Benjamin Harrison (1833 – 1901) was the 23rd president of the United States. He was also the second in his family to be elected president. His grandfather, William Henry Harrison, was the ninth president and served the shortest term in history.
During the Civil War, Benjamin joined the Union Army and rose to the rank of brigadier general by 1865. He was the last Civil War general to become president.
In 1888, Harrison was nominated by the Republicans for the presidency. Democrats again tried to derail his campaign, calling him “Little Ben” due to his small stature of five feet, six inches in height. Republicans rallied their support and said he was large enough to wear the hat of his grandfather, also known as “Old Tippecanoe.”
Benjamin Harrison Presidency
Harrison believed in equal rights, and he fought for the rights of homesteaders and Native Americans. He even went against his own party in 1882 to oppose the Chinese Exclusion Act, which would prevent Chinese immigrants from entering the United States.
One of the biggest challenges the new president faced, was the economy and dealing with money. For the first time (except during a war), Congress had collected a billion dollars. He signed several laws to do with business and money.
Harrison ran for re-election but was defeated by president Grover Cleveland, who had already served his first term and now started his second.