Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time

Freeman Cleaves

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Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time

Old Tippecanoe William Henry Harrison and His Time None

  • Title: Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time
  • Author: Freeman Cleaves
  • ISBN: 9780945707011
  • Page: 280
  • Format: Hardcover
  • None

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      Published :2019-01-23T04:47:35+00:00

    One thought on “Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time

    1. Steve on said:

      bestpresidentialbios/2013/“Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time” by Freeman Cleaves was published in 1939 and remains the “go to” classic on the nation’s ninth president. Born in 1904, Cleaves graduated from the University of New Hampshire and worked as a journalist beginning in 1925. His career included stints at The Boston Herald, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.Following publication of his biography of Harrison he focused on his new great passion, the C [...]

    2. David Bales on said:

      Brilliant classic from 1939, Freeman Cleaves' biography of William Henry Harrison, frontier politician and general who ended up as a historical footnote as the ninth U.S. president because he was the first president to die in office, (after serving only 31 days). What most Americans don't remember is that he had 68 previous years, including 11 years as governor of Indiana Territory and fought in numerous Indian wars and the War of 1812, including, (naturally, the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811) bu [...]

    3. Wyatt on said:

      It took me a long time to get through this. For the first two-thirds of the book it's all about Harrison and his time on the frontier. Engaging at some parts, most of it is boring to me. The last third, which talked about his political life, I enjoyed though. I expected boring parts from an 80 year old book, but it's surprisingly fluid in parts. Harrison himself wasn't ever particularly compelling to me, and I can definitely see why he's mostly forgotten, save his famous nickname "Old Tippecanoe [...]

    4. Joshua on said:

      Thus, in many ways, begins the more difficult section of my journey to read a biography of every president. This is not just because WHH was president for only a month, but because he is the first of a series of presidents who have become lost to popular memory between Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Cleaves here has managed something special, since this is by far the oldest biography I have yet read that is still widely considered to be definitive. 'Old Tippecanoe' definitely reads like [...]

    5. Linda on said:

      It's hard to give this book 3 stars. I want it to be 3 and 1/2! Please keep in mind that 3 means I liked it. I did like it! It was more than OK! I even recommend it. I learned a great deal about WHH. (I've noticed I rather like referring to my prez boys by their 3 initials. As with my new BFF JQA.) We all hear the story of how he died a month after being inaugurated and it's kind of told as if his life was a waste, but it surely wasn't. He spent the first half of his life - and thus we spend the [...]

    6. Jeff on said:

      Choices are few for biographies of America's shortest-serving president, and this one is quite dated in language and content. Mrs. Harrison is little more than a footnote throughout the text, not receiving any mention even as her husband lay in state in the capital. But it vividly depicts the scenes and the action of Harrison's battles on the western frontier and during the War of 1812. The reader will form feelings for the allies and enemies of the governor, the general, the ambassador, and the [...]

    7. Judy Baker on said:

      Prior to my reading Cleaves' Old Tippecanoe, all I knew of William Henry Harrison was that he was the first president to die in office from an illness and the campaign slogan "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too", though to be quite honest I had no idea what Tippecanoe was. It was interesting to read about this man who spent his formative years in the Northwest Territory. How different was his "log cabin" upbringing from the more aristocratic influence of the Adamses, Jeffereson, Madison, and Monroe. He ac [...]

    8. Kyle on said:

      A solid overview of William Henry Harrison and his times. Probably the best (of the few) around but it often felt too focused on minutiae that did little to add to the reader's overall picture of the biographical subject. Though very detailed and well-written, it occasionally fails to humanize Old Tippecanoe. We get a solid idea of his achievements and the trajectory of his career but I often wished I was reading more of his relations at home with family, friends, and loved ones. There was also [...]

    9. Kmkoppy on said:

      This book was interesting from the point of view of Harrison's extensive involvement in the Indian wars. His political career was not as well written - so many individuals were discussed in a brief manner that it was difficult to determine how they influenced the confusing political times. The last couple of chapters made up for that - they were sensitively written and more personal. I'm reading a book on every president and this was recommended to me.

