Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time

By Freeman Cleaves | Go to book overview

XXIV
TIPPECANOE AND TYLER TOO

HARRISON'S triumphal tour of 1836 set the pattern for one made by President Martin Van Buren three years later. In June, 1839, Van Buren set out from Washington on a journey to his birthplace at Kinderhook, below Albany, New York. Like Harrison he traveled modestly in an open barouche, delivering speeches along the way, and his welcome in New York was tremendous. The President spent a full week in the city, everywhere engaged in receptions and hand-shaking. An extension of his tour up the Hudson, however, aroused none of the enthusiasm with which. Harrison had been received by the people. 1 The villagers and the small city men cared little for the White House nabob represented by the Whig press partaking of the traits and manners of British aristocracy.

The gentleman responsible in large part for sentiment so molded was Thurlow Weed, tall, dark-bearded editor of the Albany Evening Journal. As an influential legislator and newspaper publisher in two cities, Weed long since had taken the inside track as pilot of up-state political forces. Weed did as much as any man to elect John Quincy Adams President in 1824. It was Weed who united the Anti-Masons with the abolitionist forces in New York. In 1836 Weed guided the proceedings of the New York Whig convention which nominated Harrison and Granger. In 1838, passing over Granger, an undependable vote-getter, Weed set up young William H. Seward of Utica for the governorship and helped to elect him over the Democratic incumbent.

Thurlow Weed had met Harrison a dozen years ago at the dinner table of Joseph Gales, the publisher of the National Intelligencer of Washington. He had not forgotten the General's ability to make friends, a valuable political asset at a time when national hatreds were ripening. Early in 1839 Weed had gone to Washington to suggest that Webster accept the support of New York for the vice presidency. Webster declined, an unfortunate decision, and Weed began to look elsewhere. "Question is who will poll the most votes," he reminded the great orator when doubt was expressed that Harrison should again be the leading Whig candidate. 2

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Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT vii
  • THE HARRISON FAMILY ix
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiii
  • I- Colonel Ben Harrison 1
  • II- Student of War 9
  • III- Delegate to Congress 22
  • IV- A New Frontier 33
  • V- Two Shawnee Brothers 51
  • VI- The Treaty of Fort Wayne 61
  • VII- quickening of War 69
  • VIII- The March Up the Wabash 83
  • IX- Tippecanoe 98
  • X- Kentucky Crosses the Ohio 112
  • XI- Massacre at the River Raisin 132
  • XII- A Fort is Built 151
  • XIII- The Siege of Fort Meigs 162
  • XIV- "We Have Met the Enemy . . ." 172
  • XV- Victory in Canada 188
  • XVI- The Hero of the Thames 206
  • XVII- Harrison Resigns 216
  • XVIII- Harrison Asks Congress to Judge 229
  • XIX- Political Fortunes 243
  • XX- South American Adventure 261
  • XXI- Depression Years 276
  • XXII- Evolution of a Candidate 288
  • XXIII- Harrison versus Van Buren 301
  • XXIV- Tippecanoe and Tyler Too 314
  • XXV- Jubilation and Mourning 329
  • Notes 345
  • Bibliography 392
  • Index 403
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