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Collection William Henry Harrison Papers

About this Collection

The William Henry Harrison Papers, one of twenty-three presidential collections in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, contains approximately 1,000 items dating from 1734 to 1939, with the bulk dated from 1812 to 1841.  Harrison (1773-1841), an army officer, representative, and senator from Ohio, served as the ninth president of the United States.  His collection includes a letterbook, 1812-1813, correspondence, and military papers stemming mostly from his military and political career in the Northwest Territory, his service in Indian wars and the War of 1812, his time as territorial governor of Indiana Territory (1800-1812), and his role as Whig Party candidate in the unsuccessful 1836 presidential bid and the successful 1840 election, the latter leading to his abbreviated presidential term, cut short by his death one month after his inauguration.

Printed materials in the collection include broadsides and pamphlets about Harrison’s life or featuring his speeches, items related to Indian policy, western settlement, and political-party networking, campaign materials and political song sheets.  The collection also includes news clippings, typescripts, a will, genealogical information, eulogies, military pay balance sheets, and other records.  Notably included is a draft manuscript of Harrison’s presidential inaugural address of March 4, 1841 and materials related to the period of memorialization following the president’s April 4, 1841, death. Included in the collection is a chronology of Harrison’s life by biographer Freeman Cleaves.

Notable correspondents include William Eustis, Duff Green, John Johnston, Return Jonathan Meigs, James Monroe, John Payne, Isaac Shelby, John W. Taylor, Edward White Tupper, James Wilkinson, and John Wingate.  The Index to the William H. Harrison Papers, created by the Manuscript Division in 1960, provides a full list of the correspondents and notes the series number and dates of the items indexed.  This information can help in finding an individual letter or document in the online version.  Additional letters received by the Library after 1960 are not represented in this index.  A current finding aid (PDF and HTML) to the William Henry Harrison Papers is available online with links to the digital content on this site.

Description of Series

The original collection was acquired by the Library of Congress through deposit by Mary Lord Harrison in 1916, converted to gift in 1933, and supplemented by other gifts, exchanges and purchases, 1901 to present.  The collection is arranged into five series, the first four of which were reproduced on 3 reels of microfilm, scans of which comprise the bulk of this online collection.  Series 4, Subseries C, and Series 5 were scanned from the originals. A list of the series follows.