|The Battle of Tippecanoe|
The precedent established by the American people in the early days of the Republic by the elevation of military heroes to the presidency, has been exemplified in many periods of our Nation's history. After Washington, Andrew Jackson was the next notable hero of war to be called to the chief office in the Nation's power to bestow. Gen. William Henry Harrison responded to the same impulsive call, and later on, Gen Zachary Taylor, and the world-famed Grant met the honors of the presidency. While some of these rulers were not statesmen of the highest rank, yet their distinguishments [sic] gained on the battlefield when the independence or preservation of the Union was at stake, were enough to honor and glorify, and the Nation was safe in the hands of such heroic defenders.
The campaign of 1888 was one in which the achievements of war played no unimportant part. While the great issues of that political contest were founded mainly upon civil questions, the custom of honoring the soldier was given renewed impetus by the naming of many for political leaders who served their country on the field of battle.
Gen. Benjamin Harrison, the presidential candidate of the republican party in that campaign, though he performed well his part in the Civil War, and won enviable distinction, it may be said of him that his achievements are more extensive in civil affairs of the Government than in military pursuits. His nomination served to revive the memories of the campaign of 1840 and brighten the minds of Americans in history pertaining to the life and deeds of his illustrious grandfather. The field of Tippecanoe became, indeed, the Mecca of republican politics. Its incidents were reviewed in the press, and spoken from the stump, and the campaign of "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too," emulated in many respects. The year was noted for its many mammoth political gatherings and the great enthusiasm which prevailed. President Cleveland was the candidate of the democracy for reelection and Judge Allen G. Thurman, of Ohio, was the nominee for the vice-presidency. Hon. Levi P. Morton, of New York, was General Harrison's running mate. Interest in the tariff and other National issues grew more intense as the campaign neared the close. The city of Indianapolis, the home of General Harrison, presented an animated scene. Each day visitors thronged the Harrison mansion. Many and effective were the speeches delivered to the numerous delegations by their standard bearer. Harrison and Morton carried every Northern State except New Jersey and Connecticut, and were triumphantly elected, receiving 233 electoral votes out of a total of 401.
To the honor of his ancestry General Harrison has added much by his ability and high character. He was born at North Bend, Hamilton county, Ohio, in the home of his grandfather, General William Henry Harrison, on the 20th of August, 1833. General Benjamin Harrison is the third in his line who has borne that name. He graduated with honor from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, at the age of eighteen. He studied law with Hon. Bellamy Storer, in Cincinnati, and in 1854 removed to Indianapolis, and began his life
work. He soon demonstrated his ability, and came into public notice through an employment in a legislative investigation by the then democratic governor of the State, Joseph A. Wright. His career as a lawyer from that time has been a brilliant professional success. He is a lawyer of preeminent qualities, and is regarded as one of the leaders of the Indiana bar. Being an ardent republican and a speaker of the Lincoln campaign of 1860, he was the republican candidate for reporter of the supreme court, and was elected to that office on the ticket with Henry S. Lane and Oliver P. Morton.
In July, 1862, President Lincoln issued a call for 300,000 men, and Governor Morton requested General Harrison to assist in recruiting. Under a commission as second lieutenant he raised one company, was elected captain, and then others, until the Seventieth Regiment was completed; he was then commissioned colonel, and took his regiment immediately into service in Kentucky and Tennessee. In the Atlanta campaign Colonel Harrison's command was assigned to Ward's brigade of the Third Division of the Twentieth Corps, and participated in the whole of that historic service, its commander receiving the highest honors as a soldier. On the 15th of June, 1864, Colonel Harrison's regiment was assigned to lead the assault of Resaca, and most gallantly did it do its work, capturing the enemy's lines and four guns. At Peach Tree Creek Colonel Harrison was assigned to command the brigade, and gained such a signal victory as to call forth praise and commendation from his superior officers.
In 1864 General Harrison was reelected reporter of the supreme court of Indiana. At the expiration of his term of office he returned to the practice of law, bearing his full part, however, in all the political campaigns that intervened. In 1876 he declined the use of his name as a nominee for governor, but Mr. Orth having resigned from the ticket in the midst of the campaign, the republican central committee, in deference to the universal demand of the party, nominated General Harrison to the Vacancy, but he was defeated by James D. Williams.
In 1880 the republicans carried the State and the Legislature, and in acknowledgment of the services of General Harrison, and his recognized leadership of the party, he was elected United States senator. At the expiration of his term as United States senator, he was confronted with the most remarkable odds and defeated in his contest for reelection by Hon. David Turpie, who received a majority of two votes, although the republican State ticket received a plurality of 3,500 and the aggregate majority of their legislative candidates reached nearly 10,000.
Harrison and Morton were inaugurated President and Vice-President, March 4, 1889.
Gen. Benjamin Harrison is in the prime of life, and in full vigor of both body and mind. He is a christian man of the best type; a citizen of notable integrity of character; a man of clean life and reputation; a model husband and father; indeed, an American without fear and without reproach; one in every way worthy the mantle of his illustrious and honored ancestor, the hero of "The Battle of Tippecanoe."