Review of “Mr. Jefferson’s Hammer: William Henry Harrison” by Robert Owens

My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies

Mr. Jefferson’s Hammer: William Henry Harrison and the Origins of American Indian Policy” was authored by Robert Owens and published in 2007.  Owens is an associate professor of history at Wichita State University specializing in Colonial, Revolutionary and Early American history (including Indian affairs). This is Owens’s first book, and he is currently working on a book on the Southern Indians.

Owens’s self-described “cultural biography” grew out of his 2003 PhD dissertation and was greatly aided by the Indiana Historical Society’s publication in 1999 of several thousand documents related to Harrison’s activities in the Indiana Territory.  These offered a fresh, and more thorough, look at Harrison’s early years on the northwestern frontier and provided new insight into his evolution from army officer to frontier governor and, eventually, to President of the United States.

As others have pointed out, this is not really a presidential biography, but rather an…

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