Miller Center

William H. Harrison Bibliography (1773 - 1841)

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Historical Context

Schlesinger, Arthur M., Jr. The Age of Jackson. Boston: Little, Brown, 1945.

Van Deusen, Glyndon G. The Jacksonian Era, 1828-1848. New York: Harper & Row, 1959.

Schlesinger and Van Deusen are two classic surveys of the era.

White, Leonard D. The Jacksonians: A Study in Administrative History, 1829-1861. New York: Macmillan, 1954.

An excellent overview of antebellum U.S. government. Specifically covers the presidency, the cabinet, and congress.

Holt, Michael F. The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

An ambitious study of the Whig party that is considered the standard work on the subject.

Peterson, Merrill D. The Great Triumvirate: Webster, Clay and Calhoun. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

A detailed political biography of these three statesmen that focuses less on their private lives and more on the impact the three had on the Jackson era.

Taylor, George. The Transportation Revolution: 1815-1860. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1951.

Gates, Paul Wallace. The Farmer’s Age: Agriculture, 1815-1860. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1960.

Taylor and Gates are both part of the Economic History of the United States series. Combined, the two works provide an excellent overview of antebellum U.S. industry.

Cooper, William Jr. The South and the Politics of Slavery, 1828-1856. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978.

This political work focuses on the presidential contests from 1828-1952. It also examines slavery and how it became the significant political issue for the Southern states.

Harrison Papers / Memoirs

 

Harrison, William Henry. The Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison. 2 vols. Edited by Logan Esarey. 1922. Reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1975.

Limited to Harrison’s time as Governor of the Indian Territory (Indiana).

For a fuller discussion of Harrison’s papers see the Public and Private Papers section of our website.

Harrison Biographies

Cleaves, Freeman. Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Times. New York: Scribner’s, 1939.

An older work but still the best biographical treatment of Harrison available.

Goebel, Dorothy B. William Henry Harrison: A Political Biography. Indianapolis: Historical Bureau of the Indiana Library and Historical Department, 1926.

The first scholarly treatment of Harrison.

Peterson, Norma L. The Presidencies of William Henry Harrison and John Tyler. Lawrence, Kans.: University Press of Kansas, 1989.

From the American Presidency Series, a series dedicated to providing a consistent, scholarly treatment of each president. Coverage is limited to the years in office.

Harrison Administration and Advisors (1841)

For cabinet members not listed below, please see: Grossman, Mark. Encyclopedia of the United States Cabinet. 3 vols. Santa Barbara, Cali.: ABC-CLIO, 2000.

George E. Badger (Secretary of the Navy)

Hunter, Thomas. "George Edmund Badger 1795-1866: A North Carolinian’s Life in Politics and the Law." M.A. thesis, University of Virginia, 1990.

This thesis is available at Alderman Library at the University of Virginia or through interlibrary loan.

Graham, William A. Discourse in Memory of the Life and Character of the Hon. George E. Badger. Raleigh, N.C.: Nichols, Gorman, and Neathery, Printers, 1866.

John Bell (Secretary of War)

Parks, Joseph Howard. John Bell of Tennessee. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1950.

John J. Crittenden (Attorney General)

Kirwan, Albert D. John J. Crittenden: The Struggle for the Union. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1962.

The definitive biography of Crittenden.

Coleman, Ann Mary Butler Crittenden, ed. The Life of John J. Crittenden, with Selections from His Correspondence and Speeches. 2 vols. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1871.

A contemporary account of Crittenden’s life.

Thomas Ewing (Secretary of the Treasury)

Sherman, Ellen Ewing. Memorial of Thomas Ewing of Ohio. New York: The Catholic Publication Society, 1873.

Francis Granger (Postmaster General)

Fowler, Dorothy Ganfield. The Cabinet Politician: The Postmasters General, 1829-1909. New York: Columbia University Press, 1943.

Anna Harrison (First Lady)

Gould, Lewis L., ed. American First Ladies: Their Lives and their Legacy. New York: Routledge, 2001.

