Benjaman Harrison



Number President 23rd president
Terms Served 1 term served
Dates Served 1889-1893
Party Republican
State Represented Indiana
Married to / First Lady Caroline Lavinia Scott Harrison
Born August 20, 1833 in North Bend, Ohio
Died March 13, 1901 in Indianapolis, Indiana
Age Benjaman Harrison would be 175 years old this year


Benjamin Harrison was nominated at the Republican Convention of 1888 on the eight ballot of the party. He was the first candidate to have conducted a front porch campaign in which he delivered short speeches in Indianapolis, to commission that visited him. The Democrats sarcastically called him the “Little Ben” as he was short (only five and a half feet). To this, he serenely replied he was adequate big to wear the hat of “Old Tippecanoe”, his grandfather.

He was born in the year 1833 on a farm at the banks of the Ohio River. He attended the Miami University, Ohio and studied law in Cincinnati. He practiced law when he moved to Indianapolis and started campaigning for the Republican Party. In 1853, he married Caroline Lavinia Scott. He was the Colonel of 70th Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War and when the war ended, he became a highly reputed man of Indianapolis, also becoming famous as a great lawyer.
In 1876, he was defeated by the Democrats for the office of Governor of Indiana. The Democrats used the term “Kid Gloves” Harrison to reduce his reputation as a leader. He served as a member of the United States Senate in 1880’s. During this period, he championed homesteaders, Civil War Veterans and Indians.

Harrison was outnumbered by a hundred thousand popular votes by Cleveland in the Presidential Election in 1889. However, he received 233 Electoral votes to Cleveland’s 168, that made him the President. Harrison did not make any political bargains before the elections, although his supporters pledged immense support for him.Harrison helped to shape a vigorous foreign policy of which he was proud of. The 1st Pan American Congress met in 1883, in Washington and established an information center that later became Pan American Union.

Harrison signed a large number of appropriation bills for naval expansion, internal improvements, to give subsidiaries for steamship lines. Almost a billion dollars was appropriated by the Congress for the first time except in the Civil War. When the critics spoke of the congress as “the billion dollar Congress”, the Speaker Reed said, “This is a billion dollar country”.
Harrison signed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, “for the protection of commerce and trade in opposition to the unlawful monopolies and restraints”, the first Federal act that attempted to regulate trust.

Harrison’s biggest domestic problem during his term was the issue of tariff. The tariff r ates were high that had created an extra amount of money in the Treasury. The low tariff supporters advocated that the treasury was filled at the cost of businesses. Although, the tariff rates were further increased, Nelson Aldrich and William McKinley made a yet higher tariff bill.

Harrison tried in order to make the high rates acceptable by increasing some provisions. Also, the Treasury was removed from the raw sugar that was imported, and the sugar growers in United States were given 2 cents per pound reward on their production.During the last period of Harrison’s term, he signed a treaty to annex Hawaii. However, President Cleveland withdrew it later. Harrison retired to Indianapolis after he left the office and married Mary Dimmick. He died in 1901 at the age of 68.



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