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Inauguration of William Henry Harrison

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Title: Inauguration of William Henry Harrison  
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Subject: William Henry Harrison, United States presidential election, 1840, Jane Irwin Harrison, Living Presidents of the United States
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Inauguration of William Henry Harrison


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.


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


External links

  • Library of Congress
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