William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison

9th President of the United States, 1773-1841

Contents

Table of Figures

Early Life

Childhood

Education

Military Career 1791-8

Commission as Ensign

Assigned to the Northwest Territories

Battle of Fallen Timbers 1794

Marriage 1795

Secretary of Northwest Territory 1798-9

Governor of Indiana Territory 1801

Policy on Slavery

Indian Policy

Tecumseh

Treaty of Fort Wayne 1809

Tecumseh’s War, 1809

Council of Vincennes 1810

Battle of Tippecanoe, November 1811

Troubles in Indiana

War of 1812

Fort Meigs, May 1813

Naval Battle of Put-in-Bay September 1813

Battle of Thames River, 5th October 1813

Political Career

House 1816-19

Ohio Senator 1819-21

U.S. Senator 1825-8

Ambassador to Colombia 1828-9

1829-1835 Clerk of the Court

Presidential Candidate 1836

Presidential Election 1840

The Log Cabin Campaign

Presidency

Inauguration, March 4th, 1841

Activity

Death

Posthumous

Burial

Tyler President

Later

Appendix ONE: Harrison’s Inaugural Speech

Bibliography:

Table of Figures

Figure 1 The House at Berkeley Plantation

Figure 2: Fort Washington in 1810

Figure 3 The Battle of Fallen Timbers

Figure 4: Anna Tuthill Symmes

Figure 5: Harrison in 1800

Figure 6: Grouseland

Figure 7: Commemorative Stamp from Indiana

Figure 8: Tecumseh

Figure 9: Meeting with Indians

Figure 10: The Battle of Tippecanoe

Figure 11: Harrison & Tecumseh commemorated in Lafayette

Figure 12 Detroit surrenders to Harrison

Figure 13: Fort Meigs

Figure 14: Commodore Perry, Battle of Put-in-Bay

Figure 15: Battle of Thames River – d. of Tecumseh?

Figure 16: ‘He cultivated his land’

Figure 17: ‘Senator and Statesman

Figure 18: The Log Cabin Campaign

Figure 19: Harrison, depicted as a locomotive, bears down on Van Buren.

Figure 20: William Henry Harrison portrait

Figure 21: William Henry Harrison portrait (2nd)

Figure 22: The Death of Harrison

Figure 23: His funeral

Figure 24: Harrison House, Franklinton, a Museum since 1976

Early Life

Childhood

William Henry Harrison (1,2) was a scion of the Virginia planter aristocracy. (9,11) He was born on 9th Feb 1773 in Charles City, Charles City County, Virginia, (2,5) on Berkeley Plantation (9,16) on the James River, (16) where his father was a planter. (9) He was the youngest of (9) Benjamin

Figure 1 The House at Berkeley Plantation

Harrison, (5,7) V (9,10) and Elizabeth Bassett’s (9,12) seven children. (9) He had four sisters and two brothers. (12) He was the last president to be born as a British citizen before the American Independence. (9,10) He was born to a politically active (12) family, of English descent. (17) His ancestors had been in Virginia since the 1630s. (17) Five generations before William had served in political office before the American Revolution. (12) His father was a member of the Continental Congress (5,9) and signed the Declaration of Independence. (5,7) From this he became known within his family as “The Signer.” (16) When William was a small child (7) his father, had served (8,9) as the fifth (17) governor of Virginia (8,9) between 1781 and 1784. (9,17) [OR] (1774–1777) (9) Harrison Senior decried the lack of a Bill of Rights. (16)  In 1781, during the American Revolution, the Harrison house at Berkeley was looted of valuables and sacked, but left standing, by the British. (16)

Education

William was tutored as a youth (12,16) In 1787 (9) at the age of 14 (16,17) he went to the Presbyterian (9,17) Hampden-Sydney (9,11) [OR] Sidney (16) College. (9,11) in Southampton County. (12) He attended the school for three years, until 1790, (9,17) receiving a classical education (17) including Latin, (9,17) Greek, (16,17) French, (9,17) logic, and debate. (17) He studied classics (11,13) and enjoyed the study of Greek and Roman (16) history (11,13) and became fluent in Latin and French. (9) His Episcopalian father removed him from the college, possibly for religious reasons, and he briefly attended a boys’ academy in Southampton County, Virginia, where he boarded with Robert Morris. (17) He decided to become a doctor, (8,12) in 1791 (11,12) [OR] 1790. (16,17) In April 1791 (17) he began to study medicine (11,12) in the University of Pennsylvania Medical School (12,16) at Richmond, (11,16) Virginia (16) [OR] in Philadelphia, (16,17) with another co-signer of the Declaration of Independence, (13) Benjamin Rush, (13,17) and William Shippen Sr., (17) [OR] with Dr. Andrew Leiper. (16) In the spring of 1791, shortly after he began his medical studies, his father (17) suddenly (8,11) died. (17)

Military Career 1791-8

Commission as Ensign

He was only 18 and Robert Morris became his guardian. (17) He discovered that his family’s financial situation left him without funds for further schooling (17) so that he could no longer afford the Medical School. (12) [OR] He changed his mind. (8) With his financial status altered, (16) he dropped out of medical school (12,17) and joined the army (8,12) infantry, (16) after being persuaded by Governor Henry Lee III, a friend of Harrison’s father, (16,17) and President George Washington. (16) On August 16th, 1791, within 24 hours of meeting him, (17) Lee arranged Harrison a commission (11,16) as an ensign (11,17) He was 18 years old at the time. (17) He was now an officer (1,3) in the First Infantry of the Regular Army. (11,13)

Assigned to the Northwest Territories

After his training (8) he headed to the Northwest, (8,11) the area covered by Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, (5,8) and part of Minnesota today. (8,16) Bordering the Great Lakes and Canada, (16) this huge tract of land (13) had been created by the Northwest Ordinance of July, 1787, an act of the Confederation Congress. (16) William settled in North Bend, Ohio, on land overlooking the wide, northward sweep of the Ohio River. (6) There he spent much of his life. (8,11) In the autumn of 1791, (16) he was assigned to his first post at (17) Fort Washington, (16,19) near present-day (14)

Figure 2: Fort Washington in 1810

Cincinnati. (16,17) It was a stockade (16) in the Northwest Territory (16,17) where the army was engaged in the ongoing Northwest Indian War. (16,17) He criticized the high rates of intoxication observed among U.S. troops. (16) He had a distinguished career, (7,12) serving in battles against the Native Americans (5,8) of the Northwest Indian Confederation, (13) In the Battle of the Wabash (also known as St. Clair’s Defeat) in November, 1791, (16) U.S. army forces under the command of (16,17) Major General (16) Arthur St. Clair (16,19) the Governor of the Northwest Territories (16) were decisively defeated (16,17) by a confederation of Indians led by Miami chief Little Turtle and Shawnee chief Blue Jacket. (16) Revolutionary War hero (16) Major (17) General (11,13) “Mad Anthony” Wayne (8,11) (1745-1796) (16) took command of the western army in 1792. (17)

Figure 3 The Battle of Fallen Timbers

Battle of Fallen Timbers 1794

Harrison was promoted to lieutenant, and was a protégé under Wayne whose forces opposed the pan-tribal Western Indian Confederacy led by Blue Jacket. (16) In 1793, [OR] after the Battle of Fallen Timbers (16) he became Wayne’s aide-de-camp (11,16) and learned how to command an army on the American frontier. (17) Tension with the Indians culminated (13) in the Battle of Fallen Timbers (8,10) on August (13,17) 20th (17) 1794. (8,10) Harrison fought at Fallen Timbers under Wayne (8,10) and he and his men did well to hold the line. (12) After this decisive victory (14,17) [OR] in May 1797, (17) Harrison was promoted to captain (14,16) Fallen Timbers cleared the Native Americans out of the area, (8) and effectively ended the Northwest Indian War. (10 Harrison became commander at Fort Washington. (14) Similar things were happening elsewhere on the frontier: “In the autumn of 1794 the Cherokees were so thoroughly punished by General Robertson’s famous Nickajack expedition that henceforth they thought it best to leave the Tennessee settlements in peace’. (AJ20) In August (16) 1795, (16,17) Harrison was present at negotiations of (16) the Treaty of Greenville, (16,17) a peace treaty made between Anthony Wayne, as the principal negotiator for the U.S. (17) and the Indian leaders. (16,17) Harrison was a signatory of the Treaty (17) which established a boundary line between Native American and Anglo-American settlement by which (16) Indian signers ceded a portion of their lands to the federal government, opening two-thirds of Ohio to white control, (16,17) and settlement. (8,11) 

Marriage 1795

Following his mother’s death in 1793, Harrison inherited a portion of his family’s Virginia estate, including approximately 3,000 acres (12 km2) of land and several slaves. (17) He was serving in the Army at the time and sold his land to his brother. (17) In around 1795 Harrison traded family land held in Virginia for title to land in Kentucky. (16) This transaction signified a shift in regional identification from southerner to westerner. (16) He married Elizabeth (‘Betsy’) Bassett Harrison on Sep 29th 1796. (4) [OR] In 1795 (9,22) when he was 22, (17) he met Anna (9,12) Tuthill (12,13) Symmes, (9,12) in Lexington, Kentucky. (16) She was a well-read lady (12,16) boarding-school educated (16) and from a wealthy family. (12,16) Her father (12,14) Colonel (16,17) John Cleves Symmes (16,17) had served as a colonel in the Revolutionary War and a representative to the Congress of the Confederation. (17) He was a judge and wealthy (12,14) western-land speculator (16) and land owner in Ohio. (14) An excellent horsewoman, Anna was well suited to frontier and military life. (16)


Figure 4: Anna Tuthill Symmes

The match was supported by Anthony Wayne. (16) Her father initially disapproved of their marriage (12,16) Harrison asked  him for permission to marry Anna but he refused, (17) feeling that the military was not a stable career choice. (12,13) The couple waited until Symmes left on business. (17) The Harrisons then eloped, (14,17) and were married on November (12,16) 22nd, (12) [OR] 25th (17) 1795. (12,16) at the North Bend home of Dr. Stephen Wood, treasurer of the Northwest Territory. (17) They honeymooned at Fort Washington, since Harrison was still on military duty. (17) Judge Symmes confronted him two weeks later at a farewell dinner for General Wayne, sternly demanding to know how he intended to support a family. (17) Harrison responded, “by my sword, and my own right arm, sir.” (17) Harrison won over his father-in-law, (17) who later sold the Harrisons (16,17) 160 acres (65 ha) (17) of land (16,17) outside the village of (16) North Bend (16,17) which enabled Harrison to build a home and start a farm. (17) The Harrisons moved to a log-cabin home there. (16) In 1796 their eldest daughter Elizabeth was born. (16) They had ten (9,14) [OR] nine (12,17) children (9,12) five sons (12,17) John Cleves Symmes (1798–1830), William Henry (1802–1838), John Scott Harrison, (12,14) (1804-78) (14,17) father of future U.S. president Benjamin Harrison, Benjamin (1806–1840), Carter Bassett (1811–1839) (17) would grow up to become a U.S. congressman from Ohio (14) and  James Findlay (1814–1817), (17) and four daughters. (12,17) Elizabeth Bassett (1796–1846), Lucy Singleton (1800–1826), Mary Symmes (1809–1842) and Anna Tuthill. (1813–1865) Six of these died before Harrison became president. (14) and be the father of Benjamin Harrison the 23rd President. (6,12) This Benjamin was born in North Bend. (6) Harrison also allegedly had an additional six children by Dilsia, an enslaved African-American woman. (17) Among these was a grandmother of Walter Francis White. (17) The story is unlikely, however, given Harrison’s early departure from the south. (17) Harrison’s older (9) brother, Carter (5,9) Bassett (9) Harrison, was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, (5,9) and William became the first Congressman to represent this area. (8)  In 1796-97, while still in command of the quiet outpost of Fort Washington, he invested in business, including a gristmill, a whiskey distillery, and a sawmill, in Indiana Territory. (16) None of the ventures proved profitable. (16)

Secretary of Northwest Territory 1798-9

Having reached the rank of captain he (12,17) he resigned from the army (8,11) on 1st June (17) 1798 (8,11) and began his political career. (8,10) He campaigned among his friends and family for a post in the Northwest Territorial government. (17) His close friend Timothy Pickering was serving as Secretary of State, and he helped him to get a recommendation to replace Winthrop Sargent,

Figure 5: Harrison in 1800

the outgoing territorial secretary. (17) He held various government jobs before (13) in July 1798. (17) being appointed (8,10) by President John Adams (13,17) to be Secretary of the Northwest (5,7) [OR] Indiana (16) Territory, (5,7) a huge tract of land composed of most of the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. (13) He served under its first governor since July 1788, Arthur St. Clair (1737-1818), former president of the Continental Congress and an aide-de-camp to George Washington during the American Revolution. (16) In 1799 (10) he was elected as the territory’s delegate in the House of Representatives. (5,10) He helped obtain legislation, (11,16) the Land Act of 1800. (16,17) It reduced the size of tracts of federal land available to western white settlers and made land available on credit, increasing white settlement but also raising the number of foreclosures. (16) The sale price for public lands was set at only $2 per acre, and this became an important contributor to rapid population growth in the Territory. (17) Harrison also served on the committee that (17) divided the Territory into the Northwest and Indiana Territories. (11,16)

Governor of Indiana Territory 1801

The sociable Harrisons enjoyed evenings at President John Quincy Adams’s residence. (16) In 1801, (8,10) [OR] in May-July 1800 (16) President John (10,13) Quincy (16) Adams named him (10,13) Governor (8,10) of the newly formed (10, Tec 13) Indiana (5,7) Territory. (7,8) [OR] Territories (5) Harrison began his duties on January 10, 1801(17) [OR] in 1800; he went to live (16) at Vincennes, (16,17) the capital of the Indiana Territory. (17) It was an old French and Indian settlement some 200 miles from Cincinnati, and he stayed there until 1811. (16) Meanwhile the State of Ohio was founded in 1803, becoming the 17th state of the United States. (16) In 1804 (16) [OR] 1805 (17) [OR] 1803 (14) Harrison built (17) [OR] had built (14) a home near Vincennes that he named Grouseland, (14,17) alluding to the birds on the property. (17) This, his Gubernatorial mansion, was a well-constructed two-story (16) plantation-style (17) brick home, (16,17) with thick exterior walls to protect against potential Indian raids. (14) Today, it is a museum. (14)  It was a sensation in Vincennes (16) because it was one of the first (17) [OR] The first (14) brick structure in the territory. (14,17) It had thirteen rooms, and it served as a centre of social and political life in the territory during his tenure as governor. (17) Harrison had wide-ranging powers in the new territory, including the authority to appoint territorial officials and to divide the territory into smaller political districts and counties. (17) As governor he supported the creation of an agricultural society and a circulating library, and encouraged founding of the Indiana Gazette (16) and Jefferson University (17) [OR] Vincennes college (16) at Vincennes in 1801 which was incorporated as Vincennes University on November 29th 1806. (17) It was to be supported by public lottery. (16) Harrison was assigned to administer the civilian government of the District of Louisiana in 1804, a part of the Louisiana Territory that included land north of the 33rd parallel. (17) In October, a civilian government went into effect and Harrison served as the Louisiana district’s executive leader. (17) He administered the district’s affairs for five weeks until the Louisiana

Figure 6: Grouseland

Territory was formally established on July 4, 1805, and Brigadier General James Wilkinson assumed the duties of governor. (17)

Policy on Slavery

In 1803, he lobbied Congress to suspend Article VI of the Northwest Ordinance for 10 years, a move that would allow slavery in the Indiana Territory. (17) At the end of the suspension period, citizens in the territories covered under the ordinance could decide for themselves whether to permit slavery. (17) Harrison claimed that the suspension was necessary to encourage settlement and would make the territory economically viable, but Congress rejected the idea. (17) In 1803 and 1805, Harrison and the appointed territorial judges enacted laws that authorized indentured servitude and gave masters authority to determine the length of service. (17)

Figure 7: Commemorative Stamp from Indiana

Jefferson had been the primary author of the Northwest Ordinance, and he had made a secret compact with James Lemen to defeat the pro-slavery movement led by Harrison, even though he was a slaveholder himself. (17) Jefferson did not want slavery to expand into the Northwest Territory, as he believed that the institution should end. (17) He donated money to Lemen to found churches in Illinois and Indiana to stop the pro-slavery movement. (17) The founding of anti-slavery churches led to citizens signing a petition and organizing politically to defeat Harrison’s efforts to legalize slavery in the territory. (17) Jefferson and Lemen were instrumental in defeating Harrison’s attempts in 1805 and 1807 to expand slavery in the territory. (17) Harrison’s pro-slavery position made him unpopular with the Indiana Territory’s antislavery advocates, as he made several attempts to introduce slavery into the territory. (17) He was unsuccessful due to the territory’s growing anti-slavery movement. (17)

Indian Policy

The government wanted the land for the new settlers moving west (8,11) into the wilderness. (11) It intended to replace the resident Native American populations in favour of white settlement and statehood. (16) President Jefferson reappointed Harrison as the Indiana territorial governor on February 8th, 1803. (17) His job as governor was to oversee these efforts to gain access to and control of Indian lands so settlers could extend their presence and establish new territories. (8,13) He needed to obtain title to Indian lands (11) by getting the Native Americans to agree to sign over their lands to the government. (8) Despite his disapproval of Harrison’s policy on slavery, President Jefferson granted Harrison the authority to negotiate and conclude treaties with the Indians, (17) and he set about negotiating them (Tec 8,16) Between 1803 and 1809, he supervised 11 treaties with Indian leaders that provided the federal government with more than 60,000,000 acres (240,000 km2), including the southern third of Indiana and most of Illinois. (17) Such was the Treaty of Vincennes in August 1804 (16) and the 1804 Treaty of St. Louis with Quashquame which required the Sauk and Meskwaki tribes to cede much of western Illinois and parts of Missouri to the federal government. (17) Many of the Sauk greatly resented this treaty and the loss of lands, especially Black Hawk, and this was a primary reason that they sided with the British during the War of 1812. (17) Elite whites prospered from land speculation resulting from these treaties. (16) In 1805 a treaty was negotiated at Grouseland on behalf of the United States with Native American military leaders (16,17) 

Miami chief Little Turtle and Lenape chief Buckongahelas. (16) Harrison thought that it would appease some of the Indians, but tensions remained high along the frontier. (17) When the Indians retaliated (11,13) as they usually did (14) [OR] If the Indians did not do this peacefully by treaty or agreement, then he was responsible (8) for using American forces put pressure on those tribes still in Indiana and especially those allied with Prophetstown, (Tec 8) and to protect the settlers from attack. (8,11) Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were both members of the Democratic-Republican Party, and they reappointed him as governor in 1803, 1806, and 1809, (17) so he served 12 years as Governor of Indiana Territory. (11)

Tecumseh

Figure 8: Tecumseh

An eloquent and energetic (11,Tec 14) Shawnee (14,16) chieftain, Tecumseh, with his religious brother (11,Tec14) Tenskwatawa (Tec 1,5) [OR] Lalawéthika (Tec 9), (Tec 4,5) known as The Prophet, (Tec 4,5) [OR] ‘The Open Door’ (Tec 6)

 began to strengthen an Indian confederation to prevent further encroachment (11, Tec14) and assimilation by Indians to hegemonic Anglo-American religious beliefs (16) and cultural practices, (16,17) telling the tribes to pay white traders only half of what they owed and to give up all the white man’s ways, including their clothing, muskets, and especially whiskey. (17)

Treaty of Fort Wayne

In September (Tec 13) 1809 (Tec 8,9) Harrison, signed (Tec 8) the Treaty of Fort Wayne (Tec 3,5) with assorted Native American chiefs. (Tec 3,13) This was a land-cession treaty (Tec 5,13) also known as the Twelve Mile Line Treaty. (16) It gave to the white men (Tec 3,8) three million (Tec 3,13) [OR] more than 2.5 million (17) a massive amount of Native American land (Tec 3,8) inhabited by the Shawnee, Kickapoo, Wea, and Piankeshaw tribes; he purchased the land from the Miami tribe, who claimed ownership. (17) The relentless American hunger for land had again uprooted the Shawnee. (Tec 9,17) [OR] the Shawnees had no claims on the land sold. (Tec 13,14) 

Figure 9: Meeting with Indians

Harrison rushed the treaty process by offering large subsidies to the tribes and their leaders so that it would be in force before Jefferson left office and the administration changed. (17) The validity of the treaty negotiations were challenged with claims that the USA president, and thus the USA government, had not authorized them. (Tec 14) The negotiations also involved what some historians have described as bribes, which included offering large subsidies to the tribes and their chiefs, and liberal distribution of liquor before the negotiations began. (Tec 14) The treaty of Fort Wayne infuriated Tecumseh. (Tec 9,14) because many of those who lived in Prophetstown were Piankeshaw, Kickapoo, and Wea, the primary inhabitants of the ceded lands. (Tec 14) It inspired Tecumseh to greater resistance (Tec 5,8) while amplifying his message. (Tec 8) It marked his emergence as a prominent leader. (Tec 13) He worked hard to bring more tribes into the confederacy, (Tec 3) travelling throughout the Ohio Valley to rally the tribes in a common defence. (Tec 9)

Tecumseh’s War

Unfortunately for Tecumseh the Indians had no tradition of large confederations and when the crisis of white encroachment came, Tecumseh was unable to create a sufficient military response. (Tec 4) His confederation fought the United States (Tec 5) in Tecumseh’s War (Tec 1,3) but he was unsuccessful in getting the USA government to rescind the Treaty of Fort Wayne (Tec 1809) or other treaties. (Tec 5) Tecumseh told Harrison that the Shawnee and their Indiana allies wanted to remain at peace with the United States; however, the meeting proved to be unproductive. (Tec 14) Harrison believed that the Indians were “simply looking forward to a quarrel.” (Tec 14)

Council of Vincennes 1810

In August (17) 1810 (17,Tec13) [OR] 1811 (Tec7,13) Tecumseh led warriors down the Wabash River to meet with Harrison in Vincennes. (17) He met with Harrison at (Tec 7,13) a Council of (Tec 7) at the frontier village (14) of Vincennes, (Tec 7,13) arriving with (Tec 7,14) an estimated 300 (Tec 14) [OR] 400 (17) warriors (Tec 7,14) dressed in war paint. (17) Their sudden appearance at first frightened the soldiers at Vincennes. (17) The leaders of the group were escorted to Grouseland, where they met Harrison. (17) Tecumseh insisted that the Fort Wayne Treaty was illegitimate, (17 Tec 13) He asked his old enemy Harrison to nullify it (Twc 13) and return the land to the Indians. (Tec 7,14) He argued that one tribe could not sell land without the approval of the other tribes: (17) the chiefs who had sold the land to the United States had no right to do so, saying they might as well have sold the “air and the clouds”. (Tec 7) He told Harrison that he had threatened to kill the chiefs who signed the treaty if they carried out its terms and that his confederation of tribes was growing rapidly. (17) Harrison rejected Tecumseh’s claim that all the Indians formed one nation. (17) He said that each tribe could have separate relations with the United States if they chose to. (17) Harrison argued that the Great Spirit would have made all the tribes speak one language if they were to be one nation. (17) Harrison said that the Miamis were the owners of the land and could sell it if they so chose. (17) Tecumseh assured Harrison that the Shawnee brothers meant to remain at peace with the United States, (Tec 13) and asked Harrison to nullify the Treaty. (17) He warned that Americans should not attempt to settle the lands sold in the treaty. (Tec 13 17) Tecumseh launched an “impassioned rebuttal”, in the words of one historian, but Harrison was unable to understand his language. (17) A Shawnee friendly to Harrison cocked his pistol from the sidelines to alert Harrison that Tecumseh’s speech was leading to trouble, and some witnesses reported that Tecumseh was encouraging the warriors to kill Harrison. (17) The council nearly ended in violence, (Tec 7,17) when many of them began to pull their weapons, representing a substantial threat to Harrison and the town, which held a population of only 1,000. (17) Harrison drew his sword, (17) and cooler heads prevailed. (Tec 7,17) [OR] Tecumseh’s warriors backed down when the officers presented their firearms in his defense. (17) The small garrison defending the town quickly moved to protect Harrison. (Tec 14) Tecumseh won the admiration of even his greatest adversaries for his courage, integrity, and eloquence (Tec 13) [OR] Potawatomi chief, Winnemac (Tec 14) [OR] Winamac (17) stood and countered Tecumseh’s arguments to the group. (Tec 14) He urged the warriors to leave peacefully (Tec 14,17) since they had come in peace. (17) Harrison wrote that Tecumseh’s ability to inspire loyalty among such disparate peoples “bespeaks him (Tec 9) one of those uncommon geniuses which spring up occasionally to produce revolutions and overturn the order of things.” (Tec 9,13) but he still insisted that the land was the property of the United States (Tec 7) and Tecumseh left with little accomplished. (Tec 7,14) As the warriors departed, (tec 14) Tecumseh warned Harrison that unless the Treaty of Fort Wayne was rescinded, he would seek an alliance with the British. (Tec 14,17)

