In honor of the 177th anniversary of William Henry Harrison’s inauguration, I am reposting my two-part analysis of Harrison’s inaugural speech. In part two of the analysis (with 8,400+ words, of course there’s a part two), we find out more about what Harrison had in mind for the nation that he had anticipated leading for the next four years. Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
In honor of the 177th anniversary of William Henry Harrison’s inauguration as president, I am reposting my two-part analysis of his inauguration speech, to date the longest US presidential inauguration speech. To save folks the trouble, I read the 8,400+ words myself and found some quite important and even surprising aspects to this little-studied speech. Source notes for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Featured Image: “Lithograph of the Presidential inauguration of Wm. H. Harrison in Washington City, D.C., on the 4th of March 1841” by Charles Fenderich, courtesy of the Library of Congress and Wikipedia
As the world rings in a new year, I bring you this episode originally released on New Year’s Day 2017 for a look back on early American traditions with a focus on a New Year’s tradition from days gone by: the Presidential New Year’s Day Reception. From the very beginning to the last one in the 20th century, I examine how different presidents both before and after Harrison approached the event and what it meant for a nation working to develop its own identity after independence. For source notes and additional information, please visit http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Though never personal, throughout the course of the early 19th century, Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison found their lives intertwined for decades, through war and peace. Though they often found themselves in competition, there were also some rare instances where they could be found on the same side, and the story of their relationship over time provides much insight about the antebellum period of American history. Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Join me on a tour of Fort Hill, the home of John C Calhoun who served as the 7th vice president. Even more so than many of Harrison and Clay’s other contemporaries, Calhoun leaves a difficult legacy for students of history to consider as his concepts of nullification, states’ rights, and slavery as a ‘positive good’ were key justifications to lead the Southern states to secede and form the Confederacy just over a decade after Calhoun’s death, and Calhoun’s ideas and the events that they inspired continue to have an impact on the present day. The historic site provides great insight into Calhoun’s domestic situation and about the enslaved people whose lives Calhoun held in his hands, both as a slave owner and as a national leader.
Though progressing into his seventh decade of life, Henry Clay was pulled back into the public sphere as the nation’s new president, James K Polk, led the nation into war with Mexico. Despite ill health and personal issues, Clay aimed one more time for the Executive Mansion and instead found himself being called to the Senate once more to prevent the disunion of the nation. Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Leonard, Thomas M. James K. Polk: A Clear and Unquestionable Destiny. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2001.
McCormac, Eugene Irving. James K. Polk: A Political Biography, To the Prelude of War 1795-1845, Vol. I. Newtown, CT: American Political Biography Press, 2000 .
Niven, John. Martin Van Buren: The Romantic Age of American Politics. Newtown, CT: American Political Biography Press, 2012 .
Peterson, Norma Lois. The Presidencies of William Henry Harrison & John Tyler. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1989.
Remini, Robert V. Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Democracy, 1833-1845. New York: Harper & Row, 1984.
Remini, Robert V. Daniel Webster: The Man and His Time. New York and London: W W Norton & Co, 1997.
Remini, Robert V. Henry Clay: Statesman for the Union. New York: W W Norton & Co, 1991.
Seager, Robert, II, ed. The Papers of Henry Clay, Volume 9: The Whig Leader, January 1, 1837-December 31, 1843. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 1988.
Sellers, Charles. “Election of 1844.” History of American Presidential Elections 1789-1968, Volume I. Arthur M Schlesinger, Jr, ed. New York: Chelsea House Publishers and McGraw-Hill Book Co, 1971. pp. 747-861.
Wilson, Clyde N, ed. The Papers of John C. Calhoun, Volume XVI, 1841-1843. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1984.