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William Henry Harrison served briefly as the ninth president of the United States. His Presidency was notably the shortest in American history, lasting just a month, from March 4-April 4, 1841. He was also the first U.S. president to die in office and the final American president born as a British subject. At the time Harrison was elected president, he was affiliated with the Whig Party. During his life, he also served as a soldier, achieving the rank of Major General, and fighting in the War of 1812.
Harrison first entered public service in 1799 as a representative of the Northwest Territory and then as the first governor of the Indiana Territory. He served the state of Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives and as a senator in that state’s senate. William Henry Harrison was also notably the paternal grandfather of the twenty-third president of the United States, Benjamin Harrison.
Some of the highlights of Harrison’s brief term as president include the facts that he famously neglected to wear a coat and hat during his inauguration, delivered one of the longest inauguration speeches in history, and that he traveled on horseback to three of his inauguration parties.
William Harrison would tragically become seriously ill with a likely case of pneumonia only a few weeks into his term.
While the United States Mint has not yet revealed the exact design that will appear on the Harrison issue, previous releases in the series have had a relatively uniform design that gives us insight into the designs that will most likely appear on the Harrison Silver Medals.
Traditionally meals in the series have featured a portrait of the respective president being honored, in this case, William Harrison, along with the inscriptions, “PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.,” and the year the subject took office, in this case, “A.D. 1841.”
The reverse design featured on the Presidential Silver Medal series has historically been standard across the entire series. Two hands, one representing the United States of America and one representing Native American, are shown in a handshake. Overhead are a crossed Native American Peace Pipe and a Tomahawk. The phrase “PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP” has traditionally been inscribed upon the reverse.
The medals are struck to order on 1 oz. .999 fine silver blanks, each measuring 1.6 inches across. More information about this release and its design will be added to this page when available, so check back often!
The United States Mint first struck the Presidential Medal series in .999 fine silver in 2018. These designs were previously issued in bronze by the United States Mint. Medals of this nature have been used in American diplomatic efforts going back to Colonial times.
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