Despite the fact that the Presidency of William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) lasted for only a month, the Harrison family left its mark on history before and after the 9th President’s 31-day stint in the White House in 1841. In fact, the Harrisons were one of the first American political dynasties.
John Scott Harrison (1804-1878), who served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1850s, is the only person in American history to be the son of one President and the father of another. His son (and William Henry Harrison’s grandson), Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901), was the nation’s 23rd President from 1889-1893.
However, the family’s most accomplished member was William Henry Harrison’s father and the man whom the 23rd President was named after — Benjamin Harrison V (1726-1791).
One of the nation’s Founding Fathers, the elder Benjamin Harrison never served as President himself, but he had direct or indirect links to several Presidents, not counting his son and great-grandson.
Benjamin Harrison V served in Virginia’s House of Burgesses for nearly 30 years (1748-1775) and became an early, vocal opponent of British policies towards the colonies. As Revolution approached, Harrison was a leading member of the Virginia delegation to the first and second Continental Congresses and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
During the second Continental Congress, Harrison shared a home in Philadelphia with a fellow Virginian — his roommate was George Washington. During the Revolutionary War, Harrison was often entrusted with drafting orders and dispatches to General Washington on behalf of Congress.
As war raged on, Harrison returned to the Virginia state legislature, newly christened as the House of Delegates, where he crossed paths with another future President — Thomas Jefferson. In 1778, Harrison defeated Jefferson in a race to become the speaker of Virginia’s House. Three years later, Harrison succeeded Jefferson as Governor of Virginia.
Following his term as Governor, Benjamin Harrison V sought to regain a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates. While he eventually won re-election to the House and remained in Virginia’s legislature until his death in 1791, he initially came up short. Harrison lost a race in 1784 to John Tyler, Sr.
It wouldn’t be the last campaign featuring a Harrison and Tyler.
In 1840 — 56 years after Benjamin Harrison V and John Tyler, Sr. faced off for a seat in Virginia’s legislature — their sons, William Henry and John Jr., teamed up and were elected President and Vice President of the United States.
Is it just me, or does this question sound suspiciously homework-ish?
Bullets are not worth considering. Besides I am so conceited that I do not think the Gods would create so potent a being for so prosaic an ending.
Winston Churchill, 21 years old, in a letter to his mother after his first experience of being shot at in combat, 1895
I think Obama has had successes, but in many areas, he has been disappointing.
Really, I think the biggest issue throughout his Presidency has been the fact that his White House Communications staff has been terrible. I can’t think of another recent Administration that has had such an awful record of explaining , or touting its accomplishments. Even when they have done some great things, they invariably botch the public relations aspect. Obama should have fired his Chief of Staff, his Press Secretary, and his Communications team long ago. As I’ve said many times, one of the biggest blunders (if not THE biggest) of Obama’s Presidency was trying to take ownership of the term “Obamacare” instead of pushing it as the Affordable Care Act. It’s an intentionally divisive name for the program and trying to take ownership of the term was flat-out stupid politics. It’s not Presidential, it makes what should be an important step in governing feel and sound like a constant campaign rallying cry, and it made the ACA about Obama instead of about the millions of uninsured Americans who would benefit from the legislation. President Obama should have been smarter than that, and his Communications team should have recognized the perils of branding something so important in Obama’s name simply to try to be cute with campaign techniques.
Presidents eventually have to govern, especially if they’ve won re-election and have nothing else to campaign for. Obama’s team has failed him — numerous times — and the President has failed his supporters by not cleaning house. One of the biggest blows to Obama’s Presidency was Rahm Emanuel’s departure to become Mayor of Chicago. If any President needed a strong White House Chief of Staff, it’s Obama. Obama needs a Chief of Staff who isn’t a longtime member of his inner circle or a close political buddy. I wish he’d get a Leon Panetta-type to run his White House operations for the remainder of his term and try to salvage things. Hell, I wish he’d just ask Leon Panetta.
I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.
President Warren G. Harding, to Columbia University president Nicholas Murray Butler, 1922
"Age is creeping inexorably in. I’m only just now beginning to see the first glimpse of what it truly means to be between two natures. I must admit this had always remained an intellectual notion for me for many years. Now I can really feel it. The incredible weakness of my wish & how it is always swallowed up by this adversary of my imagined self — the picture of who I am. This greedy one, never satisfied, always hungry for something ‘more’, something different, something else, something elsewhere. My inclination always is to do battle with this part of myself — to ‘get rid’ of it; to smother it; cast it out somehow but never to simply ‘see’ it. Very difficult. I don’t find it easy at all to accept. It’s hugely seductive &, in fact, such a major part of me I don’t see how I could live without it. Maybe this is the beginning of understanding ‘sacrifice’. I don’t know. At times I feel I’m right on the cutting edge of a whole new understanding & right in that moment I see I’m unwilling to take the leap. Scared maybe; afraid to lose the very aspect of this false self that keeps me in prison." — Sam Shepard, letter to Johnny Dark, August 17, 1998 (From "2 Prospectors: The Letters of Sam Shepard and Johnny Dark")
I don’t understand it myself. That’s definitely something that the President (especially this President) should have marked with something significant.
LBJ had recently been hospitalized with a bad cold and his doctors advised him not to make the trip. He was heavily criticized domestically and internationally, not only for not making the trip to London himself, but also for not sending Vice President Humphrey.
LBJ noted that he had spent several years as VP and wanted to break the idea that the main responsibility of Vice Presidents was to attend funerals. He tabbed General Eisenhower and Chief Justice Earl Warren to lead the U.S. delegation and felt that was sufficient.
There were allegations that LBJ had snubbed Churchill’s funeral because Churchill didn’t attend the funeral of FDR (one of LBJ’s mentors). That’s just silly. FDR died in the hectic, closing days of World War II in Europe and Churchill couldn’t be expected to make a risky Trans-Atlantic trip as the Allies and Soviets were closing in on Hitler and Berlin.
Wow…you’ve been paying attention. I think I only mentioned Alex Wagner a couple of times, and not recently!
I’ve been quiet about my internet crush for a while, mainly because she follows me on Twitter and about.me and I don’t want to creep her out. However, I’m totally into Asha de Vos and the extraordinary work she is doing to help save the blue whales. Asha is amazing.
(Oh, and giantsquidandlocomotives, of course.)
MANDELA deserves a Google/Wikipedia search, at least, not a quickie Tumblr answer.
I’ll say this: stringing together the names of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela is not hagiography. Mandela was imprisoned, forced to break rocks, for 27 years — TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS — and when he got out and came to power, instead of lining up his enemies and having them shot, he forgave them. His fight became a battle for reconciliation and unity. Mandela was an extraordinary human being.
It looks like it’s going to be pretty big. I think Pope John Paul II’s funeral was actually bigger than Churchill’s. After all, LBJ didn’t even go to Churchill’s funeral (big mistake — Sir Winston deserved better).
JPII’s funeral was huge. I mean, pretty much every world leader was there — OUTSIDE, in Saint Peter’s Square, with the people. You had the Israeli and Iranian Presidents sitting next to each other. That was a remarkable gathering. Mandela’s could surpass it.
I imagine that they will all travel together on Air Force One with President Obama.
I’m pretty sure everyone traveled with the incumbent President to Pope John Paul II’s funeral in 2005 and Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral in 1995. And when Sadat was assassinated, Reagan didn’t go to the funeral, but he sent Nixon, Ford, and Carter to Cairo together on AF1.