Biography of CAROLINE LAVINIA SCOTT HARRISON

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CAROLINE LAVINIA SCOTT HARRISON
Caroline Lavinia Scott Harrison
1832-1892
Born: Oxford, OH
Married: Benjamin Harrison, 1853
Children: Russell, Mary
First Lady: 1889-1892

Mugs with Harrison

Caroline Harrison may be best remembered for having brought electric lights into the White House as part of her effort to modernize the presidential residence. It was observed somewhat uncharitably, that the Harrisons were actually quite leery of electricity and avoided touching the switches even if that meant going to sleep with the lights blazing! Mrs. Harrison provided quite a contrast to the young and vivacious Frances Cleveland, whom she had replaced as First lady. But Caroline had her own midwestern friendliness and charm, attributes sorely lacking in her husband. Benjamin Harrison, grandson of President William Henry Harrison, bore the nickname of "the human iceberg" and was known as a particularly aloof individual. The marriage, however, was a good one and they were quite devoted to one another. Caroline was popular enough to be named the first President General of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1890. One of her White House innovations was the now-established tradition of the White House Christmas Tree. She was also responsible for sorting out the disorganized White House china collection. During the last year of the President's term, Caroline Harrison died, probably of tuberculosis. President Harrison could not be consoled and he did not even campaign for re-election. He seemed almost relieved to return the Presidency to Cleveland. Three years after leaving the White House, the former President married Caroline's niece, Mary Scott Dimmick.