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AMERICAN HISTORY

23rd President: Benjamin Harrison
Years in Office: 1889 -- 1893  ( 4 yrs )
Party:  Republican
Vice President:  Levi P. Morton
First Lady: Caroline Scott Harrison
Year Born:  1833
Year Died:  1901  ( 68 yrs old )

Benjamin Harrison's grandfather and namesake was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  His grandfather,  William Henry Harrison, was the ninth president of the United States, and his father was a congressman.

    Harrison's standoffishness alienated people, especially his habit of wearing gloves - including when shaking hands - to protect himself from infection.  His election has been judged something of a fluke by some historians.

  Educated in a one - room schoolhouse built by his father on his grandfather's farm and at colleges in Ohio, Harrison went to work in a Cincinnati law office and subsequently moved to Indianapolis, where he was elected city attorney and later reporter to the Indiana Supreme Court.

    In 1876 he was defeated in a race for the governor's office in Indiana, but he won a seat in the U.S. Senate five years later.  He emerged as the Republican nominee for president in 1888.  During his administration, the Department Pension Act, which established funds for disabled veterans, and the McKinley Tariff Act were passed.  Congress also set a record with a peacetime budget over one billion dollars during his presidency.