February 9 ~ Most Free State of the Union: A Thriller

"I contend that the strongest of all governments is that which is most free." ~ William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison

A military hero who celebrated freedom, William Henry Harrison (17731841) was born on this day on a 16-room plantation in Berkeley, Virginia. His father, Benjamin, signed the Declaration of Independence.

"The plea of necessity, that eternal argument of all conspirators," he once said.

The country's ninth President was nicknamed "Old Tippecanoe" and "Old Tip" after his famous victory over the Shawnee Indians in the Battle of Tippecanoe (1811).

The former Governor of the Indiana Territory and commander in the War of 1812, he served in the House and Senate. In 1840, Harrison was selected as the Whig candidate for the Presidency over statesmen Henry Clay and Daniel Webster.

With hard cider flowing, Harrison campaigned passionately along with vice president hopeful John Tyler. Their catchy slogan, "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too," was a campaign first.

"A decent and manly examination of the acts of government should not only tolerated, but encouraged," he said during his lengthy hour-and-forty-five-minute inaugural address, made in a blistering snowstorm. Only a month later, Harrison died of pneumonia, the first President to die in office. His grandson, Benjamin Harrison, was elected to the top office in 1888.

More PRESIDENTIAL Quotations

Freedom is based on strength and courage.