[Harrison, William Henry. (1773 – 1841]) [Currier, Nathaniel. (1818 - 1888)]

"Death of Harrison, April 4 A.D. 1841"

Hand-colored lithograph by Currier depicting the death scene of President Harrison on April 4, 1841. His niece cries into her handkerchief as his nephew looks concerned towards his uncle. Other members of the cabinet mourn the loss of their leader. At the bottom of the lithograph it reads the last wishes of the President, "I wish you to understand the true principals of the Government. I wish them carried out. I ask nothing more." Small areas of scratching and abrasion to left curtain, scattered spots to margins, else fine. 13.75 x 9.6 inches. 

American military officer and politician Henry Harrison served as the ninth president of the United States in 1841. He died of typhoid, pneumonia, or paratyphoid fever 31 days into his term, becoming the first president to die in office and the shortest-serving president in US History. His death sparked a brief constitutional crisis regarding succession to the presidency, because the Constitution was unclear as to whether Vice President John Tyler should assume the office of president or merely execute the duties of the vacant office. Tyler claimed a constitutional mandate to become the new president and took the presidential oath of office, setting an important precedent for an orderly transfer of the presidency and its full powers when the previous president fails to complete the elected term. (5863)

Law, Politics & Social Sciences