William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison was born in Berkeley, Virginia in 1773. He grew up on a farm and worked as a planter. At the age of 18 he attended Hampden Sydney College. There he studied history, later on he went to study medicine in Richmond, Virginia. That same year he switched his interest an in 1791 he joined the First Infantry of the Regular Army. Harrison then headed to the Northwest, where he spent much of his life.
During his time in the Army he served as an aid to General Mad Anthony Wayne. Together they fought in the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The win of this battle opened most of the Ohio area to settlement. In 1798 he resigned from the Army and became Secretary of the Northwest Territory. There he was the first delegate to Congress, and obtained a legislation dividing the territory Into the northwest and Indiana territories. In 1801 he became the governor of the Indiana Territory, serving 12 years. Harrison was responsible for defending all of the settlements from the Indians.
In 1809 a powerful Indian force led by an energetic chieftain Tecumseh posed a threat to the settlers. Tecumseh was responsible for strengthening the Indian confederation to prevent settlers from moving in on their territory. However on November 7, 1871 Harrison planned an attack on the Indian Confederacy. As Harrisons men moved in they were attacked at the Tippecanoe River. 190 men were dead or wounded, this was known as the Battle of Tippecanoe. Although Harrison experienced a loss of men, he still led victorious.
The Indians were still persistent in their raids against Harrison and the settlers. Harrison was given the title of brigadier general of the army during the War of 1812. He also defeated the combined British and Indian forces at the Battle of the Thames on October 5, 1813. There he killed Tecumseh and forced all the Indians to the Northwest.
After his victory he returned to civilian life and nominated by the Whigs to be president in 1840. Tragically after being in office not even a month he passed away. He caught a cold which later turned out to be pneumonia. He died April 4, 1841. He was the first president to die in office.
Harrison is a positive role model for us in our society today. He was a strong leader with many ideas. He also showed us how his powerful leadership helped him become someone important. However it is a shame that he had to die due to sickness especially when he was in office.
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