President Benjamin Harrison
Biography

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 121-123, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
 
  BENJAMIN HARRISON, the twenty-third President of the United States, 1889, was born at North Bend, Hamilton County, Ohio, in the house of his grandfather, William Henry Harrison (who was the ninth President of this country), August 20th, 1833. He is a descendant of one of the historical families of this country, as also of England. The head of the family was a Major-General Harrison who was devoted to the cause of Oliver Cromwell. It became the duty of this Harrison to participate in the trial of Charles I, and afterward to sign the death warrant of the king, which subsequently cost him his life. His enemies succeeding to power, he was condemned and executed October 13th, 1660. His descendants came to America, and the first mention made in history of the Harrison family as representative in public affairs, is that of Benjamin Harrison, great-grandfather of our present President, who was a member of the Continental Congress, 1774-5-6, and one of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence, and three times Governor of Virginia. His son, William Henry Harrison, made a brilliant military record, was Governor of the Northwest Territory, and the ninth President of the United States.
  The subject of this sketch at an early age became a student at Farmers College, where he remained two years, at the end of which time he entered Miami University, at Oxford, Ohio. Upon graduation from said seat of learning he entered, as a student, the office of Stover & Gwyne, a notable law firm at Cincinnati, Ohio, where he applied himself closely to the study of his chosen profession, and here laid the foundation for the honorable and famous career before him. He spent two years with the firm in Cincinnati, at the expiration of which time he received the only inheritance of his life, which was a lot left him by an aunt, which he sold for $800. This sum he deemed sufficient to justify him in marrying the lady of his choice, and to whom he was then engaged, a daughter of Dr. Scott, then Principal of a female school at Oxford, Ohio.
  After marriage he located at Indianapolis, Indiana, where he began the practice of law. Meeting with slight encouragement he made but little the first year, but applied himself closely to his business, and by perseverance, honorable dealing and an upright life, succeeded in building up an extensive practice and took a leading position in the legal profession.
  In 1860 he was nominated for the position of Supreme Court Reporter for the State of Indiana, and then began his experience as a stump speaker. He canvassed the State thoroughly and was elected.
  In 1862 his patriotism caused him to abandon a civil office and to offer his country his services in a military capacity. He organized the Seventieth Indiana Infantry and was chosen its Colonel. Although his regiment was composed of raw material, and he practically void of military schooling, he at once mastered military tactics and drilled his men, so that when he with his regiment was assigned to Gen. Sherman's command it was known as one of the best drilled organizations of the army. He was especially distinguished for bravery at the battles of Resacca and Peach Tree Creek. For his bravery and efficiency at the last named battle he was made a Brigadier-General, General Hooker speaking of him in the most complimentary terms.
  While General Harrison was actively engaged in the Held the Supreme Court declared the office of Supreme Court Reporter vacant, and another person was elected to fill the position. From the time of leaving Indiana with his regiment for the front, until the fall of 1864, General Harrison had taken no leave of absence. But having been nominated that year for the same office that he vacated in order to serve his country where he could do the greatest good, he got a thirty-day leave of absence, and during that time canvassed the State and was elected for another term as Supreme Court Reporter. He then started to rejoin his command, then with General Sherman in the South, but was stricken down with fever and after a very trying siege, made his way to the front, and participated in the closing scenes and incidents of the war.
  In 1868 General Harrison declined a reelection as Reporter, and applied himself to the practice of his profession. He was a candidate for Governor of Indiana on the Republican ticket in 1876. Although defeated, the brilliant campaign brought him to public notice and gave him a National reputation as an able and formidable debater and he was much sought in the Eastern States as a public speaker. He took an active part in the Presidential campaign of 1880, and was elected to the United States Senate, where he served six years, and was known as one of the strongest debaters, as well as one of the ablest men and best lawyers. When his term expired in the Senate he resumed his law practice at Indianapolis, becoming the head of one of the strongest law firms in the State of Indiana.
  Sometime prior to the opening of the Presidential campaign of 1888, the two great political parties (Republican and Democratic) drew the line of political battle on the question of tariff, which became the leading issue and the rallying watchword during the memorable campaign. The Republicans appealed to the people for their voice as to a tariff to protect home industries, while the Democrats wanted a tariff for revenue only. The Republican convention assembled in Chicago in June and selected Mr. Harrison as their standard bearer on a platform of principles, among other important clauses being that of protection, which he cordially indorsed in accepting the nomination. November 6, 1888, after a heated canvass, General Harrison was elected, defeating Grover Cleveland, who was again the nominee of the Democratic party.  He was inaugurated and assumed the duties of his office March 4, 1889.




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