to sleep with the lights on.


In San Francisco, while on tour of the United States in 1891, Benjamin Harrison proclaimed that the United States was in a "new epoch" of trade and that the expanding navy would protect oceanic shipping and increase American influence and prestige abroad.


The First International Conference of American States met in Washington in 1889; Harrison set an aggressive agenda including customs and currency integration and named a bipartisan delegation to the conference, led by John B Henderson and Andrew Carnegie.


Historian George H Ryden's research indicates Harrison played a key role in determining the status of this Pacific outpost by taking a firm stand on every aspect of Samoa conference negotiations; this included selection of the local ruler, refusal to allow an indemnity for Germany, as well as the establishment of a three power protectorate, a first for the US.


Benjamin Harrison engaged Whitelaw Reid, minister to France, and William Walter Phelps, minister to Germany, to restore these exports for the country without delay.


Benjamin Harrison successfully asked the congress to enact the Meat Inspection Act to eliminate the accusations of product compromise.


The first international crisis Benjamin Harrison faced arose from disputed fishing rights on the Alaskan coast.


The Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs Manuel Matta replied that Benjamin Harrison's message was "erroneous or deliberately incorrect," and said that the Chilean government was treating the affair the same as any other criminal matter.


Benjamin Harrison was interested in expanding American influence in Hawaii and in establishing a naval base at Pearl Harbor but had not previously expressed an opinion on annexing the islands.


Benjamin Harrison appointed four justices to the Supreme Court of the United States.


Benjamin Harrison had considered Henry Billings Brown, a Michigan judge and admiralty law expert, for the first vacancy and now nominated him for the second.


Finally, at the end of his term, Benjamin Harrison nominated Howell Edmunds Jackson to replace Justice Lamar, who died in January 1893.


Benjamin Harrison knew the incoming Senate would be controlled by Democrats, so he selected Jackson, a respected Tennessee Democrat with whom he was friendly to ensure his nominee would not be rejected.


Six new states were admitted to the Union while Benjamin Harrison was in office:.


Benjamin Harrison was the incarnation of duty and he teaches us today this great lesson: that those who would associate their names with events that shall outlive a century can only do so by high consecration to duty.


Nevertheless, Benjamin Harrison's opponents made the gift the subject of national ridicule, and Mrs Benjamin Harrison and the president were vigorously criticized.


Congressional elections in 1890 had gone against the Republicans; and although Benjamin Harrison had cooperated with congressional Republicans on legislation, several party leaders withdrew their support for him because of his adamant refusal to give party members the nod in the course of his executive appointments.


Many of Benjamin Harrison's detractors persisted in pushing for an incapacitated Blaine, though he announced that he was not a candidate in February 1892.


At the convention in Minneapolis, Benjamin Harrison prevailed on the first ballot, but encountered significant opposition.


Benjamin Harrison had been elected a companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States in 1882, and was elected as commander of the Ohio Commandery on May 3,1893.


Benjamin Harrison traveled around the nation making appearances and speeches in support of William McKinley's candidacy for president.


From July 1895 to March 1901 Benjamin Harrison served on the Board of Trustees of Purdue University, where Benjamin Harrison Hall, a dormitory, was named in his honor.


Benjamin Harrison wrote a series of articles about the federal government and the presidency which were republished in 1897 as a book titled This Country of Ours.


In 1898, Benjamin Harrison served as an attorney for the Republic of Venezuela in their British Guiana boundary dispute with the United Kingdom.


In 1899 Benjamin Harrison attended the First Peace Conference at The Hague.


Benjamin Harrison was an active Presbyterian and served as an Elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis and on a special committee on creed revision in the national Presbyterian General Assembly.


Benjamin Harrison developed what was thought to be influenza, which later proved to be pneumonia, in February 1901.


Benjamin Harrison was treated with steam vapor inhalation and oxygen, but his condition worsened.


Benjamin Harrison died from pneumonia at his home in Indianapolis on March 13,1901, at the age of 67.


Benjamin Harrison's remains are interred in Indianapolis's Crown Hill Cemetery, next to the remains of his first wife, Caroline.


However, Calhoun argues that Benjamin Harrison was even more responsible for the success of trade negotiations, the buildup of the steel Navy, overseas expansion, and emphasis on the American role in dominating the Western Hemisphere through the Monroe Doctrine.


Closely scrutinized by Democrats, Benjamin Harrison's reputation was largely intact when he left the White House.


Benjamin Harrison's presidency belongs properly to the 19th century, but he "clearly pointed the way" to the modern presidency that would emerge under William McKinley.


The bipartisan Sherman Anti-Trust Act signed into law by Benjamin Harrison remains in effect over 120 years later and was the most important legislation passed by the Fifty-first Congress.


The first was a 13-cent stamp issued on November 18,1902, with the engraved likeness of Benjamin Harrison modeled after a photo provided by his widow.


Benjamin Harrison was featured on the five-dollar National Bank Notes from the third charter period, beginning in 1902.


In 1951, Benjamin Harrison's home was opened to the public as a library and museum.


Benjamin Harrison served as a Purdue University Trustee for the last six years of his life.