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Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison: Introduction

Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States of America, serving from 1889 to 1893. Born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Ohio, Harrison was the grandson of the 9th U.S. President, William Henry Harrison, and the great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison V, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Harrison grew up in a prominent family where his father, John Scott Harrison, was a congressman, and his mother, Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin Harrison, was a teacher. He attended Miami University in Ohio, where he studied law and played in the university’s marching band.

After completing his studies, Harrison became a lawyer and moved to Indianapolis, where he established his law practice. In 1862, Harrison enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War and rose to the rank of brigadier general. He was responsible for raising and training troops in Indiana and commanded a brigade of infantry during the Battle of Resaca in Georgia.

After the war, Harrison returned to his law practice and continued to be involved in politics. He served as a U.S. Senator from Indiana from 1881 to 1887 and was known for his strong stance on civil rights and his support for the African American community

In 1888, Harrison won the United States Presidential election as a Republican candidate. He defeated the incumbent President, Grover Cleveland, by winning 233 electoral votes to Cleveland’s 168. Harrison’s presidency was marked by significant economic growth, the passage of several important laws, and an expansion of the United States’ influence on the world stage. Here are some specific details about Harrison’s life and presidency:

Early Life

– Benjamin Harrison was the second of eight children born to John Scott Harrison and Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin Harrison.

– He attended college at Miami University in Ohio, graduating in 1852 with a law degree.

– Harrison married Caroline Lavinia Scott in 1853, and they had two children.

– Scott died of tuberculosis in 1892, while Harrison was President.

Civil War Service

– Harrison was a captain in the Union Army’s 70th Indiana Infantry Regiment at the start of the Civil War.

– He was promoted to colonel and regimental commander in 1862, and then to brigadier general in 1864.

– Harrison participated in several battles in Kentucky and Tennessee and led a brigade of infantry at the Battle of Resaca in Georgia.

– He resigned from the Army in 1865 and returned to his law practice.

Political Career

– Harrison was an active member of the Republican Party and served as the party’s chairman in Indiana.

– In 1880, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served until 1887.

– Harrison was an advocate for civil rights and was known for his support of African American suffrage and equal rights.

– He was a strong critic of President Cleveland’s policies and was nominated by the Republican Party to run against him in the 1888 Presidential election.


– Harrison won the 1888 Presidential election, defeating incumbent President Grover Cleveland.

– He was sworn into office on March 4, 1889.

– One of Harrison’s major accomplishments as President was signing the Sherman Antitrust Act into law in 1890. The law was designed to combat monopolies and protect competition in the marketplace.

– Harrison also signed the McKinley Tariff Act into law in 1890, which raised tariffs on imported goods.

– He increased the size of the Navy and launched several new warships, including the battleship USS Maine.

– In 1892, Harrison signed the Land Revision Act, which expanded the power of the federal government to manage public lands.

– Harrison lost his bid for reelection in 1892 to Grover Cleveland and left office on March 4, 1893.

Later Life

– After leaving office, Harrison returned to his law practice, where he represented several large corporations.

– He remained active in politics and was considered a potential Presidential candidate in 1896.

– Harrison married his second wife, Mary Dimmick, in 1896, and they had one child together.

– Harrison died on March 13, 1901, from pneumonia, and was buried in Indianapolis.


Benjamin Harrison’s presidency was marked by significant economic growth and the passage of several important laws. He is best known for signing the Sherman Antitrust Act into law, which remains an important tool for regulating business practices in the United States. Harrison’s commitment to civil rights and his support for African American suffrage continues to be admired by historians and political scholars.

Harrison was also an important figure in the history of the Republican Party, and his political career helped shape the party’s platform for years to come. His advocacy for a strong Navy and his emphasis on expanding the power of the federal government also influenced subsequent administrations.

In summary, Benjamin Harrison was a lawyer, soldier, and politician who rose to prominence during the Civil War and went on to serve as the 23rd President of the United States. His presidency was marked by significant economic growth and the passage of several important laws, including the Sherman Antitrust Act. Harrison was an advocate for civil rights and was known for his support of African American suffrage and equal rights. His legacy as a prominent figure in the history of the Republican Party continues to be celebrated today.

Founding Fathers: Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison was born on April 5, 1726, in Charles City County, Virginia. He studied at the College of William and Mary, but because his father died in 1745, not too long before he was about to graduate, he went back home to help take care of the family plantation. Later on, Benjamin Harrison became the owner of eight different plantations. He also became involved in the shipping business.

Benjamin Harrison’s entered politics in 1749. Harrison entered the Virginia House of Burgesses. He did this when the revolutionary movement began after the British Parliament started to talk about the Stamp Act around 1764. The House of Burgesses set up a committee to write a protest against the Stamp Act, and Benjamin Harrison was one of the people who helped write it.

Benjamin Harrison was a traditional and conservative person, and she showed the next year once the Stamp Act was passed. Patrick Henry was another Founding Father who felt that the colonies should fight back but refusing to follow some of the laws and demands of the British government. Benjamin Harrison did not agree with Patrick Henry.

When the tension between the British Parliament and the American colonies grew stronger, Benjamin Harrison decided to fight for the side of the American patriots. The House of Burgesses was closed down by the Royal Governor in 1774, but soon he was chosen to be a member of the First Continental Congress.

Here, Benjamin Harrison was very important and he helped in many different committees that looked at military, money, and the colonies’ relationships with other countries. From 1776 to 1777, Benjamin Harrison acted as a judge in many debates in the Continental Congress. Ultimately, these debates led to him and the other Founding father to sign the Declaration of Independence. He also signed the Articles of Confederation.

In 1777, Benjamin Harrison left the Continental Congress and went home to Virginia. Here, he became a member of the Virginia House of Representatives. He also became the speaker of the house until 1781. Afterward, Benjamin Harrison became Governor of Virginia. He was governor until 1784 when he decided to retire after three terms. Benjamin Harrison died on April 24, 1791, at the age of 65. He was buried in his family’s cemetery.

Fun Facts for Kids about Benjamin Harrison

•Benjamin Harrison’s son and great-grandson were both Presidents of the United States.

•There is no portrait of Benjamin Harrison as “a signer” of the Declaration of Independence. Even though in the famous painting Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence has someone labeled as Benjamin Harrison, that person was actually based on Harrison’s son. He is “shown” as the most left person on the back of the American two-dollar bill.

•Benjamin Harrison was born on April 5, making him an Aries.

•The Royal Governor tried to bribe Harrison, be he turned it down and said he was devoted to Republican principles.