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William H. Harrison

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Now a military hero, Harrison continued to serve his country. In 1812, the War of 1812 began between the United States and Great Britain. President James Madison promoted Harrison to the rank of brigadier-general and put him in command of the Army of the Northwest. Harrison was responsible for protecting American settlements in the West from British and Native American attack. Fearing the continued influx of American settlers, most natives sided with the British in the conflict. Harrison proved adept in defending the United States' western possessions. In October 1813, Harrison led the Army of the Northwest against a combined British and Native American force led by General Henry Proctor and Tecumseh. Known as the Battle of the Thames, the United States emerged victorious. The British ran from the battlefield, leaving the Native Americans to fight on alone. The Americans defeated the Native Americans, killing Tecumseh.<br />
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Following the War of 1812, Harrison returned to politics. He made his home at North Bend just west of Cincinnati, Ohio. He represented Ohio in the United States Congress for two terms. He also served as the United States ambassador to Colombia in 1828 and 1829. In 1836, he ran as a member of the Whig Party against Democrat Martin Van Buren for the Presidency of the United States. Van Buren, Vice President under Andrew Jackson, won the election. In 1840, Harrison ran against the incumbentVan Buren for a second time. He emphasized his military record against Tecumseh and the British in the War of 1812 with John Tyler of Virginia as his running mate. His campaign slogan was &quot;Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too.&quot; <br />
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Harrison's supporters also claimed that he was a common man, who was born in a log cabin and liked to drink hard cider. It was not the first or last time that exaggerated and inaccurate claims have been made about a candidate by his friends. The American voters turned against Van Buren and elected Harrison with the wide margin of victory of 234 electoral-college votes for Harrison to Van Buren's sixty. The sixty-eight-year-old Harrison took office in 1841. He served the shortest time in office of any man elected to the presidency. He died from pneumonia on April 4, 1841, one month after taking office.</p>
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