After running a successful campaign as one of the first presidents to utilize a catchy slogan- which was “Tippecanoe and Tyler too”- President William Howard Harrison dies one month into his term. Harrison, the first Whig president, defeated Martin Van Buren in the previous year’s election and was inaugurated on March 3, 1841. This day turned out to be bitterly cold and Harrison refused to wear a jacket, he then attended three different inauguration balls that same day. He contracted pneumonia soon after, which would take his life a short month later. As a man of firsts he is also the first and only president that held office for a month- the shortest term in history. His Vice President, John Tyler, also was the first man to ever gain the presidential title due to the death of the president.
Like President Harrison’s term, the elusive 1841 Liberty Head Quarter Eagle, titled the “Little Princess,” had a record low mintage and is reported to have been a proof-only strike. While this coin is Almost Uncirculated, it is likely it originated as a proof that somehow ended up in circulation. Like the origins of the “Little Princess” nickname, business strike mintage numbers are unknown but there was an estimated fifteen to twenty proofs minted. Coincidentally there are only fifteen to eighteen surviving examples known today. A perfect representative of the tragedy and short lived term of President Harrison as this coin is also a surprising product of coincidence.