Ask someone to name an American President and you can bet your bottom dollar that they will not come out with “William Henry Harrison” This is because Harrison is truly America’s forgotten President. Other Presidents have tried hard to do things that they could be remembered for. George Washington was the only president in the history of America who was unable to lie, Abraham Lincoln got himself shot whilst watching a production of “No Sex Please, We’re British” at the Alhambra Theatre in Brooklyn, Bill Clinton got into trouble for putting a cigar into a woman’s front bottom. Then there’s Herbert Hoover, who invented the vacuum cleaner, Richard Nixon, who invented the tape recorder, or George Bush who came back from the dead as his own father. Their unique achievements guaranteed them a place in history of the land of the free. But William Henry Harrison’s only claim to fame was to catch a cold and die within weeks of being sworn into office in the spring of 1841.
Or was it?
Papers which have recently come to light suggest that rather than perishing of the common cold, Harrison was secretly done away with by a cartel made up of rich and powerful Americans, because they feared that his unorthodox political beliefs may have shook the fabric of mid nineteenth century American Society.
Dr Nigel Quel Dommage of the Department of Presidential Peculiarities, at the University of the Third Age, Welwyn Garden City, Carolina, claims that throughout the 1841 election campaign, Harrison had concealed plans to abolish all private property and instigate collective ownership of the means of production throughout the United States during his presidency. He also intended to abolish religion, feeling strongly that this was a “pre requisite of the happiness of mankind”
Once the secret cartel got wind of these plans, Harrison’s days were numbered. There were too many interested vests in the states to allow those sort of ideas to take hold. At that time, America was largely governed by cowboys who were only interested in short term gain for themselves, and were ruthless in their exploitation of others for personal wealth. Unlike today, where progressive ideas are welcomed and freedom of speech and opinion are enshrined in the constitution.
Dr Quel Dommage claims to have seen evidence that Harrison was bundled into a sack and fed to grizzly bears on the North-Western frontier. However, he claims that this might be a smoke screen set up by supporters of Harrison, who smuggled him out of the country, to end his days heavily bearded and under an assumed name in the reading rooms of the British Museum.
There are even those who clam that his wife Emmylou crossed the atlantic with him, and that their English descendents include none other than George Harrison, the “fifth Beatle” and composer of the world famous “Bangladesh Concerto.”
So the next time that you are invited to forget a president of the U.S.A, forget someone more memorable, like Carter, Kennedy, or Roosevelt. Try and remember the name of William Henry Whatsisname – America’s forgotten president!