Harrison Elected President of the United States


Benjamin Harrison was the nineteenth member to sign the Bond and a member of Ohio Alpha before his political career ever started. In 1888, when he was named as the Republican Party presidential candidate, Benjamin Harrison was featured in a sixteen-page story, which included information about his college years, fraternity record, accomplishments in war, and accomplishments in law and politics. The editor of The Scroll concluded the article with the message that, “The Scroll is the organ of no political party, but…the nomination of our honored and worthy brother, General Harrison…is an honor which all Phis, irrespective of political ties, must feel with a keen sense of pride and gratification.” When Harrison won the election and took office in 1889, Phi Delta Theta was the first fraternity to see a brother be President of the United States of America.

Benjamin Harrison conducted one of the first “front-porch” campaigns, delivering short speeches to delegations that visited him in Indianapolis. As he was only 5 feet, 6 inches tall, Democrats called him “Little Ben”; Republicans replied that he was big enough to wear the hat of his grandfather, “Old Tippecanoe.”

In the Presidential election, Harrison received 100,000 fewer popular votes than Cleveland, but carried the Electoral College 233 to 168. Although Harrison had made no political bargains, his supporters had given innumerable pledges upon his behalf.

Read the original article from The Scroll.

Read A Tribute to Benjamin Harrison from the Spring 1991 edition of The Scroll.