Campaign cane

Object Number: 
ca. 1840
Wood, paint
Overall: 36 1/4 x 1 1/4 x 1 in. (92.1 x 3.2 x 2.5 cm)
William Henry Harrison cider barrel.
Gallery Label: 
This cane references William Henry Harrison's 1840 presidential campaign. The aristocratic son of a Virginia governor, he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He became a general, achieving fame in the Battle of Tippecanoe where he defeated the noted Indian warrior, Tecumseh. He was later a general in the War of 1812. He was appointed Governor of the Indiana Territory, and was later elected Governor of Ohio. When Harrison ran again for the presidency in 1840, the Democrats made fun of him as an uneducated man who lived in a log cabin on the frontier. Harrison's party seized the image and promoted him as a common man. They claimed that he was born in a log cabin and drank cider. Thus, the cane, capped by a cider barrel, was used to promote his populist image, a far cry from his actual aristocratic background. Harrison beat Martin Van Buren, becoming the last president born as a British subject.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Lou and Barbara Grumet
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group