Benjamin Harrison (August 20th, 1833 - March 13th, 1901) was the 23rd president of the United States who served from 1889 to 1893, preceded and succeded by Grover Cleveland. He was also the only president to be the grandson of a previous president (William Henry Harrison).
Wounded Knee Massacre
Harrison's most notorious actions involve the repression of the Native Americans, most notably the Lakota Sioux. Many of them, previously confined to South Dakotan reservations, participated in a spiritual movement called the Ghost Dance, which would apparently make the white Americans leave the country and restore peace within the Indians.
Due to paranoia, Harrison, including many others in Washington, believed this was a militant movement used to rebel against the American government, and troops from the Seventh Cavalry clashed with them at the Wounded Knee. This would result in the infamous Wounded Knee Massacre, where at least 146 Sioux were killed, and all of them buried in a mass pit. Harrison ordered General Nelson Miles to investigate and to put 3500 federal troops into South Dakota to put an end to the uprising.
Harrison believed this act to be successful and opened up millions of acres of Indian territory for white settlers, acquiring several states, and forced the Natives out of the land.
- Similarly to George Armstrong Custer, he was from a small town in Ohio and was in the American Civil War as a Union Soldier prior to his atrocities. However, Custer, unlike Harrison, was never President.
- He was of English, Scottish, Northern Irish, and Welsh descent.
- He was also a great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison V, a founding father who signed the United States Declaration of Independence.