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Presidential Convention

  • 15 S. 4th St. at Zion Lutheran Church Harrisburg, PA

The 1839 Whig National Convention was held in Harrisburg December 4 through 7. The first national convention of the Whig Party nominated retired general William Henry Harrison of Ohio as their Presidential candidate and John Tyler of Virginia for Vice President. Their ensuing “Log Cabin” campaign exploited the several years Harrison spent living on the frontier in a log cabin in contrast to incumbent Martin Van Buren’s fairly affluent past as a government official and son of a tavern keeper. The campaign’s slogan, “Tippecanoe and Tyler too”, refers to Harrison’s 1811 victory in Indian over a group of Shawnee Indians. The pair’s campaign proved successful, and the pair took office in 1840. However, Harrison’s tenure as President proved short-lived. After delivering the longest inaugural speech in history outdoors during cold, wet weather Harrison fell ill with pneumonia and died one month after taking office.