Kenneth (kensmind) wrote in potus_geeks,

Presidents' Children: John Scott Harrison

Today is Mothers Day, and the first lady who was the mother of the most children was Anna Tuthill Symes Harrison, wife of President William Henry Harrison. Ironically, her husband had the shortest presidency of any president, and it was his successor who was the father of the most children (with two wives), but we'll talk more about him on Fathers Day.


Anna Harrison was the mother of ten children. She married her husband, William Henry Harrison, on November 22, 1795 at the home of Dr. Stephen Wood in North Bend, Ohio. Her husband was a soldier at the time and the couple honeymooned at Fort Washington. The couple had a happy marriage by all reports, but they had their share of tragedy as five of their children predeceased them, and all but one child outlived Anna (who lived until February of 1864). The names and timelines of the lives of their ten children are as follows:

1. Elizabeth Bassett Harrison (September 29, 1796 to September 27, 1846)
2. John Cleves Symmes Harrison (October 28, 1798 to October 30, 1830)
3. Lucy Singleton Harrison (September 5, 1800 to April 7, 1826)
4. William Henry Harrison Jr (September 3, 1802 to September 6, 1838)
5. John Scott Harrison (October 4, 1804 to May 25, 1878)
6. Benjamin Harrison (May 5, 1806 to June 9, 1840)
7. Mary Symmes Harrison (January 28, 1809 to November 16, 1842)
8. Carter Bassett Harrison (October 26, 1811 to August 12, 1839)
9. Anna Tuthill Harrison (October 28, 1813 to July 5, 1845)
10. James Findlay Harrison (May 15, 1814 to April 6, 1817)

Following her husband's death, Anna Harrison lived with her son John Scott in North Bend, and helped raise his children, including eight-year-old Benjamin Harrison who later became President of the United States.

John Scott Harrison, like his father, became active politically. He was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio and was also the only person to be both the child and the parent of U.S. Presidents. He did not live to see his son become President, and his father did not live to see John Harrison become a member of Congress.

In 1824 John Scott Harrison married Lucretia Knapp Johnson. She died six years later in 1830. They had three children together. On August 12, 1831 he married Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin and together they had ten children. Benjamin Harrison was their second child and second son.

John Scott Harrison was elected a Whig to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1852. He served from 1853 to 1857. After being defeated for a third term in 1856, Harrison retired to his estate "Point Farm" in North Bend, Ohio where he died on May 25, 1878. He was interred in the William Henry Harrison Tomb State Memorial in North Bend with his parents and other family members.


Harrison's body was stolen by grave robbers. At that time it was common practice for graves with recently deceased bodies to be robbed for use in teaching dissection and anatomy at medical colleges. On the day of Harrison’s funeral it was discovered that the body of young Augustus Devin, which had been buried the previous week in an adjoining grave, had been stolen. The following day, one of John Harrison’s sons, together with a friend of Devin, traveled to Cincinnati to look for his body. With search warrants in hand they went to the Ohio Medical College. They expected to find Devin’s body, but instead they found the body of John Scott Harrison. It was returned, and interred at the Harrison family tomb. After that, great precautions were taken to secure Harrison’s grave, including building a cemented brick vault, filling the grave with earth mixed with heavy stones, and employing a watchman to check the grave each hour of every night for a week.
Tags: benjamin harrison, first ladies, john tyler, mother's day, william henry harrison
  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded