ANNA HARRISON Biography - Socialites, celebrities and People in the fashion industry


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Name: Anna Tuthill Symmes Harrison                                                       
Born: 25 July 1775                                                                       
Died: 25 February 1864                                                                   
Anna Tuthill Symmes Harrison (July 25, 1775 - February 25, 1864), wife of                 
President William Henry Harrison and the grandmother of President Benjamin               
Harrison, was nominally First Lady of the United States during her husband's one-month   
term in 1841, but she never entered the White House.                                     
She was born near Morristown, New Jersey on July 25, 1775 to Judge John Cleves           
and Anna Tuthill Symmes of Long Island. When her mother died in 1776 her father           
disguised himself as a British soldier to carry her on horseback through the             
British lines to her grandparents on Long Island, who cared for her during the           
rest of the war.                                                                         
When she was thirteen years old, she went with her father and stepmother into             
the Ohio wilderness in spite of Indian dangers, and settled at North Bend, Ohio.         
A few years later she met young army officer, William Harrison, who was                   
stationed at Fort Washington, a military post long since covered by downtown             
Cincinnati. The young couple was married on November 25, 1795 at North Bend. The         
bride and groom were 20 and 22 years old. Though Harrison came from one of the           
best families of Virginia, Judge Symmes did not want his daughter to face the             
hard life of frontier forts; but eventually, seeing her happiness, he accepted           
her choice. Over the years the couple had six sons and four daughters: Elizabeth         
(1795), John Cleves (1798), Lucy (1800), William Henry, Jr. (1802), John Scott (1804),   
Benjamin (1806), Mary (1809), Carter (1811), Anna (1813), and James (died as an           
Though Harrison won fame as an Indian fighter and hero of the War of 1812, he             
spent much of his life in a civilian career. His service in Congress as                   
territorial delegate from Ohio gave Anna and their two children a chance to               
visit his family at Berkeley, their plantation on the James River. Her third             
child was born on that trip, at Richmond in September 1800. Harrison's                   
appointment as governor of Indiana Territory took them even farther into the             
wilderness; he built a handsome house at Vincennes that blended fortress and             
plantation mansion.                                                                       
Facing war in 1812, the family went to the farm at North Bend. There, at news of         
her husband's landslide electoral victory in 1840, home-loving Anna said simply:         
"I wish that my husband's friends had left him where he is, happy and contented           
in retirement."                                                                           
When her husband was inaugurated in 1841, she was detained by illness at their           
home in North Bend. When she decided not to go to Washington with him, the               
President-elect asked his daughter-in-law Jane Irwin Harrison, widow of his               
namesake son, to accompany him and act as hostess until Anna's proposed arrival           
in May. Half a dozen other relatives happily went with them. On April 4, exactly         
one month after his inauguration, the President died. Anna was packing for the           
move to the White House when she learned of William's death in Washington, so             
she never made the journey.                                                               
After his death she lived with her son (John Scott Harrison) in North Bend, and           
helped raise his children, including eight year old Benjamin who later became             
President of the United States. She died at the age of 88, on February 25, 1864           
at home in North Bend, Ohio. Anna Harrison was buried at the William Henry               
Harrison Tomb State Memorial in North Bend.