The Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture will be closed for renovations from August 31, 2014 through December 2016. Please check back in the fall for details of our exciting new galleries and installations.
Museum Collection Highlights
Elisha Kent Kane, M.D. (1820-1857)
Oil on canvas
Support the New-York Historical Society
Help us present groundbreaking exhibitions and develop educational programs about our nation's history for more than 200,000 schoolchildren annually.
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.
Gift of Lou and Barbara Grumet
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.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Museum & Library Map
Floor plan & visitor information
New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street)
New York, NY 10024