Image of Harris, Thomas L.

Harris, Thomas L.

b. October 29, 1816, in Norwich, Connecticut; d. November 24, 1858, in Petersburg, Illinois. In 1842, Harris was admitted to the Virginia bar, and that same year, he moved to Petersburg, Illinois. Three years later, Harris was elected to the state senate but declined to take the position due to the outbreak of the Mexican war. Instead, he enlisted in the military as a private and was elected major of the Fourth Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. After returning from the war, Harris was nominated by the Democrats and successfully won election to Congress over his opponent Stephen T. Logan.
Illinois State Register (Springfield, Illinois), November 25, 1858, 2; John M. Palmer, foreword, “Thomas Langrell Harris- A Biography by Stephen A. Douglas and James Shields” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (June, 1938), 31:160-65; Benjamin P. Thomas, Abraham Lincoln: A Biography (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952), 123. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.