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Presidential Administrations, Benjamin Harrison: Topics in Chronicling America

Benjamin Harrison took the oath of office in 1889. This guide provides access to materials related to the “Benjamin Harrison's administration” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"The President Elect. General Benjamin Harrison." November 15, 1888. Helena Weekly Herald (Helena, MT), Image 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Elected in one of the closest Presidential elections in United States history, Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901) took the oath of office in 1889. President Harrison presented an ambitious agenda of Pan-American cooperation and increased federal spending, however, opposition to the “billion dollar Congress” and high tariff rates ultimately led to his defeat in the 1892 election. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


November 1888 Benjamin Harrison defeats incumbent Grover Cleveland to become the 23rd President of the United States.
1889 First Pan-American Congress meets in Washington, DC.
The 51st Congress and Harrison appropriate $1,000,000,000 as the federal budget, earning the nickname “Billion-Dollar Congress” and scorn from Democrats October.
1892 Mrs. Harrison dies November.
1892 President Harrison is defeated by Grover Cleveland.