Battle of Tippecanoe: November, 1811

Figure 10: Battleof Tippencanoe

In 1809, following the Treaty of Fort Wayne and the abortive Vincennes Conference, the native populations became fierce in their resistance. (11,13) Tecumseh continued to be a tenacious adversary. (13) Harrison (Tec 7,11) became worried about the alliance that Tecumseh was building (Tec 7) OR (Tec 14) the white settlers near Prophet’s Town OR Prophetstown (Tec 5,7) appealed to him to destroy it. (Tec 4) [OR] as tensions between the Indians at Greenville and the encroaching settlers increased, Black Hoof demanded that Tenskwatawa and his followers leave the area. (Tec 14) In 1811 Harrison received permission to attack the confederacy. (11,13) While Tecumseh was travelling, (Tec 6,7) seeking more allies, (11,17) Harrison learned of his absence from intelligence. (Tec 14) The growing community at Prophetstown also caused increasing concerns among Americans in the area that Tecumseh was forming an army of warriors to destroy their settlements. (Tec 14) Harrison decided to strike first, (Tec 14) while Tecumseh was absent, (Tec 14, 16) and force the Indians from Prophetstown, which he thought posed a threat to the region, and destroy the village. (Tec 14) On September 26th, 1811 (Tec 14) He led an army north with more than 1,000 men to intimidate the Shawnee into making peace, but the tribes launched a surprise attack early on November 7th in the Battle of Tippecanoe. (17) Harrison moved (Tec 4,7) a force of about a thousand (Tec10,11) [OR] 1,000 (Tec 10) [OR] more than 1,000 (Tec 13,17) [OR] more than 1,200 (Tec 14) men, from Vincennes (Tec 4,13) and marched up the Wabash River (Tec 12,13) toward Prophetstown, (Tec 4,7) [OR] the Prophet’s town. (11) The expedition was intended to intimidate the Prophet and his followers. (Tec 13,14) On November 6th, 1811, Harrison’s army arrived (Tec 13) and camped (Tec 10,11) entrenching themselves on a nearby hill (Tec 10) [OR] on the Tippecanoe River, (13) about a mile from the Indian village. (Tec 4,11) The Prophet sent a message asking to meet with Harrison. (Tec 10) Tecumseh had told his brother to avoid war with the Americans, (Tec 11,14) but believing himself capable of destroying the white army with his magic powers, (Tec 4) Tecumseh’s brother Tenskwatawa (Tec 1,5) [OR] Lalawéthika (Tec 9), (Tec 4,5) unwisely (Tec 12) initiated (Tec 4,5,11) before dawn (Tec 10,11) on November 7th 1811, (Tec 7,10) a sneak (Tec 8,10) attack on the camp. (Tec 4,5) An Indian who was present said that the battle “was the work of white men who came from Canada and urged us to make war”. (Tec 14) Tenskwatawa assured his followers that white bullets could not hurt them: (Tec 11,14) they would not be harmed if they attacked the white men and the warriors would not die. (Tec 14) Harrison’s troops greatly outnumbered the attackers (17) and the attack was repulsed. (Tec 4,5) While the fighting was going on, Tenskwatawa purportedly sat on a rock singing incantations. (Tec 11) Harrison then attacked Prophet’s Town. (Tec 4,5) [OR]  Harrison launched a sneak attack on Prophetstown. (Tec 8) Harrison’s men (Tec 4,7) men held their ground, and the Indians withdrew (Tec 13) [OR]  scattered the Indians (Tec 4,7) who retreated from the field (Tec 5,10) although they probably suffered fewer casualties than their opponents (Tec 11,17) who suffered 190 dead and wounded. (11,13) The Americans (Tec 5,7) cleared the encampment, (Tec 8,11) burned Prophetstown, (Tec 5,7) and returned to Vincennes. (Tec 13) These events are known as the Battle of Tippecanoe, (Tec 4,5) near present-day Lafayette, Indiana, and the confluence of (16) the Wabash and Tippecanoe rivers. (16,17) The press did not cover the battle at first, and one Ohio paper misinterpreted Harrison’s first dispatch to mean that he was defeated. (17) The battle resulted in the temporary destruction of Prophetstown. (16) Tenskwatawa fled (Tec 12) OR eventually moved (Tec 14) to Canada (Tec 12,14) and ceased to be a factor in Tecumseh’s plans. (Tec 12) OR served as one of Tecumseh’s subordinates during the War of 1812. (Tec 14) It was (Tec 4,8) not militarily decisive (Tec 4,11) [OR] decisive. (Tec 12) [OR]  a significant setback, (Tec 13) [OR]  a severe blow (Tec 8) [OR]  a setback for the Indian confederation. (11,16) [OR]  failed to diminish Indian raids (11) [OR] did little to stem the Indian revolts.  (Tec 11,12) When reporting to Secretary Eustis, Harrison informed him that the battle occurred near the Tippecanoe River and that he feared an imminent reprisal attack. (17) The first dispatch did not make clear which side had won the conflict, and the secretary at first interpreted it as a defeat; the follow-up dispatch clarified the situation. (17) When no second attack came, the Shawnee defeat was more certain. (17) Eustis demanded to know why Harrison had not taken adequate precautions in fortifying his camp against attacks, and Harrison said that he had considered the position strong enough. (17) The dispute was the catalyst of a disagreement between Harrison and the Department of War which continued into the War of 1812. (17) By December, however, most major American papers carried stories on the battle, and public outrage grew over the Shawnee. (17) Harrison was hailed as a national hero and the battle became famous. (17)

Troubles in Indiana

The Illinois Territory had held elections to the legislature’s upper and lower houses for the first time in 1809. (17) Lower house members were elected previously, but the territorial governor appointed members to the upper house. (17)

Figure 11: Harrison & Tecumseh Commemorated in Lafayette, Indiana

Harrison found himself at odds with the legislature after the anti-slavery faction came to power, and the eastern portion of the Indiana Territory grew to include a large anti-slavery population. (17) The Territory’s general assembly convened in 1810, and its anti-slavery faction immediately repealed the indenturing laws enacted in 1803 and in 1805. (17) After 1809, Harrison’s political authority declined as the Indiana territorial legislature assumed more authority and the territory advanced toward statehood. (17) The Battle of Tippecanoe was a harbinger of the war of 1812. (Tec 8,5) By the spring of 1812, the Indians were again terrorizing the frontier. (11) Americans blamed the British for inciting the tribes to violence and supplying them with firearms, and Congress passed resolutions condemning the British for interfering in American domestic affairs. (17) Harrison held public offices until (12) Congress declared war on the British (Tec 14,17) on June 18th (17) 1812. (5,Tec 14) Tecumseh’s War became a part of that struggle. (Tec 14) He joined the military again to fight in the War of 1812. (12,16)

War of 1812

At the start of the War of 1812 (12) Harrison briefly served as a general (16) [OR] major general in the Kentucky militia (12,17) until the government commissioned him on September 17 to command the Army of the Northwest (17) as Major General of the Northwest Territories. (12) He received federal military pay for his service, and he also collected a territorial governor’s salary from September until December 28th, (17) 1812 (10,17) [OR] 1813 (8) when (10,17) he formally resigned as governor and continued his military service. (17) [OR] he resigned on the outbreak of war. (16) John Gibson replaced Harrison as Indiana territorial governor. (17) The British defeated the Americans and (17) took Detroit. (Tec12,Tec14)

Figure 12: Detroit Surrenders to Harrison

General James Winchester offered Harrison the rank of brigadier general, but Harrison also wanted sole command of the army. (17) President James Madison removed Winchester from command in September, and Harrison became commander of the fresh recruits. (17) The British and their Indian allies greatly outnumbered Harrison’s troops, so Harrison constructed a defensive position during the winter along the Maumee River in northwest Ohio. (17) He named it Fort Meigs in honour of Ohio governor Return J. Meigs Jr. (17)

Fort Meigs, May 1813

Encouraged by the success at Detroit, Tecumseh departed on another long journey to arouse the tribes, which resulted in the uprising of the Alabama Creeks in response to his oratory, though the Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Cherokees rebuffed him. (Tec 12) He returned north and (Tec 12) continued to support British efforts under (Tec 8) the British commander on the Detroit frontier, (Tec 14) Major-General Henry (Tec 8,10) A. (Tec 12) Procter, (Tec 8,10) [OR] General Henry (Tec 8) Procter. (Tec 7,8) Procter, did not have the same working relationship with Tecumseh as Brock had had. (Tec 8,13) He and Procter invaded Ohio (Tec 12) in the spring of 1813. (Tec 10) Together they besieged Fort Meigs (Tec 10,12) on the Maumee River above Toledo, (Tec 12,17) in northwestern Ohio (Tec 14,17) held by (Tec 10) Tecumseh’s old nemesis (Tec 10) William Henry Harrison, (Tec 10,12) who had just  built a second home in Harrison Valley, near Corydon the new capital of Indiana. (17) The British hoped that the effort would delay an American offensive attack to recover Detroit. (Tec 14) The siege began on May 5th, 1813, when a small British force of less than 1,000 men under Procter, and an estimated 1,250 Indian warriors led by Tecumseh and the Wyandot leader, Roundhead, attempted to capture Fort Meigs. (Tec 14) On May 7th, terms were arranged providing for exchange or parole of British and American prisoners. (Tec 14) Tecumseh often disagreed with Procter. (Tec 8) After the initial battle, some of the Indian warriors succeeded in killing between twelve and fourteen American prisoners before Tecumseh, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Elliott, and Captain Thomas McKee of the Indian Department persuaded them to stop. (Tec 14) Tecumseh reportedly asked Procter why he had not stopped the massacre. (Tec 14) Procter complained that the Indians could not be made to obey, to which Tecumseh responded: “Begone! You are unfit to command. Go and put on petticoats.” (Tec 14) According to another account of the incident, Tecumseh supposedly rebuked Procter with the remark, “I conquer to save; you to kill”. (Tec 14) On May 13th, 1813 Tecumseh won another decisive victory in the woods at Fort Meigs, (Tec 9) where by a stratagem he intercepted and destroyed a brigade of Kentuckians under Colonel William Dudley that had been coming to Harrison’s relief. (Tec 12) The American force of 1,100 men suffered heavy casualties, (Tec 14) but after a number of victories, (Tec 6) the siege of Fort Meigs failed (Tec 8,12) and morale waned as a result. (Tec 8) Tecumseh’s actions during the event are thought to be a major reason why he later became a hero also in the United States and is considered a “noble savage”. (Tec 14)

Figure 13: Fort Meigs

Naval Battle of Put-in-Bay, November 1813

The allies were put on the defensive (Tec 5,12) after Commodore (Tec 13) Oliver Hazard Perry’s decisive victory over the British fleet (Tec 12,13) at Put-in-Bay (Tec 9) on Lake Erie (Tec 5,13) in the autumn of (Tec 8,12) [OR] late in the summer of (Tec 13) 1813 (Tec 5,7) [OR]  on September 10th.

Figure 14: Commodore Perry, Battle of Put-in-Bay

(Tec 12) The Americans gained control of the Lake, (Tec 5) cutting the British supply lines. (Tec 13) Conditions around Detroit worsened: (Tec 8) The American troops were victorious over the British and their allies at Detroit, (16) so the British burned the public buildings in Detroit and retreated into Upper Canada along the Thames Valley. (Tec 13) Harrison was given the command of the Army in the Northwest with the rank of brigadier general (11) [OR] Major General. (12) Harrison’s forces counterattacked, (Tec 10,12) retaking Detroit (12) and invading (Tec 9,12) Upper (Tec 13) Canada. (Tec 9,12) on October 5th, 1813 (Tec 13) The British and their Indian allies (Tec 4,5) (in the case of the latter, reluctantly, (Tec 12)) retreated (Tec 4,5) toward Niagara (Tec 8) [OR] into Upper Canada. (Tec 4,5) Harrison pursued them (Tec 12) to the Thames River, in present-day southern Ontario. (Tec 10,12) Tecumseh and his warriors were covering the British retreat, (Tec 7,13) fighting rearguard actions to slow the USA advance. (Tec 13) While Procter favoured withdrawal into Canada to avoid further battles, leaving the Americans to suffer through the hardships of winter, Tecumseh would have preferred to launch an immediate and decisive action to defeat the Americans and allow his warriors to retake their homelands in the northwest. (Tec 14) He requested arms so that his men could stay in the Northwest Territory and continue to defend their lands. (Tec 8)

Battle of Thames River, 5th October 1813

Procter had promised Tecumseh that he would make a stand (Tec 8,14) and send reinforcements, (Tec 13) at the forks of the Thames River (Tec 8), at Chatham (Tec 14) in Upper Canada, (Tec 14,16) but they did not arrive (Tec 10) when expected by the Native Americans. (Tec 13) When forces reached the site communication broke down and some men deserted while others continued east. (Tec 8) Tecumseh reluctantly moved his men to meet up with Procter’s troops near Moraviantown, (Tec 14) and there the Indians came under attack (Tec 7,8) from Harrison’s army (Tec 7,9) with some 3500 (Tec 9) OR 3,000 (Tec 8,10) cavalry and infantry (16) men. (Tec 9,16) The Battle of Thames (Tec 3,4) OR of the Thames (Tec 10,17) OR of the Thames River (Tec 6,9) took place on 5th October 1813, (Tec 1,2) at Chatham (Tec 13) OR Chatham-Kent4, (Tec 1) OR Moraviantown (Tec 6,9) OR near Thames River (Tec 2) Upper (Tec 2,5) Canada (Tec 1,2) north of Lake Erie (11) now in Ontario, Canada. (Tec 2)

Figure 15: Battle of the Thames

William Henry Harrison’s USA troops (Tec 2,4) confronted Tecumseh and the British. (Tec 9) On October 4th, 1813, the eve of the Battle of Moraviantown, the great Shawnee chief Tecumseh had a foreboding. (Tec 9) “Our lives are in the hands of the Great Spirit,” he said, “We are determined to defend our lands, and if it is His will, we wish to leave our bones upon them.” (Tec 9) In the moments before the battle began the next morning, Tecumseh passed along the British lines. (Tec 9) In his handkerchief, rolled as a turban over his brow, was placed a handsome white ostrich feather. (Tec 9) General Procter fled on horseback (Tec 9) and large sections of (Tec 8,9) his dispirited redcoats broke ranks and surrendered, (Tec 9) leaving about 500 Indians to hold back (Tec8 10) the Americans. (Tec 8) Outnumbered six to one (Tec 8,10) OR three-to-one (Tec 6) OR seven to one, (Tec 9) Tecumseh had placed his own men well, hidden in the thickets of a swamp (Tec 9) OR they were without fortifications. (Tec 6) When a second battalion of Americans advanced, the Indians rose from cover and delivered a crushing volley. (Tec 9) Tecumseh sprinted forward to inspire his followers but was shot (Tec 9) and killed, (Tec 1,2) at the age of 45. (Tec 5) The circumstances surrounding Tecumseh’s death and burial are unclear. (Tec 10) At the time, there were several claims that one or another American soldier had killed him, (Tec 9,10) though none of these claims has ever been confirmed. (Tec 10,12) It is currently believed that Tecumseh’s body was carried off the field and secretly buried in an unmarked grave. (Tec 10,12) Without their leader, Tecumseh’s men surrendered, (Tec 9) [OR] were overrun. (Tec 10) The Indian and British forces (Tec 6) were defeated. (Tec 2,5) The Indians scattered, never again to offer serious resistance in what was then called the Northwest. (11,13) This pivotal battle is considered to be one of the great American victories in the war, second only to the Battle of New Orleans. (17) In 1814, Secretary of War John Armstrong divided the command of the army, assigning Harrison to a “backwater” post and giving control of the front to one of Harrison’s subordinates. (17) Armstrong and Harrison had disagreed over the lack of coordination and effectiveness in the invasion of Canada, and Harrison resigned from the army in May. (17) After the war ended, Congress investigated Harrison’s resignation and determined that Armstrong had mistreated him during his military campaign and that his resignation was justified. (17)

Figure 16: “He cultivated his land.”

Congress awarded Harrison a gold medal for his services during the War of 1812. (17) Harrison and Michigan Territory’s Governor Lewis Cass were responsible for negotiating the peace treaty with the Indians. (17) On July 22nd 1814 (16) Harrison (16,17) won pledges of support for the U.S. cause from pan-tribal (16) Indian leaders in the Second Treaty of (16,17) Greenville (16) [OR] of Springwells in June 1815 (17) with Governor Lewis Cass. (16,17) the tribes ceded a large tract of land in the west, providing additional land for American purchase and settlement. (17) With the end of indigenous resistance in Indiana came rapid settlement (15) and in 1816 statehood. (15,16) The territorial capital, Corydon, became its first capital. (15) Over the next 25 years or so, the major tribes abandoned the area. (15) At the end of the war and Harrison resigned from the army in 1814 (17) and bought a farm in (14) [OR] returned to his family in (17) [OR] moved (10,14) with his family to (14) North Bend, (14,17) Ohio. (10,17) He cultivated his land and enlarged the log cabin farmhouse, but he soon returned to public life. (17) He resigned from the military in May, (12) 1814 (12,14) as a major general. (14)

Political Career

House 1816-19

Harrison had gained national fame (6,7) during his own lifetime. (6) He was given the nickname “Old Tippecanoe” from victories at the Battle of Tippecanoe and the Battle of the Thames against Tecumseh. (7,10) He decided to enter politics as a supporter (1,2) of the Whig Party, (2,5) He represented Ohio in Congress (5,7) after being elected (10,17) on October 8th (17) 1815 (16) [OR] 1816. (10,12) to represent the state’s 1st district (10,17) in the House (5,7) to complete John McLean’s term in the House of Representatives, which lasted until March 3rd (17) 1818 (16) [OR] 1819 (15,17) He worked on behalf of more liberal pension laws, better militia organization, and improvements in the navigation of the Ohio River and for the strict construction of the power of Congress over the territories, particularly in regard to slavery. (15) In accordance with this view, in 1819 he voted against James Tallmadge’s amendment (restricting the extension of slavery) to the enabling act for the admission of Missouri as a state. (15) He declined to serve as Secretary of War under President Monroe in 1817. (17) He delivered forcible speeches upon the death of Tadeusz Kościuszko and upon Gen. Andrew Jackson’s invasion of Florida in 1818, favouring a partial censure of the latter. (15)

Ohio Senator 1819-21

Figure 17: “Senator and Statesman”

He was elected to the Ohio State Senate in 1819 (7,14) and served until 1821 (17) [OR] two terms.  (16) He lost the election for Ohio governor in 1820. (15,16) He ran for a seat in the House again in 1822 but lost (16,17) by 500 votes to James W. Gazlay. (17) The Democratic-Republican Party of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison had dominated national and state affairs from 1800 till the 1820s. (12)

The Democratic Republican Party split and faded away in the 1820s (AJ 12) In 1824 Harrison was an Ohio presidential elector in 1820 for James Monroe and for Henry Clay in 1824. (17) The backlash from the ‘Corrupt Bargain’ which had seen the election of John Quincy Adams in 1824 split the Democratic-Republican Party in two. (AJ 13)

U.S. Senator 1825-8

In 1824, (10,17) [OR] 1825 (12,14) Harrison  (5,7) became a Senator for Ohio. (7,10) He was chosen, as was the way of electing senators in those days, by the Ohio state legislature. (10) He served three years as a U.S. senator, (14,15) until May (16,17) 20th (17) 1828. (16,17) Fellow westerners in Congress called him a “Buckeye”, a term of affection related to the native Ohio buckeye tree. (17) Meanwhile, Andrew Jackson and his supporters founded what became the Democratic Party (AJ 11,12) and he determined to vindicate himself and his supporters by becoming a candidate, (AJ 15) and National politics now polarized around him and his opposition, and two parties grew out of the old Republican Party–the Democratic Republicans, or Democrats, adhering to Jackson; and the National Republicans, or Whigs (AJ 9,14) (led by Clay and Daniel Webster) (AJ 14) and including Harrison (2,5) opposing him. (9,14) The Democratic Party is the oldest political party in the world and remains one of the two major political parties in America. (AJ It renominated Jackson to run for president (13,15) in 1828 (15)

Ambassador to Colombia 1828-9

His term in the Senate was then truncated. (7,10) After failing to secure for Harrison either the command of the army upon the death of Maj. Gen. Jacob Jennings Brown or the nomination as vice president on the ticket with John Quincy Adams, Harrison’s friends managed to get him appointed as (15) Minister (7,10) Plenipotentiary (10) to Gran (10,14) Colombia (7,10) in May (10) 1828. (10,12) He resigned his Senate seat in 1828 to take the job. (14) Harrison was appointed in 1828 as minister plenipotentiary to Gran Colombia, so he resigned from Congress and served in his new post until March 8, 1829. (17) He arrived in Bogotá on December 22nd, 1828 and found the condition of Colombia saddening. (17) He reported to the Secretary of State that the country was on the edge of anarchy, including his opinion that Simón Bolívar was about to become a military dictator. (17) He involved himself in some awkward diplomatic complications with the short-lived republic’s government. (15,17) He wrote a rebuke to Bolívar, stating that “the strongest of all governments is that which is most free” and calling on Bolívar to encourage the development of democracy. (17) In response, Bolívar wrote that the United States “seem destined by Providence to plague America with torments in the name of freedom”, a sentiment that achieved fame in Latin America. (17) Andrew Jackson took office in March 1829, (17) and he recalled Harrison in order to make his own appointment to the position. (17) Hrrison was, therefore, an early sacrifice to Jackson’s spoils system. (15) He came home in 1829 (12,14) 

1829-1835 Clerk of the Court

For some years after his return from Colombia, Harrison lived in retirement at North Bend, Ohio, (10,15) living in relative retirement after nearly four decades of government service, (17) and occupying himself as an entrepreneur and businessman in Ohio. (16,17) He had accumulated no substantial wealth during his lifetime, and he subsisted on his savings, a small pension, and the income produced by his farm. (17) He cultivated corn and established a distillery to produce whiskey, but he became disturbed by the effects of alcohol on its consumers and closed the distillery. (17) In 1831 he failed in a new election bid for the U.S. Senate. (16) He was occasionally mentioned as a candidate for governor, senator, or representative by the anti-Jackson forces, and during this period he delivered a few addresses on agricultural or political topics. (15) In an address to the Hamilton County Agricultural Board in 1831, he said that he had sinned in making whiskey and hoped that others would learn from his mistake and stop the production of liquors. (17) In these early years, Harrison also earned money from his contributions to James Hall’s A Memoir of the Public Services of William Henry Harrison, published in 1836. (17) That year, he made an unsuccessful run for the presidency as a Whig candidate. (17) Between 1836 and 1840, he served as This was his job when he was elected president in 1840. (17) About this time, he met abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor George DeBaptiste who lived in nearby Madison. (17) The two became friends, and DeBaptiste became his personal servant, staying with him until his death. (17) Between 1836 and 1840 he was clerk of the court (15,16) for Hamilton County, (15,17) Cincinnati, Ohio. (16)

Presidential Candidate 1836

Early in 1835 Harrison began to be mentioned as a suitable presidential candidate for the nascent Whig Party in the 1836 election. (15) That election was one of only two times in American history when a major political party intentionally ran more than one presidential candidate (the Democrats ran two candidates in 1860). (17) Harrison was nominated as the (10,12) the Northern candidate (17) for the recently established (14) Whig Party (10,12) [OR] one of the splintered new party’s three candidates (14,15) for president in the 1836 election. (10,12) He was nominated at large public meetings in Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland (the Whigs had neither a unifying platform nor a national convention). (15) Vice President Martin Van Buren was the Democratic candidate, and he was popular and deemed likely to win the election against a single Whig candidate. (17) The Whig plan was to elect popular Whigs regionally, deny Van Buren the 148 electoral votes needed for election, and force the House of Representatives to decide the election. (17) They hoped that the Whigs would control the House after the general elections. (17)

Figure 18: The Log Cabin Campaign

This strategy would have failed, nonetheless, as the Democrats retained a majority in the House following the election. (17) Harrison ran in all the non-slave states except Massachusetts, and in the slave states of Delaware, Maryland, and Kentucky. (17) Hugh L. White ran in the remaining slave states except for South Carolina. (17) Daniel Webster ran in Massachusetts, and Willie P. Mangum in South Carolina. (17) In the general election, Harrison attracted a large portion of the Whig and Anti-Masonic vote in the Midwest and Western states, but, although he finished highest among those candidates opposing (15) Democratic vice president (10,12) Andrew Jackson’s political favourite son (16) Martin Van Buren (10,12) of New York, (16) (1782-1862). (14) Harrison received only 73 electoral votes, (15) and was defeated by Van Buren who secured 170 electoral votes to become president. (15,17) A swing of just over 4,000 votes in Pennsylvania would have given that state’s 30 electoral votes to Harrison and the election would have been decided in the House of Representatives. (17) Harrison returned to civilian life, (11) but his popular-vote totals were large enough to encourage him to make another attempt. (15) The Whigs nicknamed Van Buren “Van Ruin” in order to blame him for the economic problems. (17)

Presidential Election 1840

Van Buren became unpopular (7,14) because of a lingering economic depression (7,15) and his mismanagement of the financial crisis known as the Panic of 1837. (14,15) Four years later, (14) in 1840 [OR] December 1839 (16) the Whig party (7,10) was in need of a national hero. (11) At the Whig Party convention in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (16) Henry Clay (15,16) of Kentucky (15) had garnered the most votes in early balloting, (16) but did not win a majority. (16,18) Behind-the-scenes politicking led to a compromise Harrison-Tyler ticket to run against incumbent van Buren (7,10). (15,16) Harrison was chosen over more controversial members of the party, such as Clay and Webster, and based his campaign on his military record and on the weak U.S. economy caused by the Panic of 1837. (17) More than a dozen books had been published on his life by then, and he was hailed by many as a national hero. (17) He suited the Whigs because of his military record (15,17) and noncommittal political views. (15) In him the Whigs believed they had found a new Jackson, (15,17) attractive as a war hero and a frontiersman. (15) Pro-Clay delegate (16) Virginia politician (14,15) John Tyler was his running mate (10,14) chosen to pull in Southern Democrat supporters.  (15) Van Buren was nominated unanimously at the Democratic National Convention, although Democrats balked at backing controversial incumbent Richard M. Johnson as vice president. (16)

