About this Famous Person
William Henry HARRISON
9th President of the United States
Source : Tim DOWLING
Harrison was born into the prominent Harrison political family on the Berkeley Plantation in Charles City County, Virginia, on February 9, 1773; the youngest of Benjamin Harrison V and Elizabeth Bassett's seven children. He was the last president to be born a British subject before American Independence. His father was a Virginia planter and a delegate to the Continental Congress (1774–1777) who signed the Declaration of Independence and was governor of Virginia between 1781 and 1784. Harrison's brother, Carter Bassett Harrison, became a representative of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives, and Harrison's father-in-law was Representative John Cleves Symmes. Harrison's stepmother-in-law was the daughter of New Jersey Governor William Livingston.
In 1787, at the age of 14, Harrison entered the Presbyterian Hampden-Sydney College. He attended the school until 1790, becoming well-versed in Latin and basic French. He was removed by his Episcopalian father, possibly because of a religious revival occurring at the school. He then briefly attended an academy in Southampton County before being again moved to Richmond where he began the study of medicine. He allegedly became involved with the antislavery Quakers and Methodists at the school, angering his pro-slavery father who again moved him to Philadelphia to board with Robert Morris, probably because of medical training available there. He entered the University of Pennsylvania in 1790 and there he continued to study medicine under Dr. Benjamin Rush. As Harrison explained to his biographer, he did not enjoy the subject. Shortly after he had arrived in Philadelphia in 1791, his father died, leaving him without funds for further schooling. He was 18 when his father died, and was left in the guardianship of Morris.