William Alexander Harris (Virginia)
|William Alexander Harris|
August 24, 1805|
Fauquier County, Virginia
|Died||March 28, 1864
Pike County, Missouri
Early life and politics
Born near Warrenton, Virginia, Harris completed an academic course which included the study of law. He was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in the 1820s in Luray, Virginia. A delegate to the Virginia House of Delegates from 1830–1831, Harris could be considered one of the founders of Page County, Virginia, having secured the passage of the bill. As the first Clerk of the Court of Page County, beginning 23 May 1831, and attorney for the Commonwealth, Harris was also appointed as one of the commissioners to oversee the construction of the county offices. In September, 1837, the elder Harris continued in his multi-faceted roles and was responsible for donations for the opening of a road east through the Blue Ridge at Milam's Gap. In 1840, Harris held the distinguished position as Presidential elector on the Van Buren-Johnson ticket.
Connections with the Luray Cave
Harris may have been one of the fifteen original men to have thoroughly explored the Luray Cave in 1825. An article that he wrote about the cave was printed in the Shenandoah Herald in 1825, and may have been the first to ever appear describing the site.
Before his retiring to private life the elder Harris held a host of other positions including editor of the Spectator and The Constitution in Washington, D.C., and also chargé d'affaires to the Argentine Republic from 1846-1851. He moved to Pike County, Missouri and later returned to Washington, D.C. as editor of the Washington Union and printer to the United States Senate, 1857-1859. He died in Pike County, Missouri, March 28, 1864 and was interred in Riverview Cemetery, Louisiana, Missouri.
- Moore, Robert H. II, Short Historical Sketches of Page County, Virginia and Its People, Volume 2 ("The Harris family in Page County"); Heritage Books, Inc., 2005, pp. 193–194.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
Read in another language
This page is available in 1 language