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William Henry Harrison: General and President | Ozzy's Antiques, Collectibles & More

William Henry Harrison: General and President

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A lone, lanky soldier sat at a hand-hewn table hunched over a note pad and a few worn books, quite oblivious of the boisterous men around him. This was often the scene at Fort Washington in the fall and winter of 1791. At the age of 18, Ensign William Henry Harrison had arrived at General St Clair's post, Fort Washington, expecting a well-disciplined band of men. Instead, young Harrison recently sent from Fort Pitt was shocked at the condition. Just before his arrival with his eighty recruits, there had been a major Indian attack. Seven hundred soldiers had been killed and about one-third of them scalped. Women and children had been brutally murdered, other women and children taken for slavery or adoption into the tribe. General St Clair had been wounded. Under young Harrison's direction, the arms and supplies were replaced and soon after, the fort was back in the same old routine. The idle soldiers under a recovered St. Clair were again indulging in heavy drinking, petty fighting and even duelling. Harrison decided then and there that he would spend his time studying military history, battle strategy and literature. No wasteful destructive behaviour for him, but self-improvement of character, and education in his chosen career. The event best illustrates the mark of the man: A gentleman from Virginia of honour, and dedicated to duty. William Henry Harrison rose above all other men to become the ninth president of the United States of America.