Wednesday, August 25, 2010
William Henry Harrison
Nickname: Old Tippecanoe
Very Short Bio:
William Henry Harrison was best known before becoming president as a general who defeated Tecumseh’s forces. Notice I said forces and not Tecumseh. He was away gathering tribes to help them fight the white settlers who were encroaching on their land. Harrison was chosen for the Whig nomination for his reputation, and because southerners didn’t want Henry Clay to be nominated. With the Democrats unpopular due to the plunging economy, the Whigs knew it was their time. Harrison had no political background whatsoever, and had no opinion on any issues. Nevertheless, he was elected with John Tyler- states’ rights advocate-as his vice-president. Wanting to prove that he did have a few things to say on the issues and also wanting to prove he was tough, he gave his inauguration speech in the rain and cold during March without a coat or hat on. He gave the longest inauguration speech ever given. It was around two and a half hours long. That is ridiculous. He became sick after and later that month developed pneumonia and died. Remember, he was 67 years old, so he was no spring chicken. Well, he sort of looked like a chicken. Harrison was dead only a month into his term, giving the presidency to John Tyler.
I would give him a F for his stupidity in not dressing for the weather, but that can’t be the only thing graded. There are questions whether it would have been a chaotic presidency due to the fact that he promised the same government posts to more than one person. But we shall never know, since he didn’t live long enough to screw anything up.