HARRIS, John Thomas

HARRIS, John Thomas
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
1823–1899

Biography

HARRIS, John Thomas, (cousin of John Hill of Virginia), a Representative from Virginia; born at Browns Gap, Albemarle County, Va., May 8, 1823; completed academic studies; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1845 and commenced practice in Harrisonburg; Commonwealth attorney for Rockingham County, Va., 1852-1859; elected as an Independent Democrat to the Thirty-sixth Congress (March 4, 1859-March 3, 1861); was nominated for reelection in 1860 but no election was held, Virginia having seceded from the Union on April 17, 1861; member of the State house of delegates 1863-1865; judge of the twelfth judicial circuit 1866-1869; on the readmission of Virginia to representation was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress at a special election held in July 1869; elected as a Democrat to the Forty-second and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1871-March 3, 1881); chairman, Committee on Elections (Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Congresses), Committee on Revision of the Laws (Forty-sixth Congress); declined a unanimous renomination; chairman of the Virginia Democratic convention in 1884; commissioner to the World's Fair at Chicago; died in Harrisonburg, Va., October 14, 1899; interment in Woodbine Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

James Madison University
Special Collections, Carrier Library

Harrisonburg, VA
Papers: ca. 1771-1937, 7 boxes and 2 oversized folders. The collection includes personal papers, political papers, correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia. There is also autobiographical and genealogical material, congressional speeches and election returns. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.
Papers: In the William Nelson Pendleton papers, 1871, 3 pages. A letter from William Nelson Pendleton to Harris written on May 24, 1871. The letter was written to Harris on behalf of Henry Clay White, seeking appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

College of William and Mary
Earl Gregg Swem Library

Williamsburg, VA
Papers: In the Hodgson papers, 1805-1874, 167 items. The papers include a printed speech of Harris' from 1874. An inventory is available in the repository.

University of North Carolina
Southern Historical Collection

Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: In the Bedford Brown papers, 1779-1906, 64 items. Harris included among people represented in the collection.
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