Harrison, William Henry: Presidential Campaigns
A group of Whig Anti-Masons nominated Harrison for President in 1836, and in 1840, Webster went over to Harrison's candidacy for the presidency as a Whig. Clay, although bitterly disappointed, had to support Harrison. The campaign that followed was the first of the
rip-roaring campaigns in U.S. history. Harrison and his running mate, John Tyler, were transformed by publicity. Harrison, an aristocratic Virginian, was made into a simple backwoods frontiersman, Tyler into his faithful lieutenant.
Log Cabin and Hard Cider campaign was launched in answer to ill-judged jeers from the supporters of the Democratic candidate, Martin Van Buren. Van Buren was pictured as an effete,
silver-spoon man, Harrison as a rugged Westerner, despite his Virginia upbringing.
Tippecanoe and Tyler too won?partly because the Panic of 1837 had turned many against Van Buren. Harrison then selected a brilliant Whig cabinet headed by Webster and adopted a program outlined by Clay, but the strain of the campaign was too much. He died a month later, Tyler became President, and the Whig party fell prey to factionalism.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies