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William Henry Harrison: The Ninth President

William Henry Harrison was the ninth president, and just one of many in a family of American leaders.

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William Henry Harrison (1773–1841) was the ninth president of the United States. He took office on March 4, 1841, but died of pneumonia on April 4, 1841. Even though he didn’t stay the nation’s leader for long, he lived an eventful life.

Harrison was born on February 9, 1773, at his family’s plantation. His father, Benjamin Harrison V, signed the Declaration of Independence and served as governor of Virginia.

William Henry Harrison got a reputation as a fighter against the American Indians. In 1794, he fought at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, which opened the Ohio country to white settlement. He was promoted to captain and became the commander of Ohio’s Fort Washington.

Harrison and Anna Tuthill Symmes were married in 1795. They had ten children, six of whom died before Harrison became president.

William Henry Harrison resigned from the Army in 1798 and became the secretary of the Northwest Territory, assigned by President John Adams.

He won the election of 1840, and became president at 68. He gave a long inaugural speech, the longest in history, and chose not to wear a coat or hat despite the cold weather. Four weeks later, he died of pneumonia, and the vice president, John Tyler, took over, gaining the name of “His Accidency.”

First lady Anna Harrison became the first presidential widow to get a pension from Congress, which was a one-time payment of $25,000, the amount her husband would have earned in a year as president. She was also given free postage on all her mail.

Kelli Ballard

National Correspondent at and Kelli Ballard is an author, editor, and publisher. Her writing interests span many genres including a former crime/government reporter, fiction novelist, and playwright. Originally a Central California girl, Kelli now resides in the Seattle area.

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