Contains essays on each First Lady from Martha Washington through Laura Bush.

John Tyler (Vice President)

Chitwood, Oliver Perry. John Tyler: Champion of the Old South. New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1939.

The standard biographical study of Tyler.

Tyler, Lyon G. The Letters and Times of the Tylers. 3 vols. Richmond, Va.: Whittet & Shepperson, 1884-1886.

The best published source for Tyler papers. Edited by Tyler’s son.

See online bibliography of John Tyler for more information.

Daniel Webster (Secretary of State)

Remini, Robert V. Daniel Webster: The Man and His Time. New York: Norton, 1997.

The new standard Webster biography.

Bartlett, Irving H. Daniel Webster. New York: Norton, 1978.

For many years, the standard single volume biography of Webster.

Webster, Daniel. Papers of Daniel Webster. 14 vols. Edited by Charles M. Wiltse, et al. Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England. 1974-1989.

The authoritative collection of Webster papers.

Henry Wheaton (Minister to Prussia)

Baker, Elizabeth. Henry Wheaton, 1785-1848. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1937.

Major Issues in the Harrison Administration

Foreign Relations (General)

Varg, Paul. United States Foreign Relations, 1820-1860. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1979.

Annexation of Texas

Pletcher, David M. The Diplomacy of Annexation: Texas, Oregon and the Mexican War. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1973.

Pletcher devotes the first section of this lengthy work to the years 1815-1842.

Smith, Justin Harvey. The Annexation of Texas. Corrected ed. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1941.

Binkley, William C. The Expansionist Movement in Texas, 1836-1850. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1925.

Smith and Binkley are both classic studies of the expansionist movement.

Jones, Anson. Memoranda and Official Correspondence Relating to the Republic of Texas, its History and Annexation. 1859. Reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1973.

Jones was the last president of the Republic of Texas. Letters cover 1836-1857.

Anglo-American Relations

Carroll, Francis M. A Good and Wise Measure: The Search for the Canadian-American Boundary, 1783–1842. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 2001.

Stevens, Kenneth R. Border Diplomacy: The Caroline and McLeod Affairs in Anglo-American-Canadian Relations, 1837-1842. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1989.

Jones, Howard. To the Webster-Ashburton Treaty: A Study in Anglo-American Relations, 1783-1843. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977.

United States Exploring Expedition

Stanton, William. The Great United States Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975.

Considered the standard work on the subject.

Joyce, Barry Alan. The Shaping of American Ethnography. The Wilkes Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001.

Focuses less on the specific history of the Expedition and more on the ethnological tenets of the time.

Viola, Herman J. and Carolyn Margolis, eds. Magnificent Voyagers: The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institute Press, 1985.

A collection of essays.

Wilkes, Charles. Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition during the Years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842. 5 vols. Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard, 1845.

A first-hand account by the Expedition leader.

Henderson, Daniel. The Hidden Coasts: A Biography of Admiral Charles Wilkes. New York: Sloane, 1953.

Slavery (Including The Amistad)

Nye, Russel B. Fettered Freedom: Civil Liberties and the Slavery Controversy, 1830-1860. Revised edition, East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1963.

An examination of people’s reactions to slavery and abolition during this 30 year time period.

Jones, Howard. Mutiny on the Amistad: The Saga of a Slave Revolt and its Impact on American Abolition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

A detailed summary and analysis of the Amistad case.

The Amistad Case: The Most Celebrated Slave Mutiny of the Nineteenth Century. New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation, 1968.

Reprints of primary sources related to the Amistad Case including the Congressional report detailing the case and John Quincy Adams’s argument before the Supreme Court.

Death of a Sitting President

Bayh, Birch. One Heartbeat Away: Presidential Disability and Succession. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1968.

Written by a Senator Bayh shortly after the Kennedy assassination. Focuses on the origins, implementation and significance of the 25th amendment. Covers Tyler’s succession as background.

Peterson’s chapter on the succession in her work on the Harrison and Tyler presidencies is especially useful.

Politics and Political Parties

McCormick, Richard P. The Second American Party System: Party Formation in the Jacksonian Era. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966.

Contains studies of party history in each state, voting statistics and the political environment of this era.

Brock, William R. Parties and Political Conscience: American Dilemmas, 1840-1850. Millwood, N.Y.: KTO press, 1979.

A single volume history of the rise of the two-party system and national politics in the 1840s. Brock analyzes the political thought and the process of government during this time period.

Lambert, Oscar Doane. Presidential Politics in the United States, 1841-1844. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1936.

Schlesinger, Arthur M., Jr., ed. History of U. S. Political Parties. 5 vols. New York: Chelsea House, 2002.

Brief essays on political parties from the Federalists to the 1992-2001 Reform party.

Elections

Gunderson, Robert Gray. The Log-Cabin Campaign. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1957.

Focuses specifically on the election of 1840.

Norton, Anthony Banning, ed. The Great Revolution of 1840: Reminiscences of the Log Cabin and Hard Cider Campaign. Mount Vernon: A.B. Norton and Co., 1888.

A collection of speeches and other campaign activities from the election of 1840.

Schlesinger, Arthur M., Jr., ed. History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-1968. 4 vols. New York: Chelsea House, 1971.

Harrison Contemporaries

John Quincy Adams (Former President; Congresman)

Bemis, Samuel Flagg. John Quincy Adams and the Foundations of American Foreign Policy. New York: Knopf, 1949.

Bemis, Samuel Flagg. John Quincy Adams and the Union. New York: Knopf, 1956.

Bemis’s two-volume work remains the standard John Quincy Adams biography.

Hargreaves, Mary W. M. The Presidency of John Quincy Adams. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1985.

From the American Presidency Series, a series dedicated to providing a consistent, scholarly treatment of each president. Coverage is limited to the years in office.

Adams, John Quincy. Diary of John Quincy Adams. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981-.

The authoritative diary; however, only the first 2 of many volumes have been published.

Adams, John Quincy. Memoirs of John Quincy Adams. Edited by Charles Francis Adams. 12 vols. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippencott, 1874-77.

The best source for the diary until the Harvard edition is complete.

See online bibliography of John Quincy Adams for more information.

James Buchanan (Democratic Senator)

Klein, Philip S. President James Buchanan: A Biography. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1962.

The standard "life" of Buchanan.

Binder, Frederick M. James Buchanan and the American Empire. Selinsgrove, Penn.: Susquehanna University Press, 1994.

Focuses on Buchanan’s foreign policy views both before and during his presidency.

Smith, Elbert B. The Presidency of James Buchanan. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1975.

From the American Presidency Series, a series dedicated to providing a consistent, scholarly treatment of each president. Coverage is limited to the years in office.

Buchanan, James. The Works of James Buchanan. 12 vols. Edited by John Bassett Moore. 1908-1911. Reprint, New York: Antiquarian Press, 1960.

See online bibliography of James Buchanan for more information.

John C. Calhoun (Statesman)

Wiltse, Charles M. John C. Calhoun, Nationalist, 1782-1828. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1944.

Wiltse, Charles M. John C. Calhoun, Nullifier, 1829-1839. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1949.

Wiltse, Charles M. John C. Calhoun, Sectionalist, 1840-1850. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1951.

Traditionally, the standard "life" of Calhoun.

Niven, John John C. Calhoun and the Price of Union. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988.

A more recent challenge to Wiltse’s work.

Calhoun, John C. Papers of John C. Calhoun. 27 vols. Edited by Robert L. Meriwether, et al. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1959-2003.

The authoritative collection of Calhoun papers.

Lewis Cass (U.S. Minister to France)

Klunder, Willard Carl. Lewis Cass and the Politics of Moderation. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1996.

The definitive biography of Cass.

John Chambers (Governor of Iowa Territory, Congressman)

Chambers, John. Autobiography of John Chambers. Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1908.

Henry Clay (Statesman; Whig Leader)

Remini, Robert V. Henry Clay: Statesman for the Union. New York: Norton, 1991.

