175 years Later: The Death of William Henry Harrison and the Crisis of Office

On April 4th 1841 William Henry Harrison became the first person to die while serving as President of the United States of America. This created problem for our nation.  Was  Vice-president John Taylor the new president? The constitution states “In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President”

The question had arisen, “Did Tyler gain the office of president, or just the powers of it?” Harrison’s cabinet believed that it was just the powers. Tyler said that it was the full office. He took the oath of office to end the debate. It was his choice to be strong that set a precedent that has been used over the next 175 years.

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