William Henry Harrison

From: Encyclopedia of Illinois, by Bateman & Selby; pub. 1915, p. 223

William Henry Harrison, first Governor of Indiana Territory (including the present State of Illinois), was born at Berkeley, Va., February 9, 1773, being the son of Benjamin Harrison, a signer of the Declaration of Independence; was educated at Hampden Sidney College, and began the study of medicine, but never finished it.  In 1791, he was commissioned an Ensign in the First U. S. Infantry at Fort Washington (the present site of Cincinnati), was promoted a Lieutenant a year later, and, in 1797, assigned to command of the Fort with the rank of Captain.  He had previously served as Aid-de-Camp to Gen. Wayne, by whom he was complimented for gallantry at the battle of Miami.  In 1798 he was appointed President Adams Secretary of the Northwest Territory, but resigned in 1790 to become Delegate in Congress; in 1800 he was appointed Governor of the newly created Territory of Indiana, serving by reappointment some 12 years.  During his incumbency and as Commissioner, a few years later, he negotiated many important treaties with the Indians.  In 1811 he won the decisive victory over Chef Tecumseh and his followers at Tippecanoe.  Having been made a Brigadier-General in the War of 1812, he was promoted to Major-General in 1813; United States Senator (1824-1828), and Minister to the United States of Columbia (1828-29).  Returning to the United States, he was elected Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas of Hamilton County (IL), serving twelve years.  In 1836 he was an unsuccessful Whig candidate for President, but was elected in 1840, dying in Washington City, April 4, 1841, just one month after his inauguration.

Copyright 1999.  All rights Reserved

Back to Hamilton County  Back to Hamilton County Biographies