Saturday, September 3, 2016

Ohio History Harvest

September is rich and abundant in Ohio Presidential trivia goodness. Here is a crop of nine savory nuggets from our ninth month. Let's start with the early adventures of our 9th President.

General Harrison statue
in Cincinnati
1812 - The Siege of Fort Wayne began in the Indiana Territory on September 5th led by Potawatomi and Miami Indians. Future 9th President General William Henry Harrison's Kentucky militia from Newport Barracks (across the Ohio River from Cincinnati) joined Ohio militia on September 8th and arrived at the fort September 12th. Known in advance of the approaching superior force the Indians led by Chief Winimac abandoned their attack.
Although born in Virginia and Governor of the Indiana Territory, Harrison would adopt Ohio as his home state, serving in various Ohio political offices and residing in North Bend OH when he became President. I've probably written more blog posts about Harrison than any sane person ever would. Here is a short one to match his brief Presidency.

1812 - Hey what do you know, another WHH entry!...On September 17th William Henry Harrison is made Major General of the US Regular Army by President Madison. Harrison would later defend Ohio from Indian and British advances by building Fort Meigs near Toledo in the War of 1812.

Hendricks is the only VP on US money
1819 - One of three Ohio born US Vice Presidents, Thomas A. Hendricks, 1st VP under Grover Cleveland was born on September 7th in Muskingum County OH. Having spent most of his life as a Hoosier and served as its 16th Governor, he ran with Indiana as his home state in the 1884 election. Hendricks is the only VP whose portrait appears on US paper currency, the $10 silver certificate of 1886. Hendricks died unexpectedly in his sleep just 8 months after being sworn in as Vice President in 1885.

grade school book
about Woodhull
1838 - Suffragette Victoria Woodhull is born September 23rd in Homer OH. Who? In 1872 she was the first woman to run for President and she couldn't even vote for herself. It wasn't just because she was a woman, but she was also in jail on election day. Oh, and black abolitionist Frederick Douglass was named as her running mate by her Equal Rights Party. One problem. Douglass was, in fact, supporting Grant. There’s also no record of how many votes the Woodhull/Douglass ticket received because they apparently weren't even counted. As you can deduce, this Presidential run was more of a protest.

I have to admit I didn't know much about Hendricks or Woodhull before researching for this post. I definitely would like to read more about Woodhull. Notorious Victoria by Mary Gabriel is on my Goodreads to do list.

I have several blog posts about the next four items which are linked in the text.

1855 - Illinois lawyer Abraham Lincoln Rudely was rudely greeted in Cincinnati on September 20th. One of the impolite greeters was Steubenville OH born Edwin Stanton who would later become Secretary of War seven years later under President Lincoln during the Civil War. Politics makes strange bedfellows they say. Upon Lincoln’s death in 1865, it was Stanton who tearfully said the famous words “Now he belongs to the ages.” 

Taft birthplace in Cincinnati
1857 - Speaking of Cincinnati, 27th  President William Howard Taft was born September 15th in the suburb Mt Auburn. Taft would finish his term unlike many Ohio Presidents, but not get re-elected to a second one mainly due to a public dispute with Teddy Roosevelt. He was the only former POTUS to become a member of the SCOTUS.
Random thought: If Hillary Clinton becomes President in 2016, she will have become the first FLOTUS to become POTUS. Bill would become the first...FGOTUS? Anyway...

Garfield Tomb in Cleveland
1880 - Arriving in San Francisco by train on September 8th, 19th US President Rutherford B. Hayes became the first US President to visit the West Coast while in office. I never had a whole post about Hayes but he gets a mention here. This is the only Ohio President who I've never visited the birthplace or grave site. I understand his Delaware OH birthplace is now the site of a BP gas station. At least there is a plaque. The more substantial Hayes Presidential Center and grave is on my Ohio bucket list. Hayes was also Ohio's 29th and 32nd Governor.

1881 - On September 19th, Moreland Hills OH born 20th President James Garfield succumbed to his bad doctors one excruciating month after an attempted assassination. I recommend reading the riveting Destiny of the Republic by Candace Millard which is all about that. It's a great book and one of my favorites. I've read it twice!

McKinley Tomb in Canton

1901 - Well we made it to the 20th century! Just 20 years after Garfield, on September 14th, 25th US President William McKinley died after being shot by an assassin eight days earlier in Buffalo NY while headed to Cleveland. McKinley was born in Niles OH and spent most of his life in Canton where his tomb is. He was the 39th governor of Ohio from 1892 to 1896. Rutherford B Hayes was McKinley's commanding officer during the Civil War in the 23rd Ohio Regiment and were both at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. For more on McKinley's assassination, I recommend The President and the Assassin by Scott Miller.

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