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.
Letter of Appointment: Grand National Council of the Union League of America, January 13, 1867
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
Certificate of appointment: North Carolina Deaf and Dumb and the Blind