President Harrison’s Inaugural Address. [caption title]. William Henry Harrison.

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President Harrison’s Inaugural Address. [caption title].

Baltimore, Printed and Published by J. Murphy, [1841]. Broadside, 23.75” x 18”. Printed on silk in four columns, with one inch decorative border all around. CONDITION: Minor fraying to extremities. Minimal light spotting to margins, small hole in lower right corner (outside the decorative border). The printing very clear and crisp. Very good plus.

A quite uncommon and unusual broadside printing on silk of William Henry Harrison's famous inaugural address. Harrison was the first president-elect to arrive in Washington by train, and for well over a century remained the oldest president-elect. On a snowy and blustery day Harrison delivered the longest inaugural address in the nation's history, the 8,445-word speech clocking in at an hour and forty-five minutes. Despite the length of his address, Harrison's term as president would be the nation's shortest, as he died only a month later. In his speech, written by Harrison himself but edited by Daniel Webster (who in fact claimed that he cut it down significantly), the president-elect lays out his platform in detail, outlining an intention to roll back much of the Jackson presidency's expansion of executive power, and suggests that he would avoid federal intervention with slavery as much as possible. Harrison warns against partisanship and promises to reestablish the Bank of the United States, to issue paper currency, to use his veto power sparingly, and to appoint qualified officers to his cabinet. The legend grew over the years that Harrison died of pneumonia contracted during his long inauguration event. More recent scholarship indicates the President likely succumbed from enteric fever caused by poor sanitation and unhealthy water in the White House.

The publisher of this attractive broadside on silk, John Murphy, was an Irish immigrant who came to Baltimore in the 1830s, where he printed largely Catholic texts and periodicals and became the first American to receive the honorary title of "Printer to the Pope." The only positively identifiable institutional copy of this printing is located at the Indiana Historical Society. OCLC locates a similar if not identical broadside at the American Antiquarian Society, but it is not present in their online catalog.

REFERENCES: Threads of History 150.

Item #7384

Price: $5,000.00

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