In December 2016, our fourth floor will be transformed into a new destination for historical education and innovation. During the current renovation, objects from our permanent collection are on view throughout the Museum.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Oil on linen
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Overall: 36 1/4 x 1 1/4 x 1 in. (92.1 x 3.2 x 2.5 cm)
William Henry Harrison cider barrel.
This cane references William Henry Harrison's 1840 presidential campaign. The aristocratic son of a Virginia governor, he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He became a general, achieving fame in the Battle of Tippecanoe where he defeated the noted Indian warrior, Tecumseh. He was later a general in the War of 1812. He was appointed Governor of the Indiana Territory, and was later elected Governor of Ohio. When Harrison ran again for the presidency in 1840, the Democrats made fun of him as an uneducated man who lived in a log cabin on the frontier. Harrison's party seized the image and promoted him as a common man. They claimed that he was born in a log cabin and drank cider. Thus, the cane, capped by a cider barrel, was used to promote his populist image, a far cry from his actual aristocratic background. Harrison beat Martin Van Buren, becoming the last president born as a British subject.
Gift of Lou and Barbara Grumet
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
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