1 page, 4to, with postmark on blank integral." />
19 May 2006
HARRISON, William H. Autograph letter signed ("W. H. Harrison") to James B. Hooper, Cincinnati, 6 November 1840. 1 page, 4to, with postmark on blank integral.
HARRISON HOPES HE WILL "BE AUTHORIZED BY THE SOVEREIGNS" - THE VOTERS - "TO GO TO WASHINGTON"
WAITING FOR THE ELECTION RESULTS. A fine Harrison ALS, written while the vote tallies were coming in from around the country (Election Days still varied from state to state prior to 1848). "Your letter informing me of the splendid present placed in your hands by some unknown friend has been received," he tells Hooper. "It would have given me additional gratification to have known the name of the friend who has lain me under so great an obligation. I hope however still to know it & unless you have been instructed to the contrary I shall be glad to have the disclosure from you. One or two requests made by my friend I can promise most faithfully to fulfill, i.e. of never parting from the horse. And further when I die if he survives me he shall be left to the care of some one who can be relied on to carry out my intentions in relation to him. The other injunction shall also be complied with if I shall be authorized by the Sovereigns to go to Washington in the way you anticipate. I will thank you to send the horse to my friend Charles McAllister, Merchant of Philadelphia."
The "Sovereigns" did send him to Washington, as Harrison bested the Democratic incumbent Martin Van Buren by just over 150,000 votes in the popular margin, but by a healthy difference of 234 to 60 in the Electoral College tally. Harrison's victory was a breakthrough triumph for the new Whig Party, which had started as an anti-Jacksonian faction in 1832. Its program of using a strong national government to develop the economy appealed to an ever-growing number of voters. Tragically, their victory was short-lived as Harrison's death on 4 April 1841 put the Vice-president (and only nominal Whig) John Tyler into the President's chair. The anonymous horse-giver likely never had a chance to have his "injunction" to Harrison carried out.
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