This cream pitcher bearing a portrait of William Henry Harrison was made in England for the 1840 U. S. presidential campaign. The creamer measures 5" by 3.5" (13.5 by 9 cm). Historians have described the 1840 campaign as the first modern political campaign. Harrison broke with tradition and campaigned actively for president on the Whig ticket. The log cabin became the symbol of Harrison's campaign when his Democratic opponents ridiculed him, saying he would be content to spend his days in a log cabin drinking hard cider. Harrison's supporters turned this insult around to portray Harrison as a man of the people.
William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) was a member of a prominent Virginia family who made a career of the army where he served as aide-de-camp to Mad Anthony Wayne during the Battle of Fallen Timbers. After moving to Ohio, he became secretary of the Northwest Territory and served as the territory's first representative to Congress. In 1801, Harrison became governor of the Indiana Territory and served in that position for 12 years. As governor, one of Harrison's major responsibilities was to obtain title to Indian lands to accommodate white settlement. Harrison achieved his greatest fame during the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. He was planning an attack on an Indian settlement known as Prophet's town. Instead, the Indians attacked Harrison's camp on the Tippecanoe River. Harrison's troops repulsed the Indians, but suffered almost 200 dead and wounded. During the War of 1812, Harrison commanded the Army of the Northwest and attained the rank of brigadier general. In 1813, he defeated the combined forces of the British and American Indians at the Battle of the Thames, where chief Tecumseh was killed.