1889 - 1892
|Benjamin Harrison (August
20, 1833 – March 13, 1901) was an American politician and lawyer who served
as the 23rd President of the United States from March 04, 1889 to March 04,
1893; he was the grandson of the ninth president, William Henry Harrison,
creating the only grandfather-grandson duo to hold the office. Before
ascending to the presidency, Harrison established himself as a prominent
local attorney, Presbyterian church leader, and politician in Indianapolis,
Indiana. During the American Civil War, he served in the Union Army as a
colonel, and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a brevet brigadier general
of volunteers in 1865. Harrison unsuccessfully ran for governor of Indiana
in 1876. The Indiana General Assembly elected Harrison to a six-year term in
the U.S. Senate, where he served from March 04, 1881 to March 03, 1887.
|The initial favorite for
the Republican nomination was the previous nominee, James G. Blaine of
Maine. After Blaine wrote several letters denying any interest in the
nomination, his supporters divided among other candidates, with John Sherman
of Ohio as the leader among them. Others, including Chauncey Depew of New
York, Russell Alger of Michigan, and Harrison's old nemesis Walter Q.
Gresham, now a federal appellate court judge in Chicago, also sought the
delegates' support at the 1888 Republican National Convention. Blaine did
not publicly endorse any of the candidates as a successor; however, on March
1, 1888 he privately wrote that "the one man remaining who in my judgment
can make the best one is Benjamin Harrison." Harrison placed fifth on the
first ballot, with Sherman in the lead, and the next few ballots showed
little change. The Blaine supporters shifted their support among candidates
they found acceptable, and when they shifted to Harrison, they found a
candidate who could attract the votes of many other delegations. He was
nominated as the party's presidential candidate on the eighth ballot, by a
count of 544 to 108 votes. Levi Parsons Morton of New York was chosen as his
|The United States
presidential election of 1888 was the 26th quadrennial presidential
election, held on Tuesday, November 06, 1888. It saw Grover Cleveland of New
York, the incumbent president and a Democrat, try to secure a second term
against the Republican nominee Benjamin Harrison, a former U.S. Senator from
Indiana. The economy was prosperous and the nation was at peace, but
Cleveland lost re-election in the Electoral College, even though he won a
plurality of the popular vote by a narrow margin (48.6% against 47.8%).
Harrison was sworn into office on Monday, March 04, 1889 by Chief Justice
Melville Fuller. His speech was brief – half as long as that of his
grandfather, William Henry Harrison, whose speech holds the record for the
longest inaugural address of a U.S. president.
|In 1889, the United
States, the United Kingdom and the German Empire were locked in a dispute
over control of the Samoan Islands. Historian George H. Ryden's research
indicates Harrison played a key role in determining the status of this
Pacific outpost by taking a firm stand on every aspect of Samoa conference
negotiations; this included selection of the local ruler, refusal to allow
an indemnity for Germany, as well as the establishment of a three power
protectorate, a first for the U.S.. These arrangements facilitated the
future dominant power of the U.S. in the Pacific; Secretary of State Blaine
was absent due to complication of lumbago.
|Throughout the 1880s
various European countries had imposed a ban on importation of United States
pork out of an unconfirmed concern of trichinosis; at issue was over one
billion pounds of pork products with a value of $80 million (annually).
Harrison engaged Whitelaw Reid, minister to France, and William Walter
Phelps, minister to Germany, to restore these exports for the country
without delay. Harrison also successfully asked the congress to enact the
Meat Inspection Act to eliminate the accusations of product compromise.
|The first international
crisis Harrison faced arose from disputed fishing rights on the Alaskan
coast. Canada claimed fishing and sealing rights around many of the Aleutian
Islands, in violation of U.S. law. As a result, the United States Navy
seized several Canadian ships. In 1891, the administration began
negotiations with the British that would eventually lead to a compromise
over fishing rights after international arbitration, with the British
government paying compensation in 1898.
