- NAME: Benjamin Harrison
- OCCUPATION: U.S. President
- BIRTH DATE: August 20, 1833
- DEATH DATE: March 13, 1901
- EDUCATION: Miami University, Farmer's College
- PLACE OF BIRTH: North Bend, Ohio
- PLACE OF DEATH: Indianapolis, Indiana
- Nickname: "Kid Gloves Harrison"
- Nickname: "Little Ben"
- Full Name: Benjamin Harrison
Best Known For
Benjamin Harrison is best known as the 23rd president of the United States. He was the grandson of President William Henry Harrison.
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Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States, was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Ohio. He came from a prominent Virginia family and was the grandson of U.S. President William Henry Harrison. Harrison was elected to the presidency in 1888, ousting Grover Cleveland. He lost the presidency to Cleveland a tumultuous four years later. Harrison died at his home in Indianapolis, Indiana,
"We Americans have no commission from God to police the world."
"I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process."
on March 13, 1901.
Benjamin Harrison was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Ohio. The Harrisons were among the First Families of Virginia, with roots stretching back to Jamestown. Benjamin was a grandson of President William Henry Harrison and the great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison V, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Harrison attended Farmer's College, where he met Caroline Scott. In 1850, he transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After completing college, Harrison studied law and eventually established his own practice. He then married Caroline Scott and the couple later had two children, Russell Benjamin Harrison and Mary "Mamie" Scott Harrison.
Harrison joined the Republican Party shortly after its formation in 1856, campaigning for national candidates and participating in local races. War interrupted Harrison's political aspirations. He joined the Union Army as an officer, participating in William Tecumseh Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. By the war's end, he had reached the rank of brigadier general.
Harrison resumed his political career after 1865. Following several unsuccessful runs for office, he was elected to the United States Senate in 1880. He supported the Republican Party positions of generous pensions for veterans and education for free blacks. Harrison broke with his party, however, to oppose the controversial Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
In 1885, Harrison was defeated in his bid for re-election. He would not to be out of the spotlight for long, however: As the presidential election of 1888 approached, the Republican Party found itself without a clear candidate after favorite James G. Blaine withdrew his name from contention. Harrison was nominated on the eighth ballot to run against President Grover Cleveland. As a running mate, the convention selected Levi P. Morton.
Harrison ran a front porch campaign, receiving delegations and delivering speeches without traveling far afield. In the end, he prevailed in an election fraught with corruption, winning the Electoral College while losing the popular vote.
Harrison was sworn into office on March 4, 1889. Among the major issues facing his administration were civil servicereform, the administration of Civil War pensions and the regulation of tariffs. The spending policies of the federal government during Harrison's term earned the legislative branch the moniker "the Billion Dollar Congress."
The problems of currency reform and economic equity were also matters that Harrison was compelled to address.
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The first U.S. president, former military leader George Washington, took his oath of office on April 30, 1789, on the balcony of Federal Hall. From that moment onward, the United States' highest office has been filled regularly by elected officials who aim to serve the people under the guidance of the U.S. Constitution. Learn more about the 43 men who have served as America's chief executive.
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