of the United States
; in 1841; Whig; born in Berkeley, Charles City co., Va.
, Feb. 9, 1773; was a son of Benjamin Harrison
, governor of Virginia
, and was educated at Hampden-Sidney College.
He began preparations for the profession of medicine, but soon abandoned it for a military life.
In 1791 Washington
commissioned him an ensign.
Made a lieutenant in 1792, he afterwards became an efficient aide to General Wayne
, and with him went through the campaign in Ohio
, in 1794.
After the treaty of Greenville
(1794), he was placed in command of Fort Washington
, on the site of Cincinnati
, and was promoted to captain.
While on duty at North Bend
, he was married to Anna
, daughter of Judge Symmes
, an extensive land-owner there.
In 1797 he was appointed secretary of the Northwest Territory
, and left the army.
In 1799 he became a delegate to Congress, and was made the first governor of Indian Territory
That office he held until 1813, and, as superintendent of Indian affairs, performed efficient service.
In the course of his administration, he made thirteen important treaties with different tribes.
, at the head of troops, gained a victory over the Indians, Nov. 7, 1811, at Tippecanoe
(q. v.). He was in command of the Army of the Northwest in the second war for independence, in which post he was distinguished for prudence and bravery.
Resigning his commission in 1814, he was employed in making treaties with the Indians for cessions of lands.
From 1816 to 1819 he was member of Congress from Ohio
, and from 1825 to 1828 was in the United States Senate, having previously served a term in the Ohio Senate.
In 1828 President Adams
sent him as minister to Colombia, South America
, and on his return he made his residence in North Bend, O.
In 1840 he was elected President
of the United States
, receiving 234 votes out of 294 (see cabinet, President's
). Just one month after he entered upon his duties, April 4, 1841, he died in the national capital.
's remains lie in a vault upon an eminence overlooking the Ohio River
, at North Bend
While governor of the Indiana Territory
, General Harrison
, suspicious of the movements of Tecumseh
(q. v.), and also of the Prophet (see Elkswatawa
), invited them to an interview at Vincennes
Though requested not to bring more than thirty followers, Tecumseh
appeared with about 400 warriors.
The council was held in a field just outside the village.
The governor, seated on a chair, was surrounded by several hundred of the unarmed people, and attended by judges of the territory, several officers of the army, and by Winnemack, a friendly Pottawattomie chief, who had on this as on other occasions given Harrison
notice of Tecumseh
's hostile designs.
A sergeant and twelve men from the fort were stationed under some trees on the border of the field, and the Indians, who sat in a semicircle on the ground, had left their rifles at their camp in the woods, but brought their tomahawks with them.
, in an opening speech, declared the intention of the tribes, by a combination, not to countenance any more cessions of Indian lands, except by general consent.
He contended that the Indians were one people, and the lands, belonging to the whole in common, could not be alienated by a part.
This position was combated by Harrison
, who asserted that the lands sold had been so disposed of by the occupants, and that the Shawnees had no business to interfere.
When these words were interpreted, Tecumseh
, with violent gesticulations, declared the governor's statements were false, and that he and the United States
had cheated and imposed upon the Indians.
As he proceeded with increased violence, his warriors sprang to their feet, and began to brandish their tomahawks.
started from his chair, and drew his sword, as did the officers around him. Winnemack cocked his loaded pistol, and the unarmed citizens caught up whatever missiles were at hand.
The guard of soldiers came running up, and were about to fire upon the Indians, but were checked by the governor, who asked the interpreter what was the matter.
On being informed, he denounced Tecumseh
as a bad man; that, as he had come under promise of protection, he might depart in safety, but he must instantly leave the neighborhood.
The council broke up, and Tecumseh
retired to his camp.
On the following morning, to allay all suspicions, he expressed regret for his conduct, and asked for and obtained another interview, at which he disclaimed all hostile intentions against the white people, but gave the governor to understand that he should adhere to his determination to oppose all cessions of land thereafter.
Chiefs of other tribes, who were with him, declared their intention to adhere to the new confederacy.
Anxious to ascertain the real intentions of the Shawnee chief, Harrison
visited his camp, when Tecumseh
told him that he should make war on the Americans
with reluctance, and promised,
if the recent cessions were given up, and the principle adopted by the United States government of taking no more land from the Indians without the consent of all the tribes, he would be their friend and ally, for he knew the pretended friendship of the British
was only selfishness.
Yet, if the Americans
persevered in their methods of getting the land of the Indians, he should be compelled to join that people in war against the people of the United States
Before the declaration of war against England
in June, 1812, Kentucky
made preparations for such an event.
