(Originally visited 23 June 2000)
The great thing about laptop computers is that I can write this sitting in the grass, leaning my back against the bricks of the tomb built to house the first President Harrison. It’s a beautiful summer day, just past the Solstice and, while I’ve spent most of this trip to Ohio and Indiana collecting Dead Ancestors I thought I’d pick up one Dead President just for fun.
Actually, William Henry Harrison may be a dead ancestor of mine too, though evidence isn’t conclusive.
As with most Presidential graves, the finding is not a problem. I pulled into the parking lot and had my choice of any of the three spaces. The site was deserted. I’ve been here almost an hour and no one else has stopped, though I have raised a few eyebrows as I walked around taking these pictures.
It really is a beautiful monument. Though there is some ugliness back here where I’m sitting. Harrison’s obelisk is engraved with many of his life’s accomplishments. The last one on the back is “Avenger of the Massacre of the River Raisin”. I find that especially ironic given that it’s listed under “Hero of Tippecanoe” and “Victor of the Battle of the Thames”.
Those events are all related to the War of 1812 and Tecumseh, the Shawnee leader who tried to unite the native tribes. He died at the Battle of the Thames.
I guess one man’s battle is another’s massacre.