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Inauguration of William Henry Harrison

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Title: Inauguration of William Henry Harrison  
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Inauguration of William Henry Harrison

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The inauguration of William Henry Harrison as the ninth President of the United States took place on March 4, 1841. The inauguration marked the commencement of the only four-year term of William Henry Harrison as President and John Tyler as Vice President.

Details

Harrison's inauguration was marked by several novelties; he was the first president-elect to arrive in Washington, D.C. by train, and for the first time an official inaugural committee of citizens had formed to plan the day's parade and Inaugural ball.[1]

The day of Harrison's inauguration was overcast with cold wind and a noon temperature estimated to be 48 degrees Fahrenheit.[1] Harrison chose to not wear an overcoat, hat, or gloves for the ceremony.[1] Sworn-in by Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney on the East Portico of the United States Capitol, Harrison proceeded to deliver the longest inaugural address in American history, running 8,445 words.[1] Harrison wrote the entire speech himself, though it was edited by soon-to-be Secretary of State, Daniel Webster. Webster said afterwards that in the process of reducing the text, he had "killed seventeen Roman proconsuls."[2]

That evening Harrison attended three inaugural balls, including one at Carusi's Saloon entitled the "Tippecanoe" ball, which at a price of US$10 per person attracted 1000 guests.[3]

On March 26, Harrison developed a cold. According to the prevailing medical misconception of that time, it was believed that his illness was directly caused by the bad weather at his inauguration; however, Harrison's illness did not arise until more than three weeks after the event.[4] Despite doctors' attempts at treating him, he died on April 4, making his 32-day tenure the shortest in history.

See also

References

External links

  • Library of Congress
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