President William Henry Harrison died after only thirty-one days in office, the shortest term served by any American president. A celebrated military hero who had defeated Native American tribes at the Battle of Tippecanoe, Harrison delivered an inaugural address that lasted nearly two hours. He developed pneumonia and expired before his wife, Anna, had even left Ohio to move to Washington. Harrison’s death triggered a scramble to determine the constitutional meaning of succession. Thus, William Henry Harrison’s principal legacy related not to his contributions as chief executive, but to his death in office.
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