    10. Beth Dickey on said:

      I had originally read a rather short bio for Harrison, and knew I needed something more, as I’m from Indiana, not far from Grouseland, and Harrison is very important in the history of our area. I’m glad I found this Cleaves biography, and I highly recommend it.

    11. Kevin Newton on said:

      He was only President for a month (spoiler) so book focuses a lot on his time in the military and as a territorial leader and his interaction with the Indians. Book was 434 pages, could have easily been 300. Not much on his eventual VP John Tyler.

    12. EricW on said:

      After being disappointed by Gail Collins' snarky and overly-concise biography of William Henry Harrison (the only WHH biography that's currently in print, as far as I know), I decided to turn to eBay to find an older but hopefully better book. Although this work by Freeman Cleaves is a little old fashioned in its writing style (as other have noted), it does an adequate job of covering Harrison's life, including his extensive negotiations with both friendly and hostile Indian tribes, his relative [...]

    13. Brent Ecenbarger on said:

      President number nine was one I was particularly looking forward to. I knew little about William Henry Harrison prior to reading this, except that he had Indiana ties, was a successful general in the War of 1812, and died shortly after taking office (the circumstances of which, I was actually mistaken about). One biography later, I think I know closer a lot more about Old Tippecanoe (and Tyler too), some positive, some negative. It’s hard to imagine an odder candidate to be thrust forward as a [...]

    14. Bryan on said:

      It's probably fair to generalize that most only remember William Henry Harrison, our 9th President, as a silly trivia question. In my eighth grade history class, I remember the teacher echoing the story that Harrison had given a laborious two-hour long acceptance speech on his inauguration day on a particularly cold, rainy day in March without wearing the proper coat. After the speech, Harrison took ill with a nasty cold that would later kill him. He only served 32 days as President. Given his s [...]

    15. Russell Reidelberger on said:

      Having set a goal of reading a biography on every president, I have recently gone back to reading and not listening to audio books, partially because there aren't audio books on these presidents and partially because I find that I'm retaining more from the reading. At first I found it almost foolish that I was going to read a 400 plus page book on a president that only served about a month, but I'm glad I did. One of the many interest aspects of a president is how he finds himself even close to [...]

    16. Christian Dibblee on said:

      For a book written in 1939, Old Tippecanoe is surprisingly readable. That said, the book's defects are clear. The first 150 pages or so detail WHH's war record on the Northwest frontier, and while there are some particularly interesting portions (like the discussion of Tippecanoe and even the Thames), the various movements are tough to follow when unaccompanied by maps. But that period is no doubt a huge hole in my historical knowledge, so the book provides some needed knowledge.The remainder is [...]

    17. The other John on said:

      In the past, when I've been seeking out Presidential biographies, I've been looking for the most modern versions I could find. I figure that if you go back to the fifties or earlier, all you'll get is a rah-rah tale of "America right or wrong" hero worship. And if you try for the sixties or seventies, all you'll get is a "let me tell you the truth about this so called hero" tale. Well, when it came to the 9th U.S. President, my choice was Inter-library Loan, or this 1939 volume. (not counting th [...]

    18. Scott Cox on said:

      Freeman Cleaves biography of William Henry Harrison, ninth President of the United States is a surprisingly good read! I say "surprisingly" because Harrison is not a well-known President, having died in office within a month of his inauguration. However what made this biography fascinating were details surrounding the Indian wars and the frontier battles which General "Tip" heroically fought in the War of 1812. Harrison was born in Virginia, as a young man moved to the Western frontier states of [...]

    19. Riley on said:

      As it does with a lot of things, The Simpsons perfectly encapsulates what most people know about William Henry Harrison, giving him the line, "I died in thirty days!" in a school musical number, "The Mediocre Presidents." That and "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" probably sums up Harrison's legacy in popular culture.This book made me appreciate that Harrison came to the presidency with a rather impressive resume: War of 1812 general, governor of Indiana, senator, congressman and ambassador. Like a lot [...]

    20. Regina Lindsey on said:

      As part of our Chronological Read of American History Group, a great deal of discussion went into whether or not to include Harrison since his term was limited to one month after he died in office. I, for one, am gald we included his biography in our read. The main reason is that this read provided the most detailed account of Native American policy to date. This aspect was surprisingly lacking in Meacham's American Lion, yet Cleaves spends about 2/3 of his work on Harrisons involvement. This se [...]

