Harrison was born February 9, 1773 at Berkeley plantation, Charles city county, Virginia. He was the last president born a British subject. His father was Benjamin Harrison V (1726-1791). His mother was Elizabeth Bassett Harrison (1730-1792).
Harrison had four sisters and two brothers and he was the youngest of the siblings: Elizabeth Rickman Edmondson, Anna Coupland, Benjamin Harrison VI, Lucy Randolph Singleton, Carter Bassett Harrison and Sarah Minge.
William married Anna Tuthill Symmes when he was 22 and she was 20 years of age on November 25, 1795. They had five sons and four daughters to live maturity: Elizabeth "Betsy" Bassett Harrison (1796-1846), John Claves Symmes Harrison (1798-1830), Lucy Singleton Harrison (1800-1826), William Henry Harrison Jr (1802-1838), John Scott Harrison (1804-1878), Benjamin Harrison (1806-1840), Mary Symmes Harrison (1809-1842), Carter Bassett Harrison (1811-1839), Anna Tuthill Harrison (1813-1845).
William Henry Harrison's education was, at first, with tutors ant the family estate with his brothers and sisters. At age 14 he was enrolled at Hampden-Sydney College in Prince Edwards County for pre-medical instruction. He became an apprentice to Dr. Andrew Leiper of Richmond in 1790 and the next year he enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania Medical school in Philadelphia. He abandoned school to join the Army in 1791 because he ran out of money.
He served in many different positions before his presidency. In 1793, as an army lieutenant he was appointed third aid-de-camp to major general "Mad" Anthony Wayne. He Became Secretary of the Northwest Territory (1798-1799), Northwest Territory Delegate to the US House (1799-1800), Governor of Indiana Territory (1800-1812), US Representative (1816-1819), Ohio State Senator (1819-1821), US Senator (1825-1828), US Minister to Colombia (1826-1829).
He was nominated to the presidency in 1840. His opponent was the President Martin Van Buren who had defeated him 4 years before. John Tyler served as the vice-president from March to April and succeeded president Harrison upon his death in Office (1841).
Even though he was 68 and the oldest man before Ronald Reagan to be inaugurated president, he insisted on delivering an inaugural address lasting one hour and 40 minutes outdoors in a brisk of March wind without hat, gloves, or overcoat. He came down with a cold which grew progressively worst. Harrison died of pneumonia April 4, 1841.
Back to Presidents
Useful links: citizenship Test, The constitution, US President, Bill of Rights