When William Henry Harrison and John Tyler ran for office, they were nicknamed the fertility ticket. Between the two of them, they had 25 children. Each and every time I think about that, I feel all of my internal organs quiver in fear upon even considering what it would be like to birth as many children as either (well, any–John Tyler married twice) of their wives did.
There are so many little things to remember about this whole Harrison-Tyler thing, if you’re so inclined to think about these sorts of things. “Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too,” was one of their campaign slogans. Like many before, and many after him, Harrison’s military performance gave him political cachet. In this case General Harrison led the battle against the Shawnee at the Battle of Tippecanoe.
William Henry Harrison was old when he ran for office. At his inauguration, he was 68 years old. This was 68 years old in 1840, which is a little different than being 68 years old today. In fact, opponents, in reference to his age suggested that he be given a barrel of hard cider and a pension to ease him into a quiet retirement (at his log cabin).
His party, the Whigs, took advantage of this quip and turned this into a part of the campaign. They represented William Henry Harrison as the log cabin candidate, convincing folks that, unlike Van Buren, he was a common man of humble origins. However, this wasn’t the case. Harrison was the well-born of the two, and Van Buren is who had come from a poor background. It’s interesting that the first president to actively campaign for the office, introduced elements that stay with us now. Hey, here’s a relatable story! Hey, here is how the candidate is just like you! Hey, here is how he’s different from the other guy!
Though his campaign was successful, tragedy followed for President Harrison. After delivering a long inaugural speech in the cold with no outerwear (he wanted to look like a vigorous man who could handle the elements), he fell ill. His illness developed into the pneumonia that would kill him on his 32nd day in the job.
This also gave us the practice of the Vice President becoming president in the event that the president dies. The Cake: During the Log Cabin and Hard Cider campaign, these candidates essentially threw parties. There were songs! The hard cider flowed as did whiskey. These are the flavors that I called upon for this cake. The cupcake is apple-flavored, using apple butter. There is a bit of whiskey in the cake as well. The cupcake is filled with an apple whipped cream and a small bit of apple butter. Finally, it is topped with whiskey buttercream frosting.