    21. Brian on said:

      Although only in office for one month as President of the United States, William Henry Harrison's life was filled with one fascinating adventure to the next. From his countless military campaigns, to his administrative experiences as governor of the Indiana Territory, to representative and Senator from Ohio his life touches on many pivotal moments in American history. He was not always revered as a military hero but deserved his accolades as the greatest general since George Washington. He maste [...]

    22. Chad Malkamaki on said:

      If you can get through the dated language, this was originally published in 1939 and uses the term savages throughout for American Indians, Cleaves book is the most thorough biography of Harrison that you can find. Cleaves does an excellent job of tracing Harrison's early beginnings through his exploits as a young army officer, and frontier diplomat. With detailed chronicles through the Battle of Tippecanoe and action during the War of 1812, one gets a sense of events that shaped Harrison's life [...]

    23. Mark on said:

      William Henry Harrison is probably best known today as the answer to a trivia question. Yet his standing as the man with the briefest tenure as president obscures a long and important life. Freeman Cleaves's great achievement in this book is to describe this life in dramatic prose that captures much of the excitement of a young nation expanding westward in the early 19th century. Primarily a military historian, Cleaves focuses on Harrison's tenure as territorial governor of Indiana and his servi [...]

    24. Martin on said:

      I suppose Paul C. Nagel's biography of John Quincy Adams set such a high bar that this book feels like a 2.5. The book's early history of Harrison is lacking. It does an excellent job of explaining his actions in the War of 1812. It does a terrible job of explaining the issues at hand or the political forces at work in Harrison's two runs for President. The author's using of "old" names when describing geography rather than the corresponding modern days is confusing and annoying. I had no idea h [...]

    25. Ben on said:

      Finding a book in the 9th president isn't easy, outside of the 200 page time life series. He was in office for 31 days and the first president to die in office; His footprint as a president is tiny. However he had 68 years prior to that and good or bad was instrumental in taking western land. The book is well researched and Cleaves does a great job of piecing together Harrison's life and his battles on the frontier. It was written in 1938 so you have to overlook the use of the word "savages" to [...]

    26. Eric on said:

      The greater part of the book naturally focuses on WHH's career in the north-west territories and this much of the book is very well done. A rich, detailed picture of WHH's life and character emerges through the presentation of his military adventures from Tippecanoe through the war of 1812.Once the story reaches Washington, things are a bit weaker. A lot is written with very little context making it quite difficult to place the events in proper relation with the rest of the history of that time [...]

    27. Gene McAvoy on said:

      This was an interesting book. WHH was primarily an indian war fighter, a capable General, and a popular man when it came to politicking.The book adequately covered his life from beginning to end. Great detail was given to his military endeavors and a few chapters to his political campaigning. Just a short section covered his 30 days as President but what can you sayat's 'all she wrote' for WHH.If your primary goal is to learn about the life of WHH (as mine was) you'll find this book rewarding. I [...]

    28. Jan on said:

      Perhaps because he only served one month as President, there aren't many biographies of W.H. Harrison. I searched the catalogs of three different library systems where I have borrowing privileges, then searched new and used books for sale online and found nothing. I finally found this book available at a local college that grants borrowing privileges to county residents. So I didn't have a choice of several different biographies to choose from.This biography, written in 1939, is dated and a some [...]

    29. Jerry Landry on said:

      Really great biography for the most part. Very detailed, and for a while there, I really got a good sense of Harrison the man. Towards the end, though, it seemed to be more of a recitation of dates, and the end was quite abrupt. Still, I do recommend it in order to better understand an often overlooked president. While not having a great impact as president due to the extremely short length of time he occupied the office, Harrison greatly impacted the nation's history through his life before ste [...]

    30. Mel on said:

      I am reading the biographies of the US Presidents. Harrison's presidency took up about the last five pages, understandable as he fell sick and died within a month of his inauguration. Most interesting was his generalship during the War of 1812 and his involvement with the indians in the Ohio Valley. General Harrison certainly had more concern for the plight of the natives than did General Sherman 55 years later. A more insightful book on the role of indians in the western war and on settlers is [...]

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