|In 1891, a diplomatic
crisis emerged in Chile, otherwise known as the Baltimore Crisis. The
American minister to Chile, Patrick Egan, granted asylum to Chileans who
were seeking refuge during the 1891 Chilean Civil War. Egan, previously a
militant Irish immigrant to the U.S., was motivated by a personal desire to
thwart Great Britain's influence in Chile; his action increased tensions
between Chile and the United States, which began in the early 1880s when
Secretary Blaine had alienated the Chileans in the War of the Pacific. The
crisis began in earnest when sailors from the USS Baltimore took shore leave
in Valparaiso and a fight ensued, resulting in the deaths of two American
sailors and the arrest of three dozen others. Tensions increased to the
brink of war – Harrison threatened to break off diplomatic relations unless
the United States received a suitable apology, and said the situation
required, "grave and patriotic consideration". The president also remarked,
"If the dignity as well as the prestige and influence of the United States
are not to be wholly sacrificed, we must protect those who in foreign ports
display the flag or wear the colors." The Navy was also placed on a high
level of preparedness. A recuperated Blaine made brief conciliatory
overtures to the Chilean government which had no support in the
administration; he then reversed course, joined the chorus for unconditional
concessions and apology by the Chileans, who ultimately obliged, and war was
averted. Theodore Roosevelt later applauded Harrison for his use of the "big
stick" in the matter.
|In the last days of his
administration, Harrison dealt with the issue of Hawaiian annexation.
Following a coup d'état against Queen Liliuokalani, the new government of
Hawaii led by Sanford Dole petitioned for annexation by the United States.
Harrison was interested in expanding American influence in Hawaii and in
establishing a naval base at Pearl Harbor but had not previously expressed
an opinion on annexing the islands. The United States consul in Hawaii John
L. Stevens recognized the new government on February 01, 1893 and forwarded
their proposals to Washington. With just one month left before leaving
office, the administration signed a treaty on February 14 and submitted it
to the Senate the next day with Harrison's recommendation. The Senate failed
to act, and President Cleveland withdrew the treaty shortly after taking
|Six new states were
admitted to the Union while Harrison was in office: North Dakota (November
02, 1889), South Dakota (November 02, 1889), Montana (November 08, 1889),
Washington (November 11, 1889), Idaho (July 03, 1890) and Wyoming (July 10,
1890). More states were admitted during Harrison's presidency than any
|The United States
presidential election of 1892 was the 27th quadrennial presidential
election, held on Tuesday, November 08, 1892. It witnessed a re-match of the
closely contested presidential election in 1888. Former Democratic President
Grover Cleveland and incumbent Republican President Benjamin Harrison both
ran for election to a second term. In 1888, Cleveland won the popular vote
over Harrison, but lost in the electoral college. In a re-match, Cleveland
won both the popular and electoral vote, thus becoming the first and to date
only person in American history to be elected to a second, non-consecutive
presidential term. The new Populist Party, headed by James Baird Weaver
formed by groups from The Grange, the Farmers' Alliances, and the Knights of
Labor, also fielded a ticket; they polled best in the West, winning in five
states and taking a total of 22 electoral votes.
|Harrison developed what
was thought to be influenza (then referred to as grippe) in February 1901.
He was treated with steam vapor inhalation and oxygen, but his condition
worsened. He died from pneumonia at his home in Indianapolis on Wednesday,
March 13, 1901, at the age of 67. Harrison's remains are interred in
Indianapolis's Crown Hill Cemetery, next to the remains of his first wife,
Caroline. After her death in 1948, Mary Dimmick Harrison, his second wife,
was buried beside him.
|Currency: Dollar = 100
Monetary System: Penny = Cent, Trime = 3 Cents, Nickel = 5
Cents, Dime = 10 Cents, Quarter = 25 Cents, Half Dollar = 50, Cents, Dollar
= 100 Cents, Quarter Eagle = $2.50 Gold, Stella = $4.00 Gold, Half Eagle =
$5.00 Gold, Eagle = $10.00 Gold and Double Eagle = $20.00 Gold.
C – Charlotte, N.C., 1838-1861.
CC – Carson City, NV, 1870-1893.
D – Dahlonega, GA, 1838-1861.
D – Denver, CO, 1906-present.
O – New Orleans, LA, 1838-1909.
P – Philadelphia, PA, 1793-present (coins without mintmark also belongs to
S – San Francisco, CA, 1854-present.
