Military Wiki
Thomas L. Harris
Member of the United States House of Representatives
In office
March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1851
Preceded by Abraham Lincoln
Succeeded by Richard Yates
Member of the United States House of Representatives
In office
March 4, 1855 – November 24, 1858
Preceded by John Alexander McClernand
Succeeded by James C. Allen
Personal details
Born Thomas Langrell Harris
(1816-10-20)October 20, 1816
Norwich, Connecticut, US
Died November 24, 1858(1858-11-24) (aged 42)
Springfield, Illinois, US
Resting place Rose Hill Cemetery, Petersburg, Illinois, US
Nationality American
Political party Democratic Party
Alma mater Washington College, Hartford, Connecticut, US
Occupation Congressman, School commissioner
Profession Lawyer, Politician
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch US Army
Years of service 1846–1847
Rank Major
Unit 4th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars Battle of Cerro Gordo
Awards Sword for gallantry by the State of Illinois.

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.


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

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Abraham Lincoln
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 7th congressional district

Succeeded by
Richard Yates
Preceded by
John A. McClernand
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
James C. Allen

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).