The new standard Clay biography.

Van Deusen, Glyndon G. The Life of Henry Clay. Boston: Little, Brown, 1937.

The classic Clay biography.

Clay, Henry. Papers of Henry Clay. 11 vols. Edited by James F. Hopkins, et al. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1959-1992.

The authoritative collection of Clay papers.

Caleb Cushing (Massachusetts Representative)

Benetz, Margaret Edward, ed. The Cushing Reports: Ambassador Caleb Cushing’s Confidential Diplomatic Reports to the United States Secretary of State, 1843-1844. Salisbury, N.C.: Documentary Publications, 1976.

Includes reports on Mexico, Egypt, the Barbary States, India, and Ceylon.

Fuess, Claude M. The Life of Caleb Cushing. 2 vols. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1923.

William Alexander Graham (Southern Clay Whig)

Hamilton, J.G. deRoulhac and Max R. Williams, eds. Papers of William Alexander Graham. 8 vols. Raleigh, N.C.: State Department of Archives and History, 1957-1992.

Andrew Jackson (Former President)

Remini, Robert V. Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Empire, 1767-1821. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.

Remini, Robert V. Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Freedom, 1822-1832. New York: Harper & Row, 1981.

Remini, Robert V. Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Democracy, 1833-1845. New York: Harper & Row, 1984.

The definitive Jackson biography.

Cole, Donald B. The Presidency of Andrew Jackson. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1993.

From the American Presidency Series, a series dedicated to providing a consistent, scholarly treatment of each president. Coverage is limited to the years in office.

Jackson, Andrew. Papers of Andrew Jackson. Edited by Sam B. Smith, et al. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1980-.

The authoritative collection of Jackson papers. Publication is ongoing. To date, 6 volumes (1770-1828) have been published.

See online biography of Andrew Jackson for more information.

Willie Person Mangum (North Carolina Senator)

Mangum, Willie. P. The Papers of Willie Person Mangum. 5 vols. Edited by Henry T. Shanks. Raleigh, N.C.: State Department of Archives and History, 1950-56.

Thomas Ritchie (Politician)

Ambler, Charles Henry. Thomas Ritchie: A Study in Virginia Politics. Richmond, Va.: Bell, Book, & Stationary Co., 1913.

Winfield Scott (U.S. General)

Johnson, Timothy D. Winfield Scott: The Quest for Military Glory. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.

William Henry Seward (Prominent Whig)

Van Deusen, Glyndon G. William Henry Seward. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967.

Tecumseh (Native American Chief; significant to Harrison’s days as Governor of Indiana)

Sugden, John. Tecumseh: A Life. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1998.

The definitive biography of Tecumseh.

Martin Van Buren (Former President)

Niven, John. Martin Van Buren and the Romantic Age of American Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983.

Cole, Donald B. Martin Van Buren and the American Political System. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1984.

Cole and Niven are considered the two standard biographies of Van Buren.

Wilson, Major L. The Presidency of Martin Van Buren. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1984.

From the American Presidency Series, a series dedicated to providing a consistent, scholarly treatment of each President of the United States. Coverage is limited to the years in office.

Van Buren, Martin. " The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren," edited by John C. Fitzpatrick, in Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1918. Vol. 2. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1920.

See online bibliography of Martin Van Buren for more information.

Thurlow Weed (Politician of the Whig Party)

Weed, Thurlow. Life of Thurlow Weed, Including His Autobiography and a Memoir. 2 vols. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1884.

Van Deusen, Glyndon G. Thurlow Weed: Wizard of the Lobby. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1947.

Charles Wilkes

See "United States Exploring Expedition" under Major Issues.

Silas Wright (New York Senator)

Garraty, John Arthur. Silas Wright. New York: Columbia University Press, 1949.

Gillet, Ransom H. The Life and Times of Silas Wright. 2 vols. Albany: The Argus Co., 1874.

Recent Publications

There are no recent publications on William Harrison.

Bibliographies

Stephens, Kenneth R. William Henry Harrison: A Bibliography. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1998.

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