The Log Cabin Campaign

This election is considered to be the first modern campaign including advertising and more. (12) The Democrats mocked Harrison. (11,14) for being too old to run for president. (14) The Democrats, called him “Granny Harrison, the petticoat general” because he resigned from the army before the War of 1812 ended”. (17) They would ask voters what Harrison’s name would be when spelled backwards: “No Sirrah”. (17) One of their newspapers said: (14) “Give him a barrel of hard [alcoholic] cider, and… a pension of two thousand [dollars] a year… and… he will sit the remainder of his days in his log cabin (11,14) by the side of a ‘sea coal’ fire, and study moral philosophy.” (11) This strategy backfired when (11,17) the Whigs, seizing on it, presented (11) Harrison (11,14) or “Old Tip,” (15) as presented as a simple soul (14,15) a frontier Indian fighter (11) from the backwoods. (14,15) and Van Buren, on the other hand, was presented as an out-of-touch, wealthy member of the elite. (14)

Figure 19: Harrison, depicted as a locomotive, bears down on Van buren

The ‘Log Cabin Campaign’ mirrored the style of Andrew Jackson’s campaign in 1828 whose victory was characterized as the triumph of the common man over the elites. (AJ 11,13) Harrison became, as a result, the first “packaged” presidential candidate. (14,15) a symbol of the common man as an Indian fighter on the frontier. (14) It was suggested that he lived in a log cabin and drank cider, in sharp contrast to an aristocratic champagne-sipping Van Buren. (11) This “log cabin campaign,’ (15) deliberately avoided discussion of national issues (15) and substituted political songs, (15,16) and frontier iconography such as (15,16) miniature (15) log cabins (15,16) coonskin caps, pictures of  yeoman farmers at their plows (16) and jugs of hard cider were widely distributed to emphasize Harrison’s frontier identification (15,16) Log-cabin-shaped bottles of whiskey from the E.C. Booz distillery were distributed, which led to “booze” becoming a common American term for alcohol. (14) Harrison’s political nickname “Tippecanoe” appeared in lyrics of the Whig Log Cabin Song Book, (16) and the Whig campaign slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” (7,10)  the first such slogan, (7) rang throughout the land, calling up Harrison’s dramatic triumph on the field of battle 29 years earlier. (15) It remained famous into modern times. (7,16) A political cartoon from the 1840 presidential campaign, showed Pres. Martin Van Buren, a Democrat, being defeated by the Whig candidate, Harrison. (15) The cartoon shows Van Buren driving a carriage called “Uncle Sam’s Cab,” which wrecks on a pile of “Clay,” representing powerful Whig Sen. Henry Clay. (15) The truth was that Van Buren came from humble roots while Harrison was well-educated and hailed from an established family. (14,17) but the Whigs triumphed. (15)  He was supported by President Martin Van Buren. (12) [OR] Harrison and Tyler defeated Van Buren in the 1840 United States presidential election, (7,10) in a landslide, (7) sweeping the Electoral College, 234 to 60. (11,12) The popular vote was much closer. (17) He received 53 percent of the popular vote to Van Buren’s 47 percent, (17) with a margin of less than 150,000 votes. (11,17)

Presidency

In 1841 he became the ninth president of the United States. (1,2) It was said that he was as pleased with the presidency “as a young woman with a new bonnet.” (15) He was the first (10) and last (11) Whig to win the presidency. (10,11) He was the last American president not born as an American Citizen. (17) He was the fifth U.S. President to hail from Virginia, (7) and at 68 years of age (10) he was the oldest person to assume the presidency up to that time. (2,7) He held that record until Ronald Reagan took office in 1981 (2,10) at age 69. (10) Harrison was the first president-elect to travel by railroad to Washington, D.C., for his inauguration, (15) arriving there in February 1841. (11)

Inauguration, March 4th, 1841

On his Inauguration Day he became the first President, and indeed the first head of any state to have his photograph taken. (17) The inauguration was (3,5) on Thursday, (17) March 4th 1841, (5,9) The oath (3,5) was administered on the East Portico of the Capitol by Chief Justice Roger Taney. (3) It was a freezing (15) cold and wet day. (9,15) In a snowstorm (3) [OR] a bracing March rainstorm. (7) [OR] drizzle, (15) he opted not to wear a coat or a hat, (7,14) or gloves (15) despite the inclement weather (7,14) He rode up Pennsylvania Avenue on a (15,17) white (15) horse (15,17) rather than in the closed carriage that had been offered him, (17) to take the oath of office. (15) He stood outside for the entire proceeding, (3) He wanted to show that both he was still the steadfast hero of Tippecanoe and that he was a better educated and more thoughtful man than the backwoods caricature portrayed in the campaign. (17) He sought to do this by delivering an hour-and-forty-five (3,7) [OR] forty minute (12,16) almost two hours (15) inaugural address. (3,7) At 8,445 words, (17) it remains the longest inaugural speech given by any President. (3,9) It consisted of a detailed statement of the Whig agenda, (9,11) mainly unclaimed honest of Jackson’s and Van Buren’s policies (9) [OR] essentially a repudiation of Jackson’s and Van Buren’s policies. (17)

Figure 20: William Henry Harrison

His interest in Roman history was reflected by many references to it in the speech, (16) even though he had let Daniel Webster edit his Inaugural Address, (11,17) and prune its classical allusions. (11) Webster boasted that he had killed “seventeen Roman proconsuls as dead as smelts, every one of them.” (11)  Harrison quoted Gibbon: “in the Roman senate Octavius had a party and Anthony a party, but the Commonwealth had none.” (18) Harrison was nationalistic in his outlook, but he emphasized in his Inaugural that he would be obedient to the will of the people as expressed through Congress. (11) He would defer to the judgment of Congress on legislative matters, with sparing use of his veto power, and reverse Jackson’s spoils system of executive patronage, which would be used to create a qualified staff, not to enhance his own standing in government. (17) He promised to re-establish the Bank of the United States and extend its maximum amount for credit by issuing paper currency (9,17) in Henry Clay’s American system. (17) The address was circulated to some parts of the country by railroad. (15) For the first time, people outside Washington could read the president’s words the same day they were uttered. (15) He then rode through the streets in the inaugural parade. (17) He greeted crowds of well-wishers at the White House later that day, (3) and attended several celebrations that evening (3,17) including three inaugural balls that evening, one of them at Carusi’s Saloon entitled the “Tippecanoe” ball, with 1,000 guests who had paid $10 per person (equal to $297 in 2020). (17) His wife, Anna, who was recovering from an illness, had not yet travelled to Washington; the couple’s widowed daughter-in-law, Jane Irwin Harrison, performed the duties of first lady in her absence. (15,17)

Activity

He was not in office long enough to have a significant impact during his presidency. (12) He tried to do everything expected of him, even trudging around Washington to purchase supplies for the White House. (15) Crowds of job seekers (12,15) came to the White House, which (at the time) was open to all who wanted a meeting with the president. (17) Most of Harrison’s business during his month-long presidency involved extensive social obligations and receiving visitors at the White House. (17) They awaited him at all hours and filled the Executive Mansion. (17) Harrison wrote in a letter dated March 10, “I am so much harassed by the multitude that calls upon me that I can give no proper attention to any business of my own.” (17) He was thoroughly dominated by the better-known leaders of his party (15,17) – Daniel Webster, whom he appointed secretary of state, and (15) Henry Clay. (15,17) His relations with Clay were embittered, as Clay then preferred to wield power as leader of the Whigs in Congress. (15) Clay was a powerful legislator, as well as a frustrated presidential candidate in his own right, and he expected to have substantial influence in the Harrison administration. (17) He ignored his own platform plank of overturning the “spoils” system and attempted to influence Harrison’s actions before and during his brief presidency, especially in putting forth his own preferences for Cabinet offices and other presidential appointments. (17) Once, when Clay was pressing his opinions on him, Harrison responded, “Mr. Clay, you forget that I am president.” (15,17)

Figure 21: William Henry Harrison

His own cabinet attempted to countermand his appointment of John Chambers as Governor of Iowa in favour of Webster’s friend James Wilson. (17) Webster attempted to press this decision at a March 25 cabinet meeting, and Harrison asked him to read aloud a handwritten note which said simply “William Henry Harrison, President of the United States”. (17) He then announced: “William Henry Harrison, President of the United States, tells you, gentlemen, that, by God, John Chambers shall be governor of Iowa!” (17) He resisted pressure from other Whigs over partisan patronage. (17) A group arrived in his office on March 16th to demand the removal of all Democrats from any appointed office, and Harrison proclaimed, “So help me God, I will resign my office before I can be guilty of such an iniquity”. (17) On March 9th the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the captive-African mutineers in the Amistad case, following a rousing defence summing up by John Quincy Adams. (16) He and Clay had disagreed over the necessity of an emergency session to discuss the financial situation, and Harrison’s cabinet proved evenly divided so the president vetoed the idea. (17) Clay pressed him on the special session on March 13th, but Harrison rebuffed him and told him not to visit the White House again, but to address him only in writing. (17) A few days later, however, Treasury Secretary Thomas Ewing reported to Harrison that federal funds were in such trouble that the government could not continue to operate until Congress’ regularly scheduled session in December; (17) Harrison thus relented, and (16,17) urged on by Henry Clay, (16) proclaimed the special session on March 17th (16,17) ‘in the interests of “the condition of the revenue and finance of the country”. (17) The session would have begun on May 31st as scheduled if Harrison had lived. (17)

Death

On March 26th (9) the previously hearty (16) Harrison became ill with a cold. (9,12) which he had caught from the long exposure to the elements, (7,9) at the inauguration. (9) [OR] 

Figure 22: The Death of Harrison

The prevailing misconception at the time was that his illness had been caused by the bad weather at his inauguration three weeks earlier. (17) Jane McHugh and Philip A. Mackowiak did an analysis in Clinical Infectious Diseases (2014), examining Dr. Miller’s notes and records of the White House water supply being downstream of public sewage, and they concluded that he likely died of septic shock due to “enteric fever” (typhoid or paratyphoid fever). (17) The ‘cold’ quickly worsened, (9,16) turning to pneumonia and pleurisy. (9) He tried to rest in the White House, but he could not find a quiet room because of (9) the crowd of job seekers. (12,15) His very busy social schedule made it harder for time to rest. (9) Harrison’s doctors tried cures of applying opium, castor oil, leeches, and Virginia snakeweed. (9) But the treatments only made Harrison worse, and he became restless. (9) Initially, no official announcement was made concerning Harrison’s illness, which fuelled public speculation and concern the longer he remained out of public view. (17) By the end of the month, large crowds were gathering outside the White House, holding vigil while awaiting any news about the president’s condition. (17) He died (1,2) in Washington, DC, (2) aged 68 (2,3) at 12:30 am (9) on 4th Apr 1841 (2,5) of either typhoid, (1) pleurisy, (9) pneumonia, (1,3) or paratyphoid fever, (1) [OR] jaundice, and septicima, (9) before his wife had even moved to Washington to become first lady. (13) His last words were to his attending doctor, though assumed to be directed at Vice President John Tyler: “Sir, I wish you to understand the true principles of the government. I wish them carried out. I ask nothing more.” (17)

Figure 23: His Funeral

A 30-day period of mourning commenced following the president’s death. (17) He was the first president to die in office. (1,2) Some claimed that Harrison’s death directly related to Tecumseh’s Curse, placed on him as a result of his destruction of Prophetstown after his victory at Tippecanoe. (12) He was President from March to April 1841 for a total of 32 (2) [OR] 31 (1) days (1,2) [OR] exactly one month, (7,12) [OR] 30 days, 12 hours, and 30 mintues3, (9) the shortest tenure in US presidential history. (1,2) Harrison holds the record for having the largest number of grandchildren (25) when he took office. (10) Due to his brief tenure, scholars and historians often forgo listing him in historical presidential rankings. (10) However, historian William W. Freehling calls him “the most dominant figure in the evolution of the Northwest territories into the Upper Midwest today. (10) With him died the programme of the Whigs, (11,17) who had hoped to pass a revenue tariff and enact measures to support Henry Clay’s American system. (17)

Posthumous

Burial

The White House hosted various public ceremonies, modelled after European royal funeral practices. (17) Harrison was the first president to lie in state in the Capitol, (15) before being buried in Washington. (9,15) An invitation only funeral service was also held on April 7th in the East Room of the White House, after which his coffin was brought to Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. where it was placed in the Public Vault. (17)  He had expressed a desire to be buried on Mt. Nebo in North Bend, Ohio, with its wide view of the Ohio River and of the corners of three states—Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, (6) so, two months later, (15) his body was brought back (6,17) by train and (17) in a river procession of black-draped (6) barges (6,17) and his funeral took place in Wesley Chapel in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 7th, 1841. (9) May 14th was declared a national day of mourning for him. (16) He was finally buried (2,6) [OR] interned (16) on July 7th, 1841, in a simple family tomb on the summit of Mt. Nebo. (6,17) in the William Henry Harrison (2,16) Tomb (2,17) State Memorial (2,16) Park (16) in North Bend, Hamilton County, Ohio. (2,6) He died nearly penniless. (17) Congress voted his wife Anna a presidential widow’s pension (14,17) of $25,000, one year of Harrison’s salary (14,17) (equivalent to about $620,000 in 2019). (17) She also received the right to mail letters free of charge. (14,17) She outlived her husband by two decades (14,16) dying in 1864 while the American Civil War was still in progress. (16) In 1871 the Harrison family sold its estate, with the exception of the six acres constituting Congress Green Cemetery, the family burial grounds of (6) his in-laws, the Symmes. (6,9) That same year, the president’s son, John Scott Harrison, offered the site and the tomb to the State of Ohio, on condition that it be preserved. (6) The tomb has 24 vaults containing the bodies of (6) William Henry Harrison; his wife, Anna, (6,14) [OR] Betsy (4) who died in 1864; [OR] on Sept 27th 1846. (4) Also in the tomb is their son, John Scott, father of President Benjamin Harrison. (6) This grandson of William, Benjamin Harrison, became (5,6) the 23rd (5,7) president (5,6) in 1889. (16) William Henry also had a great-great-grandson named William Henry Harrison! (8)

Tyler President

Harrison’s death sparked a brief constitutional crisis regarding succession to the presidency, because the Constitution was unclear as to whether (10,17) Vice President John Tyler (5,10) should assume the office of president or merely execute the duties of the vacant office. (10,17) [OR] In accordance with the Constitution, (12) Tyler succeeded him upon his death. (5,10) The problem was an ambiguity in Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution regarding succession to the presidency. (17) The Constitution clearly provided for the vice president to take over the “powers and duties” of the presidency in the event of a president’s removal, death, resignation, or inability, but it was unclear whether the vice president formally became president of the United States, or simply temporarily assumed the powers and duties of that office, in a case of succession. (17) Harrison’s cabinet insisted that Tyler was “Vice President acting as President”. (17) Tyler was resolute in his claim to the title of President and in his determination to exercise the full powers of the presidency, (17) quickly claimed a constitutional mandate to become the new president. (10,17) 

Figure 24: Harrison House, Franklinton, a museum since 1976

The cabinet consulted with Chief Justice Roger Taney and decided that, if Tyler took the presidential oath of office, he would assume the office of president. (17) Tyler obliged and was sworn into office (10,17) on April 6th, 1841. (17) Congress convened in May and, after a short period of debate in both houses, passed a resolution which confirmed Tyler as president for the remainder of Harrison’s term. (17) This set an important precedent for an orderly transfer of the presidency and its full powers when the previous president fails to complete the elected term. (10) He soon alienated Whig supporters, (16) earning the nickname “His Accidency.” (14,15) He abandoned the Whig agenda, effectively cutting himself off from the party. (17)

Later

To this day the Village of North Bend, Ohio, still honours Harrison every year with a parade sometime around his February 9th birthday. (17) The Gen. William Henry Harrison Headquarters in Franklinton (now part of Columbus, Ohio) commemorates Harrison. (17) The house was his military headquarters from 1813 to 1814, and is the only remaining building in Ohio associated with him. (17) Among Harrison’s most enduring legacies is the series of treaties that he either negotiated or signed with Indian leaders during his tenure as the Indiana territorial governor. (17) As part of the treaty negotiations, the tribes ceded large tracts of land in the west which provided additional acreage for purchase and settlement. (17) Harrison’s long-term impact on American politics includes his campaigning methods, which laid the foundation for modern presidential campaign tactics. (17)

Appendix ONE: Harrison’s Inaugural Speech

  1. CALLED from a retirement which I had supposed was to continue for the residue of my life to fill the chief executive office of this great and free nation, I appear before you, fellow-citizens, to take the oaths which the Constitution prescribes as a necessary qualification for the performance of its duties; and in obedience to a custom coeval with our Government and what I believe to be your expectations I proceed to present to you a summary of the principles which will govern me in the discharge of the duties which I shall be called upon to perform. (18)
  2. It was the remark of a Roman consul in an early period of that celebrated Republic that a most striking contrast was observable in the conduct of candidates for offices of power and trust before and after obtaining them, they seldom carrying out in the latter case the pledges and promises made in the former. (18) However much the world may have improved in many respects in the lapse of upward of two thousand years since the remark was made by the virtuous and indignant Roman, I fear that a strict examination of the annals of some of the modern elective governments would develop similar instances of violated confidence. (18)
  3. Although the fiat of the people has gone forth proclaiming me the Chief Magistrate of this glorious Union, nothing upon their part remaining to be done, it may be thought that a motive may exist to keep up the delusion under which they may be supposed to have acted in relation to my principles and opinions; and perhaps there may be some in this assembly who have come here either prepared to condemn those I shall now deliver, or, approving them, to doubt the sincerity with which they are now uttered. (18) But the lapse of a few months will confirm or dispel their fears. (18) The outline of principles to govern and measures to be adopted by an Administration not yet begun will soon be exchanged for immutable history, and I shall stand either exonerated by my countrymen or classed with the mass of those who promised that they might deceive and flattered with the intention to betray. (18) However strong may be my present purpose to realize the expectations of a magnanimous and confiding people, I too well understand the dangerous temptations to which I shall be exposed from the magnitude of the power which it has been the pleasure of the people to commit to my hands not to place my chief confidence upon the aid of that Almighty Power which has hitherto protected me and enabled me to bring to favorable issues other important but still greatly inferior trusts heretofore confided to me by my country. (18)
  4. The broad foundation upon which our Constitution rests being the people—a breath of theirs having made, as a breath can unmake, change, or modify it—it can be assigned to none of the great divisions of government but to that of democracy. (18) If such is its theory, those who are called upon to administer it must recognize as its leading principle the duty of shaping their measures so as to produce the greatest good to the greatest number. (18) But with these broad admissions, if we would compare the sovereignty acknowledged to exist in the mass of our people with the power claimed by other sovereignties, even by those which have been considered most purely democratic, we shall find a most essential difference. (18) All others lay claim to power limited only by their own will. (18) The majority of our citizens, on the contrary, possess a sovereignty with an amount of power precisely equal to that which has been granted to them by the parties to the national compact, and nothing beyond. (18) We admit of no government by divine right, believing that so far as power is concerned the Beneficent Creator has made no distinction amongst men; that all are upon an equality, and that the only legitimate right to govern is an express grant of power from the governed. (18) The Constitution of the United States is the instrument containing this grant of power to the several departments composing the Government. (18) On an examination of that instrument it will be found to contain declarations of power granted and of power withheld. (18) The latter is also susceptible of division into power which the majority had the right to grant, but which they do not think proper to intrust to their agents, and that which they could not have granted, not being possessed by themselves. (18) In other words, there are certain rights possessed by each individual American citizen which in his compact with the others he has never surrendered. (18) Some of them, indeed, he is unable to surrender, being, in the language of our system, unalienable. (18) The boasted privilege of a Roman citizen was to him a shield only against a petty provincial ruler, whilst the proud democrat of Athens would console himself under a sentence of death for a supposed violation of the national faith—which no one understood and which at times was the subject of the mockery of all—or the banishment from his home, his family, and his country with or without an alleged cause, that it was the act not of a single tyrant or hated aristocracy, but of his assembled countrymen. (18) Far different is the power of our sovereignty. (18) It can interfere with no one’s faith, prescribe forms of worship for no one’s observance, inflict no punishment but after well-ascertained guilt, the result of investigation under rules prescribed by the Constitution itself. (18) These precious privileges, and those scarcely less important of giving expression to his thoughts and opinions, either by writing or speaking, unrestrained but by the liability for injury to others, and that of a full participation in all the advantages which flow from the Government, the acknowledged property of all, the American citizen derives from no charter granted by his fellow-man. (18) He claims them because he is himself a man, fashioned by the same Almighty hand as the rest of his species and entitled to a full share of the blessings with which He has endowed them. (18) Notwithstanding the limited sovereignty possessed by the people of the United States and the restricted grant of power to the Government which they have adopted, enough has been given to accomplish all the objects for which it was created. (18) It has been found powerful in war, and hitherto justice has been administered, and intimate union effected, domestic tranquillity preserved, and personal liberty secured to the citizen. (18) As was to be expected, however, from the defect of language and the necessarily sententious manner in which the Constitution is written, disputes have arisen as to the amount of power which it has actually granted or was intended to grant. (18)
  5. This is more particularly the case in relation to that part of the instrument which treats of the legislative branch, and not only as regards the exercise of powers claimed under a general clause giving that body the authority to pass all laws necessary to carry into effect the specified powers, but in relation to the latter also. (18) It is, however, consolatory to reflect that most of the instances of alleged departure from the letter or spirit of the Constitution have ultimately received the sanction of a majority of the people. (18) And the fact that many of our statesmen most distinguished for talent and patriotism have been at one time or other of their political career on both sides of each of the most warmly disputed questions forces upon us the inference that the errors, if errors there were, are attributable to the intrinsic difficulty in many instances of ascertaining the intentions of the framers of the Constitution rather than the influence of any sinister or unpatriotic motive. (18) But the great danger to our institutions does not appear to me to be in a usurpation by the Government of power not granted by the people, but by the accumulation in one of the departments of that which was assigned to others. (18) Limited as are the powers which have been granted, still enough have been granted to constitute a despotism if concentrated in one of the departments. (18) This danger is greatly heightened, as it has been always observable that men are less jealous of encroachments of one department upon another than upon their own reserved rights. (18) When the Constitution of the United States first came from the hands of the Convention which formed it, many of the sternest republicans of the day were alarmed at the extent of the power which had been granted to the Federal Government, and more particularly of that portion which had been assigned to the executive branch. (18) There were in it features which appeared not to be in harmony with their ideas of a simple representative democracy or republic, and knowing the tendency of power to increase itself, particularly when exercised by a single individual, predictions were made that at no very remote period the Government would terminate in virtual monarchy. (18) It would not become me to say that the fears of these patriots have been already realized; but as I sincerely believe that the tendency of measures and of men’s opinions for some years past has been in that direction, it is, I conceive, strictly proper that I should take this occasion to repeat the assurances I have heretofore given of my determination to arrest the progress of that tendency if it really exists and restore the Government to its pristine health and vigor, as far as this can be effected by any legitimate exercise of the power placed in my hands. (18)
  6. I proceed to state in as summary a manner as I can my opinion of the sources of the evils which have been so extensively complained of and the correctives which may be applied. (18) Some of the former are unquestionably to be found in the defects of the Constitution; others, in my judgment, are attributable to a misconstruction of some of its provisions. (18) Of the former is the eligibility of the same individual to a second term of the Presidency. (18) The sagacious mind of Mr. Jefferson early saw and lamented this error, and attempts have been made, hitherto without success, to apply the amendatory power of the States to its correction. (18) As, however, one mode of correction is in the power of every President, and consequently in mine, it would be useless, and perhaps invidious, to enumerate the evils of which, in the opinion of many of our fellow-citizens, this error of the sages who framed the Constitution may have been the source and the bitter fruits which we are still to gather from it if it continues to disfigure our system. (18) It may be observed, however, as a general remark, that republics can commit no greater error than to adopt or continue any feature in their systems of government which may be calculated to create or increase the lover of power in the bosoms of those to whom necessity obliges them to commit the management of their affairs; and surely nothing is more likely to produce such a state of mind than the long continuance of an office of high trust. (18) Nothing can be more corrupting, nothing more destructive of all those noble feelings which belong to the character of a devoted republican patriot. (18) When this corrupting passion once takes possession of the human mind, like the love of gold it becomes insatiable. (18) It is the never-dying worm in his bosom, grows with his growth and strengthens with the declining years of its victim. (18) If this is true, it is the part of wisdom for a republic to limit the service of that officer at least to whom she has intrusted the management of her foreign relations, the execution of her laws, and the command of her armies and navies to a period so short as to prevent his forgetting that he is the accountable agent, not the principal; the servant, not the master. (18) Until an amendment of the Constitution can be effected public opinion may secure the desired object. (18) I give my aid to it by renewing the pledge heretofore given that under no circumstances will I consent to serve a second term. (18)
  7. But if there is danger to public liberty from the acknowledged defects of the Constitution in the want of limit to the continuance of the Executive power in the same hands, there is, I apprehend, not much less from a misconstruction of that instrument as it regards the powers actually given. (18) I can not conceive that by a fair construction any or either of its provisions would be found to constitute the President a part of the legislative power. (18) It cannot be claimed from the power to recommend, since, although enjoined as a duty upon him, it is a privilege which he holds in common with every other citizen; and although there may be something more of confidence in the propriety of the measures recommended in the one case than in the other, in the obligations of ultimate decision there can be no difference. (18) In the language of the Constitution, “all the legislative powers” which it grants “are vested in the Congress of the United States.” It would be a solecism in language to say that any portion of these is not included in the whole. (18)
  8. It may be said, indeed, that the Constitution has given to the Executive the power to annul the acts of the legislative body by refusing to them his assent. (18) So a similar power has necessarily resulted from that instrument to the judiciary, and yet the judiciary forms no part of the Legislature. (18) There is, it is true, this difference between these grants of power: The Executive can put his negative upon the acts of the Legislature for other cause than that of want of conformity to the Constitution, whilst the judiciary can only declare void those which violate that instrument. (18) But the decision of the judiciary is final in such a case, whereas in every instance where the veto of the Executive is applied it may be overcome by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses of Congress. (18) The negative upon the acts of the legislative by the executive authority, and that in the hands of one individual, would seem to be an incongruity in our system. (18) Like some others of a similar character, however, it appears to be highly expedient, and if used only with the forbearance and in the spirit which was intended by its authors it may be productive of great good and be found one of the best safeguards to the Union. (18) At the period of the formation of the Constitution the principle does not appear to have enjoyed much favour in the State governments. (18) It existed but in two, and in one of these there was a plural executive. (18) If we would search for the motives which operated upon the purely patriotic and enlightened assembly which framed the Constitution for the adoption of a provision so apparently repugnant to the leading democratic principle that the majority should govern, we must reject the idea that they anticipated from it any benefit to the ordinary course of legislation. (18) They knew too well the high degree of intelligence which existed among the people and the enlightened character of the State legislatures not to have the fullest confidence that the two bodies elected by them would be worthy representatives of such constituents, and, of course, that they would require no aid in conceiving and maturing the measures which the circumstances of the country might require. (18) And it is preposterous to suppose that a thought could for a moment have been entertained that the President, placed at the capital, in the centre of the country, could better understand the wants and wishes of the people than their own immediate representatives, who spend a part of every year among them, living with them, often labouring with them, and bound to them by the triple tie of interest, duty, and affection. (18) To assist or control Congress, then, in its ordinary legislation could not, I conceive, have been the motive for conferring the veto power on the President. (18) This argument acquires additional force from the fact of its never having been thus used by the first six Presidents—and two of them were members of the Convention, one presiding over its deliberations and the other bearing a larger share in consummating the labors of that august body than any other person. (18) But if bills were never returned to Congress by either of the Presidents above referred to upon the ground of their being inexpedient or not as well adapted as they might be to the wants of the people, the veto was applied upon that of want of conformity to the Constitution or because errors had been committed from a too hasty enactment. (18)
  9. There is another ground for the adoption of the veto principle, which had probably more influence in recommending it to the Convention than any other. (18) I refer to the security which it gives to the just and equitable action of the Legislature upon all parts of the Union. (18) It could not but have occurred to the Convention that in a country so extensive, embracing so great a variety of soil and climate, and consequently of products, and which from the same causes must ever exhibit a great difference in the amount of the population of its various sections, calling for a great diversity in the employments of the people, that the legislation of the majority might not always justly regard the rights and interests of the minority, and that acts of this character might be passed under an express grant by the words of the Constitution, and therefore not within the competency of the judiciary to declare void; that however enlightened and patriotic they might suppose from past experience the members of Congress might be, and however largely partaking, in the general, of the liberal feelings of the people, it was impossible to expect that bodies so constituted should not sometimes be controlled by local interests and sectional feelings. (18) It was proper, therefore, to provide some umpire from whose situation and mode of appointment more independence and freedom from such influences might be expected. (18) Such a one was afforded by the executive department constituted by the Constitution. (18) A person elected to that high office, having his constituents in every section, State, and subdivision of the Union, must consider himself bound by the most solemn sanctions to guard, protect, and defend the rights of all and of every portion, great or small, from the injustice and oppression of the rest. (18) I consider the veto power, therefore, given by the Constitution to the Executive of the United States solely as a conservative power, to be used only first, to protect the Constitution from violation; secondly, the people from the effects of hasty legislation where their will has been probably disregarded or not well understood, and, thirdly, to prevent the effects of combinations violative of the rights of minorities. (18) In reference to the second of these objects I may observe that I consider it the right and privilege of the people to decide disputed points of the Constitution arising from the general grant of power to Congress to carry into effect the powers expressly given; and I believe with Mr. Madison that “repeated recognitions under varied circumstances in acts of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the Government, accompanied by indications in different modes of the concurrence of the general will of the nation,” as affording to the President sufficient authority for his considering such disputed points as settled. (18)
  10. Upward of half a century has elapsed since the adoption of the present form of government. (18) It would be an object more highly desirable than the gratification of the curiosity of speculative statesmen if its precise situation could be ascertained, a fair exhibit made of the operations of each of its departments, of the powers which they respectively claim and exercise, of the collisions which have occurred between them or between the whole Government and those of the States or either of them. (18) We could then compare our actual condition after fifty years’ trial of our system with what it was in the commencement of its operations and ascertain whether the predictions of the patriots who opposed its adoption or the confident hopes of its advocates have been best realized. (18) The great dread of the former seems to have been that the reserved powers of the States would be absorbed by those of the Federal Government and a consolidated power established, leaving to the States the shadow only of that independent action for which they had so zealously contended and on the preservation of which they relied as the last hope of liberty. (18) Without denying that the result to which they looked with so much apprehension is in the way of being realized, it is obvious that they did not clearly see the mode of its accomplishment. (18) The General Government has seized upon none of the reserved rights of the States. (18) As far as any open warfare may have gone, the State authorities have amply maintained their rights. (18) To a casual observer our system presents no appearance of discord between the different members which compose it. (18) Even the addition of many new ones has produced no jarring. (18) They move in their respective orbits in perfect harmony with the central head and with each other. (18) But there is still an undercurrent at work by which, if not seasonably checked, the worst apprehensions of our antifederal patriots will be realized, and not only will the State authorities be overshadowed by the great increase of power in the executive department of the General Government, but the character of that Government, if not its designation, be essentially and radically changed. (18) This state of things has been in part effected by causes inherent in the Constitution and in part by the never-failing tendency of political power to increase itself. (18) By making the President the sole distributer of all the patronage of the Government the framers of the Constitution do not appear to have anticipated at how short a period it would become a formidable instrument to control the free operations of the State governments. (18) Of trifling importance at first, it had early in Mr. Jefferson’s Administration become so powerful as to create great alarm in the mind of that patriot from the potent influence it might exert in controlling the freedom of the elective franchise. (18) If such could have then been the effects of its influence, how much greater must be the danger at this time, quadrupled in amount as it certainly is and more completely under the control of the Executive will than their construction of their powers allowed or the forbearing characters of all the early Presidents permitted them to make. (18) But it is not by the extent of its patronage alone that the executive department has become dangerous, but by the use which it appears may be made of the appointing power to bring under its control the whole revenues of the country. (18) The Constitution has declared it to be the duty of the President to see that the laws are executed, and it makes him the Commander in Chief of the Armies and Navy of the United States. (18) If the opinion of the most approved writers upon that species of mixed government which in modern Europe is termed monarchy in contradistinction to despotism is correct, there was wanting no other addition to the powers of our Chief Magistrate to stamp a monarchical character on our Government but the control of the public finances; and to me it appears strange indeed that anyone should doubt that the entire control which the President possesses over the officers who have the custody of the public money, by the power of removal with or without cause, does, for all mischievous purposes at least, virtually subject the treasure also to his disposal. (18) The first Roman Emperor, in his attempt to seize the sacred treasure, silenced the opposition of the officer to whose charge it had been committed by a significant allusion to his sword. (18) By a selection of political instruments for the care of the public money a reference to their commissions by a President would be quite as effectual an argument as that of Caesar to the Roman knight. (18) I am not insensible of the great difficulty that exists in drawing a proper plan for the safe-keeping and disbursement of the public revenues, and I know the importance which has been attached by men of great abilities and patriotism to the divorce, as it is called, of the Treasury from the banking institutions. (18) It is not the divorce which is complained of, but the unhallowed union of the Treasury with the executive department, which has created such extensive alarm. (18) To this danger to our republican institutions and that created by the influence given to the Executive through the instrumentality of the Federal officers I propose to apply all the remedies which may be at my command. (18) It was certainly a great error in the framers of the Constitution not to have made the officer at the head of the Treasury Department entirely independent of the Executive. (18) He should at least have been removable only upon the demand of the popular branch of the Legislature. (18) I have determined never to remove a Secretary of the Treasury without communicating all the circumstances attending such removal to both Houses of Congress. (18)