Early in May Governor Scott
, of Kentucky
, in obedience to instructions from the War Department, had organized ten regiments of volunteers, making an effective force of 5,500 men; and Governor
Meigs, of Ohio
, promptly responded to the call for troops to accompany Hull
to De troit.
, then governor of Indiana Territory
, had already caused block-houses and stockades to be erected in various parts of his territory as defences against the Indians, and the militiamen were placed in a state of preparation for immediate action when called upon.
Having been authorized by the national government to call upon Kentucky
for any portion of its contingent of troops, he repaired to Frankfort
, where he was honored with a public reception.
He expressed his views freely concerning the imminent peril in which General Hull
was placed, and suggested a series of military operations in the Northwest
The fall of Detroit
and the massacre at Chicago
caused the greatest excitement in Kentucky
, and volunteers were offered by thousands.
It was the general desire of the volunteers and militia of the West
should be their leader against the British
was requested by some of the leading men in Kentucky
to appoint him commander-in-chief of the forces of that State, and he was commissioned Aug. 25, 1812.
A corps of mounted volunteers was raised, and Maj. Richard M. Johnson
became their leader.
was on his way northward from Cincinnati
with his troops he received the commission of brigadier-general from the President
, with instructions to take command of all the forces in the territories of Indiana
, and to co-operate with General Hull
and with Governor Howard
, of Missouri
These instructions were issued before the disaster to Hull
He hesitated to accept the commission because of the delicate relations in which it might place him with General Winchester
, commander of the Army of the Northwest.
He pressed forward to Piqua
, and sent a detachment to relieve Fort Wayne
(q. v.). At Piqua Harrison
was joined by mounted volunteers under Johnson
, when the army in the wilderness of Ohio
numbered 2,200 men. The Indian spies reported: “Kaintuckee is crossing as numerous as the trees.”
It was determined by a council of officers to strike the neighboring Indians
with terror by a display of power.
divided the army.
One detachment of mounted dragoons, under Colonel Simrall
, laid waste (Sept. 19, 1812) the Little Turtle's town
on the Eel River
, excepting the buildings erected by the United States
for the then deceased chief on account of his friendship since the treaty of Greenville
Another detachment, under Col. S. Wells
, was sent, Sept. 16, to destroy a Pottawattomie town on the Elkhart River
, 60 miles distant; while Colonel Payne
, with another detachment, laid in ashes a Miami village in the forks of the Wabash
, and several other towns lower down that stream, with their corn-fields and gardens.
arrived at Harrison
's camp on Sept. 18, when the latter resigned his command to that superior in rank.
The troops almost mutinied, for they revered Harrison
The latter returned to St. Mary to collect the mounted men from Kentucky
, to march on towards Detroit
he received a letter from the War Department assigning him to the command of the Northwestern
army, which, it was stated, would consist, “in addition to the regular troops and rangers in that quarter, of the volunteers and militia of Kentucky
, and 3,000 from Virginia
,” making his whole force 10,000 men. He was instructed to provide for the defence of the frontiers, and “then to retake Detroit
, with a view to the conquest of Canada
He was invested with very ample powers.
“You will command such means as may be practicable,” said the despatch from the War Department. “Exercise your own discretion, and act in all cases according to your own judgment.”
His soldiers rejoiced, and were ready and eager to follow wherever he might lead.
He arranged with care an autumn campaign, which contemplated the seizure of the important position at the foot of the rapids of the Maumee
, or Miami
, and, possibly, the capture of Malden
, making his base of military operations the foot of the rapids (see Meigs, Fort
). There were nearly 3,000 troops at St. Mary on Oct. 1. Fort Defiance
, at the junction of the Maumee
, was made a post of deposit for provisions, and a corps of observation was placed at Sandusky
The mounted Kentuckians
were formed into a regiment, and Major Johnson
appointed its colonel; and these, with Ohio
mounted men under Colonel Findlay
, formed a brigade commanded by Gen. E. W. Tupper
, of Ohio
, who had raised about 1,000 men for the service.
ordered the construction of a new fort near old Fort Defiance
; but his operations were soon afterwards disturbed by antagonisms between Tupper
The latter dismissed Tupper
from his command and gave it to Allen
, of the regulars, when the Ohio
troops absolutely refused to serve under any but their old commander.
