James Henry Harris Papers

Back in February, I came across the James Henry Harris Papers and I spent February and March scanning, transcribing and creating metadata for the collection which is now available online.

James Henry Harris was a free African American who lived in Granville County, where he worked as an apprentice to an upholsterer.  Part of this collection includes a court document recording an oath given by John Dickuson that James Harris was a free man of color. Oath to the status of James Henry Harris, March 3, 1848.

Harris left North Carolina prior to the Civil War and moved to Oberlin, Ohio, to go to school. Afterward he traveled to Canada and Africa. On his return to the United States he lived in Indiana, was appointed as a recruiting officer, and was given authorization to recruit “colored troops” in Indiana. Appointment December 23, 1863.

After the war, Harris returned to North Carolina where he was a prominent member of the Republican Party and served in the State Legislature in 1868, 1872 and 1883.  Many of the documents in his collection relate to the Reconstruction Period in North Carolina and are listed are listed below.

Appointment: New England Freedman’s Aid Society, A teacher of Freed People in North Carolina

 Letter of Appointment: Grand National Council of the Union League of America, January 13, 1867

Letter: J.M. Edmunds to James Henry Harris, March 26, 1867

 Secret Circular: Executive Committee of the Union League of America, New York, July 8, 1864

Proclamation: the Grand National Council of the Loyal League of Union Citizens, January 1, 1864

Petition to Congress of the United States of America, July8, 1867

Letter: Nelson A. Miles, May 9, 1868   

Letter of Introduction: For A. W. Tourgee and James H. Harris from W. W. Holden, May 12, 1868

Letter of Introduction: For James H. Harris from Charles Sumner a U. S. Senator from Massachusetts, May 31, 1868 

 Letter of introduction: For James H. Harris from the Bureau of Refugees, Freedman, and Abandoned Lands, June 1, 1868

Certificate of Appointment: James H. Harris to City Commissioner for Raleigh, N. C., July 13, 1868

North Carolina Agricultural Society Certificate, August 18, 1869 

Letter: W. W. White, August 8, 1871

Letter: Governor Tod Robinson Caldwell to James H. Harris, Dec. 4, 1872

Letter: John Pool to James H. Harris, March 31, 1873

Certificate of appointment: North Carolina Deaf and Dumb and the Blind     

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3 Responses to James Henry Harris Papers

  1. Pingback: Good Friday Hours, YouTube Videos, the 1940 Census, and a Civil War Update « History For All the People

  2. Amber says:

    Oh my gosh! You have no idea how much this post just made my day!!! I am doing research on the founding of the colored department of the NC School for the Deaf in 1869 and was just googling James Henry Harris because I saw his name in a book and here you are with all of these wonderful digitized sources!!! I cannot tell you how happy that made me, especially since one is his appointment to the Board! Thank you so much!!

  3. Jeanie says:

    Does anyone have a picture of Mr. Harris?

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