Thomas L. Harris
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Thomas L. Harris
Thomas L. Harris
Hon. Harris - NARA - 528403.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 7th congressional district

March 4, 1849 - March 3, 1851
Abraham Lincoln
Richard Yates
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 6th congressional district

March 4, 1855 - November 24, 1858
John Alexander McClernand
James C. Allen
Personal details
Thomas Langrell Harris

(1816-10-20)October 20, 1816
Norwich, Connecticut, US
DiedNovember 24, 1858(1858-11-24) (aged 42)
Springfield, Illinois, US
Resting placeRose Hill Cemetery, Petersburg, Illinois, US
Political partyDemocratic Party
Alma materWashington College, Hartford, Connecticut, US
OccupationCongressman, School commissioner
ProfessionLawyer, Politician
AwardsSword for gallantry by the State of Illinois.
Military service
AllegianceUnited States of America
Branch/serviceUS Army
Years of service1846-1847
Unit4th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Battles/warsBattle of Cerro Gordo

Thomas Langrell Harris (October 29, 1816 - November 24, 1858) was a soldier in the United States Army and U.S. Representative from Illinois. Harris was decorated for bravery at the Battle of Cerro Gordo during the Mexican-American War, and served in Congress as a Democrat.

Early life

Born in Norwich, Connecticut, Harris pursued classical studies and was graduated from Washington (now Trinity) College, Hartford, Connecticut, in 1841 where he studied law.

Early career

He was admitted to the bar in 1842 and commenced practice in Petersburg, Illinois. He was made School commissioner for Menard County in 1845.

Military service

During the Mexican-American War, he raised and commanded a company and joined the Fourth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Harris was subsequently elected major of the regiment. Whilst absent and with the US Army, Harris was elected a member of the State senate in 1846. He was presented with a sword by the State of Illinois for gallantry at the Battle of Cerro Gordo, Mexico.

Later political career

Harris was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-first Congress (March 4, 1849 - March 3, 1851). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1850 to the Thirty-second Congress. He was not a candidate in 1852.

Harris was elected to the Thirty-fourth Congress and Thirty-fifth Congresses and served from March 4, 1855, until his death. He served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Navy (Thirty-fourth Congress), Committee on Elections (Thirty-fifth Congress) and was re-elected to the Thirty-sixth Congress.

Harristown Township, Macon County, Illinois and the Village of Harristown [formerly Summit] were named in his honor.


Harris died in Springfield, Illinois, November 24, 1858, and is interred in Rose Hill Cemetery, Petersburg, Illinois. He has a cenotaph at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC.

See also


  • United States Congress. "Thomas L. Harris (id: H000255)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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