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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesVirginia

John Thomas HARRIS

(1823-1899)

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.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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