Harrison was the first member elected to the United States House of Representatives from the Northwest Territory, and later was the first Governor of the Indiana Territory. He famously led U.S. military and state militia forces against Native Americans at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, where he earned the nickname "Old Tippecanoe". He was promoted to major general in the regular United States Army in the subsequent War of 1812 (1812-1815) and served in the Battle of the Thames in Canada the following year. After the war, Harrison moved to Ohio, where he was elected again to the House of Representatives. In 1824, the state legislature elected him to the United States Senate; his term was truncated by his appointment as Minister Plenipotentiary to Gran Colombia in May 1828.
Harrison returned to private life in Ohio until 1836, when he was nominated for the presidency as the Whig Party candidate in the election of that year—he was defeated by Democrat Martin Van Buren. In 1840 the Party nominated Harrison again, with John Tyler as his running mate. Harrison and Tyler, known famously as “Tippecanoe and Tyler too”, defeated Van Buren in the 1840 election. Harrison was the oldest person sworn in as president until Ronald Reagan's inauguration in 1981. Harrison died of pneumonia a month after taking office, and Tyler assumed the presidency, setting a major precedent in succession. Due to Harrison's brief time in office, scholars and historians often forgo listing this president in historical rankings.