Health and Medical History of President

William Harrison

President #9
Lived: 1773-1841 Served: 1841-1841

Timeline from 1776: ← 2013

Maladies and Conditions

Harrison was a teetotaler in an era when alcoholism was rife. (Of course, alcoholism is still rife today.) 2a

Harrison was stern, tall, and austere. He could eat only certain foods, such as cheese and milk products. At least one commentator thinks this combination of gaunt appearance and ascetic behavior could be resulted from ulcer disease. 2a [Unclear whether the description of Harrison's gnawing pain, relieved by milk products, is a deduction or fact. Same concern for the description of Harrison as having "ulcer facies."] 2b

To say that Harrison was mobbed by office seekers after his inauguration is an understatement:

General Harrison was ... smothered by the most shameless swarm of fortune hunters the capital had seen since the coming of another Hero twelve years before [Jackson, 1829].... They filled every room [of the lower level of the White House] and defied eviction. The President opened a door, expecting to meet his Cabinet. The spoilsmen crushed about him. Soon the Executive's pockets were filled with their petitions, then his hat, then his arms; and thus he staggered upstairs to revive himself with "stimulants." 1a

Harrison gave a two hour inaugural speech on a cold, wet, and blustery March 4. He caught a cold, which is not surprising given the President's thin, malnourished state. The White House was poorly heated at that time, and by March 27 he was very sick with right lower lobe pneumonia and "congestion of the liver." 2c MORE
Odds & Ends
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Booraem V
Cited Resources
  1. James, Marquis. Andrew Jackson: Portrait of a President. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, unknown year (originally published in 1937 by Bobbs-Merrill). Libraries. ap. 456
  2. MacMahon, Edward B. and Curry, Leonard. Medical Cover-Ups in the White House. Washington, DC: Farragut, 1987.0918535018 Libraries 87-81241. ap. 17 bp. 15 cp. 18 dpp. 17-18
  3. Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (ed). Burke's Presidential Families of the United States of America. 2nd ed. London: Burke's Peerage Limited, 1981.0850110335 Libraries. ap. 196
    Comment: Enumerates the ancestors and descendants of American presidents up through Ronald Reagan.
Other Resources
Alternate index terms: William Henry Harrison, Tippecanoe
George Washington · John Adams · Thomas Jefferson · James Madison · James Monroe · John Q. Adams · Andrew Jackson · Martin van Buren · William Harrison · John Tyler · James Polk · Zachary Taylor · Millard Fillmore · Franklin Pierce · James Buchanan · Abraham Lincoln · Andrew Johnson · Ulysses Grant · Rutherford Hayes · James Garfield · Chester Arthur · Grover Cleveland · Benjamin Harrison · William McKinley · Theodore Roosevelt · William Taft · Woodrow Wilson · Warren Harding · Calvin Coolidge · Herbert Hoover · Franklin Roosevelt · Harry Truman · Dwight Eisenhower · John Kennedy · Lyndon Johnson · Richard Nixon · Gerald Ford · James Carter · Ronald Reagan · George Bush · William Clinton · George W. Bush · Barack Obama