BENJAMIN HARRISON: BIOGRAPHY IN THREE VOLUMES
by Harry J. Sievers
BENJAMIN HARRISON: HOOSIER STATESMAN
(Volume Two of Three)
ISBN 978-0-945707-17-2 $35.00
502 pages including illustrations, bibliography and index.
This is the story of the little Indiana lawyer who, in an
age of political dishonesty, became President of the United States without
seeking the office, or once sacrificing his honor or integrity.
Based on recently released private papers and the hitherto unpublished
memoranda of Louis T. Michener, Harrison’s presidential campaign manager,
BENJAMIN HARRISON: HOOSIER STATESMAN introduces the Benjamin Harrison of
1865, a sunburnt veteran returning from the Civil War to Indianapolis and
his young family, his long-neglected law practice, and the piled-up bills
of three years’ absence. Laying aside his blue uniform with its brigadier-general
star, “Little Ben” proceeds to win himself a national reputation as a courtroom
lawyer in such widely know cases as that of Nancy Clem, murderess; Hiram
P. Brownlee, “kid gloves” client; and Lambdin P. Milligan, Civil War traitor.
A rousing campaign orator, Harrison rose quickly in politics,
first as an active member of the new Republican party, then as junior senator
from Indiana during the Arthur and Cleveland administrations. Colorful
issues and personalities confronted him in his new public life. The
1880’s in America was an era of open patronage and flamboyant political quarrels:
the battle of the Western Territories for statehood, the “Greenbackers,” the
“Chinese Problem” on the Pacific Coast, and the metamorphosis of the “Boys
in Blue” into the young and powerful G.A.R. The political scene knew
personalities like Blaine, the “Plumed Knight” from Maine; Whitlaw Reid,
owner of the New York Tribune; “Boss” Quay of Pennsylvania; “Boss” Platt
of New York; and Morton of Indiana.