  11. The influence of the Executive in controlling the freedom of the elective franchise through the medium of the public officers can be effectually checked by renewing the prohibition published by Mr. Jefferson forbidding their interference in elections further than giving their own votes, and their own independence secured by an assurance of perfect immunity in exercising this sacred privilege of freemen under the dictates of their own unbiased judgments. (18) Never with my consent shall an officer of the people, compensated for his services out of their pockets, become the pliant instrument of Executive will. (18)
  12. There is no part of the means placed in the hands of the Executive which might be used with greater effect for unhallowed purposes than the control of the public press. (18) The maxim which our ancestors derived from the mother country that “the freedom of the press is the great bulwark of civil and religious liberty” is one of the most precious legacies which they have left us. (18) We have learned, too, from our own as well as the experience of other countries, that golden shackles, by whomsoever or by whatever pretense imposed, are as fatal to it as the iron bonds of despotism. (18) The presses in the necessary employment of the Government should never be used “to clear the guilty or to varnish crime.” (18) A decent and manly examination of the acts of the Government should be not only tolerated, but encouraged. (18)
  13. Upon another occasion I have given my opinion at some length upon the impropriety of Executive interference in the legislation of Congress—that the article in the Constitution making it the duty of the President to communicate information and authorizing him to recommend measures was not intended to make him the source in legislation, and, in particular, that he should never be looked to for schemes of finance. (18) It would be very strange, indeed, that the Constitution should have strictly forbidden one branch of the Legislature from interfering in the origination of such bills and that it should be considered proper that an altogether different department of the Government should be permitted to do so. (18) Some of our best political maxims and opinions have been drawn from our parent isle. (18) There are others, however, which can not be introduced in our system without singular incongruity and the production of much mischief, and this I conceive to be one. (18) No matter in which of the houses of Parliament a bill may originate nor by whom introduced—a minister or a member of the opposition—by the fiction of law, or rather of constitutional principle, the sovereign is supposed to have prepared it agreeably to his will and then submitted it to Parliament for their advice and consent. (18) Now the very reverse is the case here, not only with regard to the principle, but the forms prescribed by the Constitution. (18) The principle certainly assigns to the only body constituted by the Constitution (the legislative body) the power to make laws, and the forms even direct that the enactment should be ascribed to them. (18) The Senate, in relation to revenue bills, have the right to propose amendments, and so has the Executive by the power given him to return them to the House of Representatives with his objections. (18) It is in his power also to propose amendments in the existing revenue laws, suggested by his observations upon their defective or injurious operation. (18) But the delicate duty of devising schemes of revenue should be left where the Constitution has placed it—with the immediate representatives of the people. (18) For similar reasons the mode of keeping the public treasure should be prescribed by them, and the further removed it may be from the control of the Executive the more wholesome the arrangement and the more in accordance with republican principle. (18)
  14. Connected with this subject is the character of the currency. (18) The idea of making it exclusively metallic, however well intended, appears to me to be fraught with more fatal consequences than any other scheme having no relation to the personal rights of the citizens that has ever been devised. (18) If any single scheme could produce the effect of arresting at once that mutation of condition by which thousands of our most indigent fellow-citizens by their industry and enterprise are raised to the possession of wealth, that is the one. (18) If there is one measure better calculated than another to produce that state of things so much deprecated by all true republicans, by which the rich are daily adding to their hoards and the poor sinking deeper into penury, it is an exclusive metallic currency. (18) Or if there is a process by which the character of the country for generosity and nobleness of feeling may be destroyed by the great increase and neck toleration of usury, it is an exclusive metallic currency. (18)
  15. Amongst the other duties of a delicate character which the President is called upon to perform is the supervision of the government of the Territories of the United States. (18) Those of them which are destined to become members of our great political family are compensated by their rapid progress from infancy to manhood for the partial and temporary deprivation of their political rights. (18) It is in this District only where American citizens are to be found who under a settled policy are deprived of many important political privileges without any inspiring hope as to the future. (18) Their only consolation under circumstances of such deprivation is that of the devoted exterior guards of a camp—that their sufferings secure tranquillity and safety within. (18) Are there any of their countrymen, who would subject them to greater sacrifices, to any other humiliations than those essentially necessary to the security of the object for which they were thus separated from their fellow-citizens? Are their rights alone not to be guaranteed by the application of those great principles upon which all our constitutions are founded? We are told by the greatest of British orators and statesmen that at the commencement of the War of the Revolution the most stupid men in England spoke of “their American subjects.” Are there, indeed, citizens of any of our States who have dreamed of their subjects in the District of Columbia? Such dreams can never be realized by any agency of mine. (18) The people of the District of Columbia are not the subjects of the people of the States, but free American citizens. (18) Being in the latter condition when the Constitution was formed, no words used in that instrument could have been intended to deprive them of that character. (18) If there is anything in the great principle of unalienable rights so emphatically insisted upon in our Declaration of Independence, they could neither make nor the United States accept a surrender of their liberties and become the subjects—in other words, the slaves—of their former fellow-citizens. (18) If this be true—and it will scarcely be denied by anyone who has a correct idea of his own rights as an American citizen—the grant to Congress of exclusive jurisdiction in the District of Columbia can be interpreted, so far as respects the aggregate people of the United States, as meaning nothing more than to allow to Congress the controlling power necessary to afford a free and safe exercise of the functions assigned to the General Government by the Constitution. (18) In all other respects the legislation of Congress should be adapted to their peculiar position and wants and be conformable with their deliberate opinions of their own interests. (18)
  16. I have spoken of the necessity of keeping the respective departments of the Government, as well as all the other authorities of our country, within their appropriate orbits. (18) This is a matter of difficulty in some cases, as the powers which they respectively claim are often not defined by any distinct lines. (18) Mischievous, however, in their tendencies as collisions of this kind may be, those which arise between the respective communities which for certain purposes compose one nation are much more so, for no such nation can long exist without the careful culture of those feelings of confidence and affection which are the effective bonds to union between free and confederated states. (18) Strong as is the tie of interest, it has been often found ineffectual. (18) Men blinded by their passions have been known to adopt measures for their country in direct opposition to all the suggestions of policy. (18) The alternative, then, is to destroy or keep down a bad passion by creating and fostering a good one, and this seems to be the corner stone upon which our American political architects have reared the fabric of our Government. (18) The cement which was to bind it and perpetuate its existence was the affectionate attachment between all its members. (18) To insure the continuance of this feeling, produced at first by a community of dangers, of sufferings, and of interests, the advantages of each were made accessible to all. (18) No participation in any good possessed by any member of our extensive Confederacy, except in domestic government, was withheld from the citizen of any other member. (18) By a process attended with no difficulty, no delay, no expense but that of removal, the citizen of one might become the citizen of any other, and successively of the whole. (18) The lines, too, separating powers to be exercised by the citizens of one State from those of another seem to be so distinctly drawn as to leave no room for misunderstanding. (18) The citizens of each State unite in their persons all the privileges which that character confers and all that they may claim as citizens of the United States, but in no case can the same persons at the same time act as the citizen of two separate States, and he is therefore positively precluded from any interference with the reserved powers of any State but that of which he is for the time being a citizen. (18) He may, indeed, offer to the citizens of other States his advice as to their management, and the form in which it is tendered is left to his own discretion and sense of propriety. (18) It may be observed, however, that organized associations of citizens requiring compliance with their wishes too much resemble the recommendations of Athens to her allies, supported by an armed and powerful fleet. (18) It was, indeed, to the ambition of the leading States of Greece to control the domestic concerns of the others that the destruction of that celebrated Confederacy, and subsequently of all its members, is mainly to be attributed, and it is owing to the absence of that spirit that the Helvetic Confederacy has for so many years been preserved. (18) Never has there been seen in the institutions of the separate members of any confederacy more elements of discord. (18) In the principles and forms of government and religion, as well as in the circumstances of the several Cantons, so marked a discrepancy was observable as to promise anything but harmony in their intercourse or permanency in their alliance, and yet for ages neither has been interrupted. (18) Content with the positive benefits which their union produced, with the independence and safety from foreign aggression which it secured, these sagacious people respected the institutions of each other, however repugnant to their own principles and prejudices. (18)
  17. Our Confederacy, fellow-citizens, can only be preserved by the same forbearance. (18) Our citizens must be content with the exercise of the powers with which the Constitution clothes them. (18) The attempt of those of one State to control the domestic institutions of another can only result in feelings of distrust and jealousy, the certain harbingers of disunion, violence, and civil war, and the ultimate destruction of our free institutions. (18) Our Confederacy is perfectly illustrated by the terms and principles governing a common copartnership. (18) There is a fund of power to be exercised under the direction of the joint councils of the allied members, but that which has been reserved by the individual members is intangible by the common Government or the individual members composing it. (18) To attempt it finds no support in the principles of our Constitution. (18)
  18. It should be our constant and earnest endeavor mutually to cultivate a spirit of concord and harmony among the various parts of our Confederacy. (18) Experience has abundantly taught us that the agitation by citizens of one part of the Union of a subject not confided to the General Government, but exclusively under the guardianship of the local authorities, is productive of no other consequences than bitterness, alienation, discord, and injury to the very cause which is intended to be advanced. (18) Of all the great interests which appertain to our country, that of union—cordial, confiding, fraternal union—is by far the most important, since it is the only true and sure guaranty of all others. (18)
  19. In consequence of the embarrassed state of business and the currency, some of the States may meet with difficulty in their financial concerns. (18) However deeply we may regret anything imprudent or excessive in the engagements into which States have entered for purposes of their own, it does not become us to disparage the States governments, nor to discourage them from making proper efforts for their own relief. (18) On the contrary, it is our duty to encourage them to the extent of our constitutional authority to apply their best means and cheerfully to make all necessary sacrifices and submit to all necessary burdens to fulfill their engagements and maintain their credit, for the character and credit of the several States form a part of the character and credit of the whole country. (18) The resources of the country are abundant, the enterprise and activity of our people proverbial, and we may well hope that wise legislation and prudent administration by the respective governments, each acting within its own sphere, will restore former prosperity. (18)
  20. Unpleasant and even dangerous as collisions may sometimes be between the constituted authorities of the citizens of our country in relation to the lines which separate their respective jurisdictions, the results can be of no vital injury to our institutions if that ardent patriotism, that devoted attachment to liberty, that spirit of moderation and forbearance for which our countrymen were once distinguished, continue to be cherished. (18) If this continues to be the ruling passion of our souls, the weaker feeling of the mistaken enthusiast will be corrected, the Utopian dreams of the scheming politician dissipated, and the complicated intrigues of the demagogue rendered harmless. (18) The spirit of liberty is the sovereign balm for every injury which our institutions may receive. (18) On the contrary, no care that can be used in the construction of our Government, no division of powers, no distribution of checks in its several departments, will prove effectual to keep us a free people if this spirit is suffered to decay; and decay it will without constant nurture. (18) To the neglect of this duty the best historians agree in attributing the ruin of all the republics with whose existence and fall their writings have made us acquainted. (18) The same causes will ever produce the same effects, and as long as the love of power is a dominant passion of the human bosom, and as long as the understandings of men can be warped and their affections changed by operations upon their passions and prejudices, so long will the liberties of a people depend on their own constant attention to its preservation. (18) The danger to all well-established free governments arises from the unwillingness of the people to believe in its existence or from the influence of designing men diverting their attention from the quarter whence it approaches to a source from which it can never come. (18) This is the old trick of those who would usurp the government of their country. (18) In the name of democracy they speak, warning the people against the influence of wealth and the danger of aristocracy. (18) History, ancient and modern, is full of such examples. (18) Caesar became the master of the Roman people and the senate under the pretense of supporting the democratic claims of the former against the aristocracy of the latter; Cromwell, in the character of protector of the liberties of the people, became the dictator of England, and Bolivar possessed himself of unlimited power with the title of his country’s liberator. (18) There is, on the contrary, no instance on record of an extensive and well-established republic being changed into an aristocracy. (18) The tendencies of all such governments in their decline is to monarchy, and the antagonist principle to liberty there is the spirit of faction—a spirit which assumes the character and in times of great excitement imposes itself upon the people as the genuine spirit of freedom, and, like the false Christs whose coming was foretold by the Savior, seeks to, and were it possible would, impose upon the true and most faithful disciples of liberty. (18) It is in periods like this that it behooves the people to be most watchful of those to whom they have intrusted power. (18) And although there is at times much difficulty in distinguishing the false from the true spirit, a calm and dispassionate investigation will detect the counterfeit, as well by the character of its operations as the results that are produced. (18) The true spirit of liberty, although devoted, persevering, bold, and uncompromising in principle, that secured is mild and tolerant and scrupulous as to the means it employs, whilst the spirit of party, assuming to be that of liberty, is harsh, vindictive, and intolerant, and totally reckless as to the character of the allies which it brings to the aid of its cause. (18) When the genuine spirit of liberty animates the body of a people to a thorough examination of their affairs, it leads to the excision of every excrescence which may have fastened itself upon any of the departments of the government, and restores the system to its pristine health and beauty. (18) But the reign of an intolerant spirit of party amongst a free people seldom fails to result in a dangerous accession to the executive power introduced and established amidst unusual professions of devotion to democracy. (18)
  21. The foregoing remarks relate almost exclusively to matters connected with our domestic concerns. (18) It may be proper, however, that I should give some indications to my fellow-citizens of my proposed course of conduct in the management of our foreign relations. (18) I assure them, therefore, that it is my intention to use every means in my power to preserve the friendly intercourse which now so happily subsists with every foreign nation, and that although, of course, not well informed as to the state of pending negotiations with any of them, I see in the personal characters of the sovereigns, as well as in the mutual interests of our own and of the governments with which our relations are most intimate, a pleasing guaranty that the harmony so important to the interests of their subjects as well as of our citizens will not be interrupted by the advancement of any claim or pretension upon their part to which our honor would not permit us to yield. (18) Long the defender of my country’s rights in the field, I trust that my fellow-citizens will not see in my earnest desire to preserve peace with foreign powers any indication that their rights will ever be sacrificed or the honor of the nation tarnished by any admission on the part of their Chief Magistrate unworthy of their former glory. (18) In our intercourse with our aboriginal neighbors the same liberality and justice which marked the course prescribed to me by two of my illustrious predecessors when acting under their direction in the discharge of the duties of superintendent and commissioner shall be strictly observed. (18) I can conceive of no more sublime spectacle, none more likely to propitiate an impartial and common Creator, than a rigid adherence to the principles of justice on the part of a powerful nation in its transactions with a weaker and uncivilized people whom circumstances have placed at its disposal. (18)
  22. Before concluding, fellow-citizens, I must say something to you on the subject of the parties at this time existing in our country. (18) To me it appears perfectly clear that the interest of that country requires that the violence of the spirit by which those parties are at this time governed must be greatly mitigated, if not entirely extinguished, or consequences will ensue which are appalling to be thought of. (18) 22 If parties in a republic are necessary to secure a degree of vigilance sufficient to keep the public functionaries within the bounds of law and duty, at that point their usefulness ends. (18) Beyond that they become destructive of public virtue, the parent of a spirit antagonist to that of liberty, and eventually its inevitable conqueror. (18) We have examples of republics where the love of country and of liberty at one time were the dominant passions of the whole mass of citizens, and yet, with the continuance of the name and forms of free government, not a vestige of these qualities remaining in the bosoms of any one of its citizens. (18) It was the beautiful remark of a distinguished English writer that “in the Roman senate Octavius had a party and Anthony a party, but the Commonwealth had none.” Yet the senate continued to meet in the temple of liberty to talk of the sacredness and beauty of the Commonwealth and gaze at the statues of the elder Brutus and of the Curtii and Decii, and the people assembled in the forum, not, as in the days of Camillus and the Scipios, to cast their free votes for annual magistrates or pass upon the acts of the senate, but to receive from the hands of the leaders of the respective parties their share of the spoils and to shout for one or the other, as those collected in Gaul or Egypt and the lesser Asia would furnish the larger dividend. (18) The spirit of liberty had fled, and, avoiding the abodes of civilized man, had sought protection in the wilds of Scythia or Scandinavia; and so under the operation of the same causes and influences it will fly from our Capitol and our forums. (18) A calamity so awful, not only to our country, but to the world, must be deprecated by every patriot and every tendency to a state of things likely to produce it immediately checked. (18) Such a tendency has existed—does exist. (18) Always the friend of my countrymen, never their flatterer, it becomes my duty to say to them from this high place to which their partiality has exalted me that there exists in the land a spirit hostile to their best interests—hostile to liberty itself. (18) It is a spirit contracted in its views, selfish in its objects. (18) It looks to the aggrandizement of a few even to the destruction of the interests of the whole. (18) The entire remedy is with the people. (18) Something, however, may be effected by the means which they have placed in my hands. (18) It is union that we want, not of a party for the sake of that party, but a union of the whole country for the sake of the whole country, for the defense of its interests and its honor against foreign aggression, for the defense of those principles for which our ancestors so gloriously contended. (18) As far as it depends upon me it shall be accomplished. (18) All the influence that I possess shall be exerted to prevent the formation at least of an Executive party in the halls of the legislative body. (18) I wish for the support of no member of that body to any measure of mine that does not satisfy his judgment and his sense of duty to those from whom he holds his appointment, nor any confidence in advance from the people but that asked for by Mr. Jefferson, “to give firmness and effect to the legal administration of their affairs.”
  23. I deem the present occasion sufficiently important and solemn to justify me in expressing to my fellow-citizens a profound reverence for the Christian religion and a thorough conviction that sound morals, religious liberty, and a just sense of religious responsibility are essentially connected with all true and lasting happiness; and to that good Being who has blessed us by the gifts of civil and religious freedom, who watched over and prospered the labors of our fathers and has hitherto preserved to us institutions far exceeding in excellence those of any other people, let us unite in fervently commending every interest of our beloved country in all future time. (18)
  24. Fellow-citizens, being fully invested with that high office to which the partiality of my countrymen has called me, I now take an affectionate leave of you. (18) You will bear with you to your homes the remembrance of the pledge I have this day given to discharge all the high duties of my exalted station according to the best of my ability, and I shall enter upon their performance with entire confidence in the support of a just and generous people. (18)

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