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Anna Tuthill Symmes

Anna Tuthill Symmes Harrison (1775-1864) was the wife of United States President William Henry Harrison and the grandmother of President Benjamin Harrison. She was born in near Morristown, New Jersey in on July 25, 1775 to John Cleves and Anna Tuthill Symmes of Long Island. When her mother died in 1776 her father disguised himself as a British soldier to carry her on horseback through the British lines to her grandparents on Long Island, who cared for her during the rest of the war.

When she was thirteen years old, she went with her father and stepmother into the Ohio wilderness in spite of Indian dangers, and settled at North Bend, Ohio. A few years later she met young army officer, William Harrison, who was stationed at Fort Washington, a military post long since covered by downtown Cincinnati. The young couple was married on November 25, 1795 at North Bend. The bride and groom were 20 and 22 years old. Over the years the couple had six sons and four daughters: Elizabeth (1795), John Cleves (1798), Lucy (1800), William Henry, Jr. (1802), John Scott (1804), Benjamin (1806), Mary (1809), Carter (1811), Anna (1813), and James (died as an infant).

When her husband was inaugurated in 1841, she was detained by illness at their home in North Bend. She was packing for the move to the White House when she learned of William's death in Washington. After his death she lived with her son (John Scott Harrison) in North Bend, and helped raise his children, including eight year old Benjamin who became President of the United States. She died at the age of 88, on February 25, 1864 at home in North Bend, Ohio.

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