It was really a conflict between regulars and volunteers, and the intended expedition against Detroit
was much annoyed, but prosecuted his plans with extraordinary vigor for a winter campaign.
had entered upon an independent expedition with 650 mounted volunteers, and endeavored to seize the post at the foot of the Maumee Rapids
; but, after a bold attempt, he was repulsed by the British
Some further attacks upon the Indians succeeded, and smoothed the way for the final recovery of Michigan
; but as winter came on the suffering of the troops was severe, especially of those under Winchester
The whole effective force then (December, 1812) in the Northwest
did not exceed 6,300, and a small artillery and cavalry force.
determined to press on to the rapids and beyond if possible.
On Dec. 30 Winchester
moved towards the rapids.
, having heard of the presence of Tecumseh
on the Wabash
with a large force of Indians
, recommended Winchester
to abandon the movement; but the latter did not heed the advice.
He reached the rapids, and was summoned to the River Raisin
to defend the inhabitants at Frenchtown
and its vicinity.
Site of Fort defiance, in 1860.|
pressed on, and there occurred a dreadful massacre of troops and citizens on Jan. 22, 1813 (Frenchtown
). This event ended the campaign.
With 1,700 men General Harrison
took post on the high right bank of the Maumee
, at the foot of the rapids, and there established a fortified camp.
Nothing of importance occurred during the winter.
Troops were concentrated there, and in March (1813) Harrison
sent a small force, under Captain Langham
, to destroy the British vessels frozen in the Detroit River
(Fort Malden). The ice in the vicinity had broken up, and the expedition was fruitless.
The attack on Fort Meigs by the British
followed in May.
The attack on Fort Stephenson
(see Stephenson, Fort
) followed, and the summer of 1813 was passed in completing arrangements for the invasion of Canada
The veteran Isaac Shelby
, then governor of Kentucky
, joined Harrison
at Camp Seneca
, with about 4,000 mounted volunteers from his State.
He had called for a certain number, and twice as many came as he asked for. They were gathered at Newport
With Maj. John Adair
and John J. Crittenden
as his aides, Governor Shelby
pressed forward towards Lake Erie
. Col. Richard
's troop was among Shelby
's men. Harrison
was rejoiced to see them come.
had secured the coveted control of Lake Erie
, and thus reinforced and encouraged, Harrison
moved immediately, and on Sept. 15-16, 1813, the whole army of the Northwest
—excepting some troops holding Fort Meigs and minor posts—were on the borders of the lake, at a point now called Port Clinton
. General McArthur
, who had succeeded Clay
in command of Fort Meigs, was ordered to embark artillery, provisions, and stores from that place, and on the 20th the embarkation of the army upon Perry
's vessels began.
The weather was delightful, and the whole army were in high spirits.
They rendezvoused first at Put-in-Bay Island
, on the 24th, and the next day were upon the Middle Sister Island
had left their horses on the peninsula between Sandusky Bay
and Portage River
, and were organized as infantry.
In sixteen armed vessels and about 100 boats the armament started from the Detroit River
On the way a stirring address by General Harrison
was read to the troops, which concluded as follows: “The general entreats his brave troops to remember that they are sons of sires whose fame is immortal; that they are to fight for the rights of their insulted country, while their opponents combat for the unjust pretensions of a master.
Kentuckians, remember the River Raisin
but remember it only while victory is suspended.
The revenge of a soldier cannot be gratified upon a fallen enemy.”
Expecting to be attacked at their landing-place, the troops were debarked, Sept. 28, in perfect battle order, on Hartley's Point, nearly 4 miles below Amherstburg
No enemy was there.
, who was in command at Fort Malden, taking counsel of prudence and fear, and in opposition to the earnest entreaties and indignant protests of his officers and Tecumseh
, had fled northward with his army and all he could take with him, leaving Fort Malden, the navy buildings, and the storehouses smoking ruins.
As the Americans
approached the town, they met, instead of brave Britons and painted savages, a troop of modest women who came to implore mercy and protection.
Their fears were removed by the kind-hearted leaders, and the Americans
with the bands playing Yankee Doodle
The loyal inhabitants had fled with the army.
The flotilla arrived at Detroit
on the 29th, and the same day Colonel Johnson
arrived with his troop of cavalry.
had encamped at Sandwich
, and all started in pursuit.
The enemy was overtaken at the Moravian Towns
, on the Thames
, and defeated in battle (see Thames, battle of the
and all Michigan
All that Hull
had lost was regained.
Col. Lewis Cass
was left at Detroit
, with a strong garrison, as military governor of the territory.
Soon after his victory General Harrison
resigned his commission.
On March 4, 1841, the President
for a single month only delivered the following address: