President Benjamin Harrison's grandfather, William Henry Harrison, served as the ninth President of the United States, and his great-grandfather, also named Benjamin, signed the Declaration of Independence. It was only natural that Benjamin Harrison would gravitate toward law and politics. As a young man, Benjamin Harrison moved to Indianapolis, read law and opened his own law office when his studies were finished.
Harrison was eventually elected Reporter of the Supreme Court of Indiana, and he was the (unsuccessful) Republican candidate for governor of Indiana in 1876. Benjamin Harrison was elected to the United States Senate in 1880 and served from 1881 to 1887. In 1888, he ran for President against Grover Cleveland.
Benjamin Harrison conducted his campaign from this library in his Indianapolis home, in a style now called a "front porch campaign." Harrison did not travel around the country to campaign, but gave speeches in Indianapolis. The campaign was successful; Harrison defeated Cleveland and moved with his family to Washington, DC in 1889. As President, Benjamin Harrison traveled extensively, touring the United States by train. Sadly, President Harrison's wife, Caroline, died of tuberculosis just a few weeks before the 1892 election; because of her illness, the President did not actively campaign, and he lost the election to Grover Cleveland.