Benjamin Harrison

2012 Benjamin Harrison Dollar Coin

Grandson of former President William Henry Harrison, Benjamin Harrison was born in 1833 on a farm by the Ohio River below Cincinnati. He attended Miami University in Ohio and studied law in Cincinnati, later moving to Indianapolis, where he practiced. After the Civil War, during which Harrison served as colonel of the 70th Volunteer Infantry, he enhanced his reputation as a lawyer. In the 1880s, he served in the U.S. Senate, where he championed American Indians, homesteaders and Civil War veterans. In the presidential election of 1888, he received 100,000 fewer popular votes than President Cleveland but carried the Electoral College 233 to 168. (Read more below listings)


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As President, Harrison was proud of his vigorous foreign policy. The first Pan American Congress met in Washington in 1889, establishing an information center which later became the Pan American Union. At the end of his administration, Harrison submitted a treaty to the Senate to annex Hawaii, but his successor withdrew it. He also signed important appropriation bills for internal improvements, naval expansion and subsidies for steamship lines and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act "to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies." This act was the first federal attempt to regulate trusts. He was re-nominated by his party in 1892 but lost to Grover Cleveland, who became the only President in U.S. history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office. A dignified elder statesman, he died in 1901.