W – West Point, NY, 1984-present.
KM#110 One Dollar.
Weight: 26.68 g [26.73
Metal: 0.900 Silver.
Diameter: 38.10 mm. Edge:
"E • PLURIBUS • UNUM" written at the top section. Head of Liberty facing left
in the center. 7 stars at the lower left side and 6 stars at the
lower right side. Date at the bottom.
Reverse: "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" written
at the top section. Motto: "IN GOD WE TRUST" written above the
Eagle's head. Eagle with opened wings, looking left, holding arrows and olive
branch, within wreath in the center. Value "* ONE DOLLAR *" written at
bottom section. Mintage:
[see under 1878 issue]. Engraver:
George Thomas Morgan
(both sides). No mint mark
above "DO" in "DOLLAR. belongs to Philadelphia. This coin is commonly known by
coin collectors as "Morgan Dollar".
|KM#114 Quarter Dollar (25 cents).
Year: 1892 (Type I).
Weight: 6.23 g [6.25
Metal: 0.900 Silver.
Diameter: 24.30 mm. Edge:
Obverse: "IN GOD
WE TRUST" written at the top. Head of Liberty facing right in the
center. 6 stars on the left and 7 stars on the right side. Date at
the bottom. The designers initial (B) is at the base of Liberty’s
neck. No mint mark belongs to Philadelphia, USA.
Reverse: "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" written
at the top section. American Seal in the center with Eagle's wings
spread having 13 stars above it. "E PLURIBUS UNUM" written on banner
passing through eagle's mouth. Eagle's left foot is carrying a stem
with 13 leaves and right foot carrying 13 arrows. "· QUARTER DOLLAR ·"
written at the bottom section. Mintage:
11892, 1892 Type 2 Rev, 1892O, 1892O Type 2
Rev, 1892S, 1892S Type 2 Rev, 1893, 1893O, 1893O mintmark far right,
1893S, 1893S MM far right, 1894, 1894O, 1894O mintmark far right,
1894S, 1894S MM far right, 1895, 1895O, 1895O mintmark far right,
1895S, 1895S mintmark far right, 1896, 1896O, 1896S, 1897, 1897O,
1897S, 1898, 1898O, 1898S, 1899, 1899O, 1899S, 1900, 1900O, 1900S,
1901, 1901O, 1901S, 1902, 1902O, 1902S, 1903, 1903O, 1903S, 1904,
1904O, 1905, 1905O, 1905S, 1906, 1906D, 1906O, 1907, 1907D, 1907O,
1907S, 1908, 1908D, 1908O, 1908S, 1909, 1909D, 1909O, 1909S, 1910,
1910D, 1911, 1911D, 1911S, 1912, 1912S, 1913, 1913D, 1913S, 1914,
1914D, 1914S, 1915, 1915D, 1915S, 1916, 1916D and 1916D/D.
Type I on the left side and Type II on the right
Note: This coin is commonly
known by coin collectors as "Barber Quarter Dollar". The mint
mark "D", "O" or "S" is written below the tail of the Eagle and
above second "R" in "QUARTER". 13 stars on each side of the coin,
representing the first 13 colonies/states of the United States of
America. When the first Barber quarters were struck in January of
1892, it was discovered that the coins wouldn’t stack properly. This
problem was resolved by altering the relief and design elements.
Thus, there are two types of 1892 quarters. The easiest way to
identify them is by the reverse. On Type I,
the eagle’s left wing crosses the letter E in UNITED below the
middle serif, leaving most of the letter exposed. With the Type II
quarters, the eagle’s wing covers most of letter E, and the middle
serif is hidden. There is also a third type, introduced during 1900,
with the eagle’s wing extending beyond the top of the E. The
series has no major rarities, though 1901-S is a challenge even in
low grades. There are two other “keys”; 1896-S and 1913-S, but even
these are obtainable at a price. Almost 265 million pieces were
minted between 1892 and 1916 at all three mints. Proofs were minted
every year except 1916 and totaled more than 17,000. “Type”
collectors particularly favor the 1892 date, as it was the first
year of issue, and 1909-O, as it was the last issue from the New
View below links on
coins issued during the Presidential rulers of United States: