William Harrison: Death of the President [cite this] ↑William Harrison Home Page William Harrison Essays Life in Brief Life Before the Presidency Campaigns and Elections Domestic Affairs Foreign Affairs Death of a President Family Life The American Franchise Impact and Legacy William Henry Harrison's inaugural address lasted nearly two hours, but in the days before electronic media, oratory of such duration was common. During the address, the new president wore no coat or hat. As a soldier, farmer, and outdoorsman, Harrison had spent much of his life in bad weather. But he was far from young now, and when he followed the address with a round of receptions in his wet clothing, it resulted in a bad chill. Within days, he had a cold, which developed into pneumonia. Doctors were called in, but their medical practices were crude: heated suction cups to supposedly draw out the disease, and the same bleeding tactics that had killed George Washington. All this only weakened Harrison further, and three weeks after taking office, he was clearly dying. As a last resort, a number of Native American "remedies" were tried, including one involving the use of live snakes. Exactly one month after taking the oath of office, Harrison was dead. It was the most fleeting presidency ever, lasting one scant month. William Henry Harrison was buried near his home in North Bend, Ohio. William Harrison Essays Life in Brief Life Before the Presidency Campaigns and Elections Domestic Affairs Foreign Affairs Death of a President Family Life The American Franchise Impact and Legacy William Harrison Home Citation Information Consulting Editor William Freehling Professor Freehling is a senior fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the emeritus Singletary Professor of the Humanities at the University of Kentucky. His writings include: The Road to Disunion, 1776–1861 (2 volumes; Oxford University Press, 1990 and 2007) The Reintegration of American History: Slavery and the Civil War (Oxford University Press, 1994) Prelude to Civil War: the Nullification Controversy in South Carolina, 1816–1836 (Oxford University Press, 1992) American President has changed! Click here to take a short survey and tell us what you think!