- Ira Harris
jr/sr=United States Senator
party= Whig, Republican
March 4, 1861– March 3, 1867
William H. Seward
date of birth=birth date|1802|5|31|mf=y
place of birth=
Charleston, New York, U.S.
date of death=death date and age|1875|12|2|1802|5|31|mf=y
place of death=
Albany, New York, U.S.
spouse=Clarissa T. Harris
Lawyer, Politician, Judge, Professor
Ira Harris (
May 31, 1802– December 2, 1875) was an American jurist and senator from New York. He was also a friend of Abraham Lincoln's.
Harris was born in
Charleston, New Yorkon May 31, 1802. He grew up on a farm in New York. Graduated from Union Collegein 1824, he studied law in Albany and in 1828 he was admitted to the bar. During the next seventeen years he attained a high rank in his profession. He was a member of the New York State Assemblyfrom 1844 to 1845. He joined the Whig Party and in 1846 was state senator and a delegate to the New York constitutional convention. In 1848 he became judge of the New York Supreme Court, serving for twelve years.
In 1861 he was appointed senator from New York to take the place of
William H. Sewardwho resigned when appointed Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln. In the senate, Harris served on the committee on foreign relations and judiciary and the select joint committee on the southern states. Although he supported the administration in the main, he did not fear to express his opposition to all measures, however popular at the time, that did not appear to him either wise or just. He visited Lincoln at the White Houseoften and grew a friendship with him. He was also a good friend of his precessor in the senate William H. Seward. Harris' son, William Harris, was a colonelin the Army Ordnance Department. Harris' daughter, Clara Harris, and his stepson/future son-in-law, Henry Rathbone(Clara and Henry where married in 1867, but where also step siblings, Harris having gotten remarried to Pauline Rathbone, Henry's mother) were the Lincoln's guests at Ford's Theatreon April 14, 1865when the president was shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth. Booth also stabbed Rathbone in the arm when he tried to stop the assassin from escaping.
Judge Harris was for more than twenty years professor of equity, jurisprudence and practice in the
Albany Law Schooland during his senatorial term delivered a course of lectures at the law school of Columbian University, Washington, D.C.. He died in Albany, New Yorkon December 2, 1875and is interned at Albany Rural Cemeterywith his first wife Clarissa.
Henry Riggs Rathbone, later became a congressmanfrom Illinoisfrom 1923 to his death in 1928.
* [http://www.mrlincolnandnewyork.org/inside.asp?ID=59&subjectID=3 Mr. Lincoln and New York: Ira Harris]
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=5225739 Ira Harris] at
Find A Grave
* [http://www.bufordsboys.com/IraHarris.htm Biography at Buford Boys]
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