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William Henry Harrison (1773)close

William Henry Harrison, the ninth president, was born into an aristocratic family in Charles City County, Virginia. His father, Benjamin Harrison, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a close friend of George Washington.
In 1801 he became Governor of the Indiana Territory and held that post for 12 years. In the War of 1812 Harrison was given the command of the Army in the Northwest. After leading the Army to victory in 1813, Harrison resigned from the military and returned to civilian life. He served terms in Congress and the Senate, was appointed minister to Colombia by President John Quincy Adams, and eventually retired to his farm in Ohio.
In 1840, The Whigs, in need of a national hero, nominated him for president. He won by a majority of less than 150,000, but swept the Electoral College, 234 to 60, becoming the ninth president of the United States.
Refusing to wear an overcoat on the cold and rainy day of his inauguration, Harrison caught a cold that developed into pneumonia. He died on April 4, 1841, exactly one month after becoming president.

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