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John T. Harris

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Subject: Elliott M. Braxton, Rees Bowen, Thomas Whitehead, John Letcher, Virginia Independents
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John T. Harris

John Thomas Harris
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 7th district
In office
March 4, 1873 – March 3, 1881
Preceded by Elliott M. Braxton
Succeeded by John Paul
Chairman of the Committee on Revision of Laws
In office
March 4, 1879 – March 3, 1881
Preceded by William Walsh
Succeeded by William C. Oates
Chairman of the Committee on Elections
In office
March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1879
Preceded by Horace B. Smith
Succeeded by William M. Springer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 6th district
In office
March 4, 1871 – March 3, 1873
Preceded by William Milnes, Jr.
Succeeded by Thomas Whitehead
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Rockingham County
In office
Alongside James Kenney
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1859 – March 3, 1861
Preceded by John Letcher
Succeeded by Rees Bowen
Personal details
Born (1823-05-08)May 8, 1823
Browns Gap, Virginia

October 14, 1899(1899-10-14) (aged 76#REDIRECT

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Political party Independent Democrat, Democrat
Profession Politician, Lawyer, Judge

John Thomas Harris (May 8, 1823 – October 14, 1899) was a nineteenth-century politician, lawyer and judge from Virginia. He was the first cousin of John Hill.


John T. Harris

Born in Browns Gap, Virginia, Harris completed academic studies, studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1845, commencing practice in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He was the commonwealth attorney for Rockingham County, Virginia from 1852 to 1859 and was elected an Independent Democrat to the United States House of Representatives in 1858, serving from 1859 to 1861. He ran for reelection, but the seat was terminated from Congress due to Virginia's secession from the Union on April 17, 1861. Harris was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1863 to 1865 and judge of the twelfth judicial circuit of Virginia from 1866 to 1869. On the readmission of Virginia to the Union in 1869, Harris ran for the House of Representatives at a special election held in July, 1869, but was unsuccessful. He was later elected back to the House as a Democrat in 1870, serving from 1871 to 1881. There, he served as chairman of the Committee on Elections from 1875 to 1879 and chairman of the Committee on Revision of Laws from 1879 to 1881. Harris declined a unanimous renomination in 1880. He served as chairman of the Virginia Democratic Convention in 1884 and was a commissioner to the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. He died in Harrisonburg, Virginia on October 14, 1899 and was interred there in Woodbine Cemetery.

Electoral history

  • 1870; Harris was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives unopposed.
  • 1874; Harris was re-elected with 73.6% of the vote, defeating Republican John F. Lewis and Independents John F. Early and O'Ferrall.
  • 1876; Harris was re-elected with 73.28% of the vote, defeating Republican Everett W. Early.
  • 1878; Harris was re-elected with 56.46% of the vote, defeating Conservative John Paul.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Letcher
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
Rees Bowen(1)
Preceded by
William Milnes, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Thomas Whitehead
Preceded by
Elliott M. Braxton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 7th congressional district

Succeeded by
John Paul
Notes and references
1. Because of Virginia's secession, the House seat was vacant for twelve years before Bowen succeeded Harris.

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