Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Life After the Presidency

Benjamin Harrison, the last Civil War general to serve as President, died from pneumonia on March 13, 1901, at his home in Indianapolis. He had spent the following his presidency as an "elder statesman." Harrison delivered a series of lectures on constitutional law at Stanford University and served with energy and dedication as chief counsel for Venezuela in its boundary dispute with British Guiana.

The poet James Whitcomb Riley, in his funeral eulogy for Harrison, depicted the dead President as a man both fearless and just. Years later, the American intellectual Henry Adams spoke of Harrison as the best President since Lincoln. Harrison was buried next to his first wife at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. He left the bulk of his estate, valued at about $400,000, to his second wife, whom he had married after leaving the White House, and their four-year-old daughter.