African American News and Genealogy

This site was developed to provide you with news that relates to African American Genealogy, History and News. Please feel free to forward this link to others. I hope you enjoy this site and good luck with your research! Cheers, Kenyatta D. Berry Managing Director

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Unknown president, early emancipator

By John M./Priscilla S. Taylor Benjamin Harrison is one of our least remembered presidents, for two reasons. The first is that was charisma-free to the point of seeming dull; the second is that he is one of the few presidents who were chosen by the electoral college while receiving a minority of the popular vote. To the extent that Harrison is remembered, it is as the president who held office between Grover Cleveland's two terms. At long last, however, Harrison receives his due from a professor of history at East Carolina University, Charles W. Calhoun in Benjamin Harrison (Times Books, $20, 192 pages). Harrison was an aspiring Indiana lawyer when the Civil War broke out in 1861. He rose to command a regiment that he led with some distinction; by the end of the war he was a brigadier general. He returned to his law practice in Indianapolis and entered politics as a Republican. But it was not an auspicious beginning; he was twice defeated for governor before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1880. There, he generally aligned himself with the more moderate faction of his party, supporting regulation of railroads, a protective tariff and generous pensions for veterans. Harrison's views were sufficiently mainstream, and his state sufficiently important, that the austere Hoosier became the Republican presidential nominee in 1888. To Democrats, Harrison's only claim to fame was that his grandfather, William Henry Harrison, had served briefly as president nearly five decades before. Full Story:


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