Joseph Merrill Harper (June 21, 1787 – January 15, 1865) was an American physician, banker and Jacksonian politician in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. He served as a member of the United States House of Representatives, the New Hampshire State Senate and the New Hampshire House of Representatives and was Acting Governor of New Hampshire.

Joseph Merrill Harper
Joseph M. Harper NH.jpg
Member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives
In office
1826–1827
Member of the New Hampshire State Senate
In office
1829–1830
President of the New Hampshire Senate
In office
1830–1831
Preceded bySamuel Cartland
Succeeded bySamuel Cartland
Governor of New Hampshire
Acting
In office
February 28, 1831 – June 2, 1831
Preceded byMatthew Harvey
Succeeded bySamuel Dinsmoor
Member of the United States House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's At large district
In office
March 4, 1831 – March 4, 1835
Preceded byJonathan Harvey
Succeeded bySamuel Cushman
Personal details
Born(1787-06-21)June 21, 1787
Limerick, Massachusetts, U.S.
(now Limerick, Maine)
DiedJanuary 15, 1865(1865-01-15) (aged 77)
Canterbury, New Hampshire, U.S.
Resting placeVillage Cemetery
Political partyJacksonian
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Clough
ProfessionPhysician
Banker
Politician
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Army, 4th Infantry
RankAssistant Surgeon
Battles/warsWar of 1812

Early life and careerEdit

Harper was born in Limerick (in modern-day Maine, then a part of Massachusetts) and attended Fryeburg Academy.[1] He studied medicine and began the practice of medicine in Sanbornton, New Hampshire in 1810.[2] In 1811, he moved to Canterbury, New Hampshire to continue his practice. He served as assistant surgeon in the 4th Infantry in the War of 1812.[3] After the war he returned to his medical practice, and was elected a Fellow of the New Hampshire Medical Society in 1821.[4]

Political careerEdit

He was a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 1826 and 1827, and justice of the peace in Canterbury from 1826–1865.[5] Harper served in the New Hampshire State Senate in 1829 and 1830, and was president of the State Senate in 1831. He became Acting Governor of New Hampshire in February 1831 when Governor Matthew Harvey resigned as governor in order to accept a position as a United States federal judge. Harper served as Acting Governor from February 1831 – June 1831.[6]

Harper was elected as a Jacksonian candidate to the Twenty Second and Twenty Third Congresses, serving as a U.S. Representative from March 4, 1831 – March 3, 1835.[7]

After leaving Congress, he resumed the practice of medicine. He was justice of the peace from 1835–1865 and president of the Mechanics Bank of Concord from 1847–1856.[8]

Harper died on January 15, 1865 in Canterbury,[9] and is interred in the Village Cemetery.

Personal lifeEdit

Harper married Elizabeth Clough on June 6, 1816. They had two sons and a daughter.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lanman, Charles (2006). Dictionary of the United States Congress. Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan Library. p. 168.
  2. ^ Monthly Biographical Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 1. 1852. p. 57.
  3. ^ Wilson, James Grant and Fiske, John (1888). Appletons' Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume 3. D. Appleton. p. 88.
  4. ^ New-Hampshire Medical Society (1911). Records of the New Hampshire medical society from its organization in 1791 to the year 1854. Rumford printing co. p. 161.
  5. ^ Livingston, John (1853). Biographical sketches of distinguished Americans now living. Published at 157 Broadway. p. 58.
  6. ^ "Publications – Portraits of Legislators On State House Third Floor". New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources. Archived from the original on December 13, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2013.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  7. ^ Lanman, Charles and Morrison, Joseph M. (1887). Biographical Annals of the Civil Government of the United States. J.M. Morrison. p. 218.
  8. ^ Wilson, James Grant and Fiske, John (1888). Appletons' Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume 3. D. Appleton. p. 88.
  9. ^ "Publications – Portraits of Legislators On State House Third Floor". New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  10. ^ Livingston, John (1853). Biographical sketches of distinguished Americans now living. Published at 157 Broadway. p. 58.

External linksEdit


Political offices
Preceded by
Matthew Harvey
Acting Governor of New Hampshire
February 28, 1831 – June 1831
Succeeded by
Samuel Dinsmoor
Preceded by
Samuel Cartland
President of the New Hampshire Senate
1830– 1831
Succeeded by
Samuel Cartland
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jonathan Harvey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's At-large congressional district

1831–1835
Succeeded by
Samuel Cushman