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Jane Irwin Harrison facts for kids

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Jane Irwin Harrison
Harrison jane.jpg
Acting First Lady of the United States
In role
March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
Serving with Anna Harrison
President William Henry Harrison
Preceded by Angelica Van Buren (Acting)
Succeeded by Letitia Christian Tyler
Personal details
Jane Irwin

(1804-07-23)July 23, 1804
Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died May 11, 1847(1847-05-11) (aged 42)
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
William Henry Harrison Jr.
(m. 1821; died 1838)

Lewis Whiteman
(m. 1842)

Jane Harrison (née Irwin; July 23, 1804 – May 11, 1845 or 1847) briefly acted as first lady of the United States, performing the duties of presidential hostess during the administration of her father-in-law William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the United States. She was also an aunt-in-law and an aunt of the 23rd president of the United States, Benjamin Harrison.

Family life

Stone house Irwinton Mills FrnkCo PA
Birthplace of Jane Irwin Harrison in Irwinton Mills, near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.

Born as Jane Irwin in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania on July 23, 1804, Jane Irwin Harrison was a granddaughter of James Ramsey, the owner of Millmont Farm in Montgomery Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

Her parents, who had been married in 1798, were Archibald Irwin II (1772–1840) and Mary (Ramsey) Irwin (1781–1813). Following her mother's death in 1813, her father remarried, and Jane and her siblings were adopted by their father's second wife, Sidney (Grubb) Irwin (1789–1869). Her father and stepmother later died in 1840 and 1869, respectively.

Marriage and children

Jane Irwin married William Henry Harrison, Jr., a son of General William Henry Harrison. The couple had two children: James Findlay Harrison and William Henry Harrison III. .....

Relationship to a second American president

Her sister, Elizabeth Ramsey Irwin (1810–1850), married John Scott Harrison, another son of William Henry Harrison, in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1831. Benjamin Harrison, Elizabeth's son, later became the 23rd president of the United States.

Filling in for the First Lady

In 1840 William Henry Harrison was elected president. His wife Anna was too ill to travel when her husband left Ohio for his inauguration, but assisted by her aunt, Jane Irwin Findlay (her father's sister, who was then seventy-three), Jane Irwin Harrison acted as official hostess during President Harrison's brief tenure in office. Barely a month into his first term, he died from pneumonia on April 4, 1841.


Jane Irwin Harrison died in her early 40s from tuberculosis in Cincinnati. While cemetery records indicate that her date of death was May 6, 1847, historians at the National First Ladies' Library have stated that her year of death was 1845.

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