Benjamin Harrison Defeats Grover Cleveland in 1888 (With a Little Help From His Grandfather)
This Benjamin Harrison 1880 presidential campaign ribbon references another Harrison: former president William Henry Harrison, Benjamin’s grandfather.
During William Henry Harrison’s 1840 campaign against incumbent Martin Van Buren, a newspaper in Baltimore openly dismissed Harrison’s candidacy, implying he was a simpleton, ready to be put out to pasture: “Give him a barrel of hard cider, and settle a pension of $2,000 on him, and our word for it, he will sit the remainder of his days in his log cabin by the side of the sea-coal fire and study moral philosophy.” The image of Harrison as a log cabin-dwelling “everyman,” enjoying a good cider and a warm fire, was exactly what the Whigs needed to energize the masses.
Benjamin Harrison presided over the first Billion Dollar Congress, which Democrats capitalized on to defeat him in 1892 and re-install President Cleveland.
Campaign ribbon from Heritage Auctions (HA.com)