William Henry Harrison becomes the first candidate to actually campaign for the office of president during election of 1840.

Whistlestop: The Art of Political Umbrage-Taking

Whistlestop: The Art of Political Umbrage-Taking

Bite-sized stories from presidential campaign history.
March 11 2015 12:01 PM

The Art of Political Umbrage-Taking

Slate’s new podcast about presidential history revisits the election of 1840, when William Henry Harrison became the first candidate to actually campaign for the job.


Listen to Episode 3 of Whistlestop:

Whistlestop is Slate’s new bite-sized podcast about presidential campaign history. Hosted by our chief political correspondent and Political Gabfest panelist John Dickerson, each weekly installment will revisit a memorable (or even a forgotten) moment from America’s quadrennial carnival.


This week’s episode recalls the 1840 campaign of presidential candidate William Henry Harrison, humble farmer of North Bend, Ohio, and hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe. Or at least that was the folksy image manufactured by the Whigs through a strategy of umbrage-taking and personal pandering. Listen as John Dickerson spins a rollicking tale of log cabins, hard cider, and rhyming political slogans.

This week’s show is sponsored by The Great Courses and its series “Turning Points in American History.” Get it at 80 percent off the original price by visiting Whistlestop’s page at TheGreatCourses.com.

Love Slate podcasts? Listen longer with Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, ad-free versions, exclusive podcasts and more. Start your two-week free trial at slate.com/podcastplus.

John Dickerson is a co-anchor of CBS This Morning, co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest, host of the Whistlestop podcast, and author of Whistlestop and On Her Trail.