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William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison
Artist
Albert Gallatin Hoit, 13 Dec 1809 - Dec 1856
Sitter
William Henry Harrison, 9 Feb 1773 - 4 Apr 1841
Date
1840
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Frame (Verified): 89.5 x 76.8 x 5.7cm (35 1/4 x 30 1/4 x 2 1/4")
Stretcher: 76.2 × 63.5cm (30 × 25")
Topic
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair
William Henry Harrison: Male
William Henry Harrison: Politics and Government\Diplomat
William Henry Harrison: Military\Army\Officer\General
William Henry Harrison: Politics and Government\President of US
William Henry Harrison: Politics and Government\US Congressman\Ohio
William Henry Harrison: Politics and Government\US Senator\Ohio
William Henry Harrison: Politics and Government\Governor\Indiana
William Henry Harrison: Congressional Gold Medal
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.67.5
Exhibition Label
Ninth president, March–April 1841
The candidacy of William Henry Harrison indicates that American politics were moving in a more populist direction as the country expanded. A twoterm congressman and former territorial governor, Harrison had no noteworthy political abilities, but for the Whig Party in 1840, he was the perfect figurehead: a military hero in the War of 1812 and a frontier Indian fighter. Harrison’s supporters celebrated his military prowess and combined it with homespun frontier imagery, such as log cabins and hard cider, in a presidential campaign that was unprecedented for its carnival-like hoopla. While discussion of real issues was scant, that ballyhoo of the race proved sufficient in itself to win Harrison the presidency. Jubilance over his victory, however, was short lived. On April 4, 1841, exactly one month after delivering a very long inaugural address in extremely harsh weather conditions, Harrison became the first president to die in office. Until recently, the cause of his death was thought to have been pneumonia, but now, there is new evidence suggesting that he may have suffered from enteric fever and septic shock.
9o presidente, marzo–abril de 1841
La candidatura de William Henry Harrison indica que la política estadounidense se movía en una dirección más populista a medida que el país se expandía. Legislador durante dos términos y exgobernador territorial, Harrison no poseía notables habilidades políticas, pero en 1840 era la perfecta imagen pública para el Partido Whig: héroe militar de la Guerra de 1812 y combatiente de las luchas fronterizas contra los indígenas. Sus seguidores celebraban su destreza militar y la combinaron con imágenes de la vida en la frontera, tales como la sidra y las cabañas de troncos, en una campaña presidencial sin precedentes por su carnavalesco bombo y platillo. Aunque apenas se abordaron asuntos de verdadera importancia, el despliegue propagandístico fue suficiente para ganarle a Harrison la presidencia. Sin embargo, poco duró el júbilo de la victoria. El 4 de abril de 1841, exactamente un mes después de pronunciar un largo discurso inaugural bajo pésimas condiciones del tiempo, Harrison fue el primer president que murió en posesión del cargo. Hasta hace poco se pensaba que había muerto de neumonía, pero ahora hay pruebas que sugieren que, Harrison puede haber muerto de fiebre tifoidea y septicemia.
Provenance
(M. Knoedler & Co., New York); purchased 1967 NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
America's Presidents (Reinstallation September 2017)
On View
NPG, South Gallery 240