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Nathaniel Edwin Harris

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nathaniel Edwin Harris
Nathaniel Harris 1882.png
Nathaniel E. Harris, circa 1882
61st Governor of Georgia
In office
June 26, 1915 – June 30, 1917
Preceded byJohn M. Slaton
Succeeded byHugh M. Dorsey
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
In office
1882-1885
Personal details
Born(1846-01-21)January 21, 1846
Jonesborough, Tennessee
DiedSeptember 21, 1929(1929-09-21) (aged 83)
Hampton, Tennessee
Resting placeRose Hill Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Fannie Burke
Hattie Gibson Jobe
Alma materUniversity of Georgia
OccupationLawyer
Military service
Branch/serviceConfederate States Army
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

Nathaniel Edwin Harris (January 21, 1846 – September 21, 1929) was an American lawyer and politician, and the 61st Governor of Georgia.[1]

Early life

Harris was born in Jonesboro, Tennessee, in 1846 and moved to Georgia during the American Civil War to escape Union troops. At the age of sixteen, he joined the infantry of the Confederate States Army and served until the end of the American Civil War eventually becoming an officer in the 16th Virginia Cavalry. After the war, he returned to his family's home in Tennessee; however, they soon moved to Bartow County, Georgia. In 1867, Harris attended the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens, was a member of Chi Phi fraternity and the Phi Kappa Literary Society, and graduated in 1870 with a B.A. degree. In 1889, he became a UGA trustee and served on that board until his death.

After graduating college, Harris taught school for two years, studied law, and gained admittance to the state bar. He moved to Macon, Georgia in 1873. He joined with future UGA chancellor Walter Barnard Hill to form the law firm of Hill and Harris. From 1874 to 1882, he also served as the Macon city attorney.

Political life and the formation of the Georgia Institute of Technology

The founding of the Georgia School of Technology I regard as the most important event, of a public nature, that occurred in my life.[2]

— Nathaniel E. Harris, Autobiography, 1925

Harris was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1882 as a representative of Bibb County and was reelected through 1885. His campaign platform when running was the establishment of a technological college. As a state representative in 1882, Harris introduced the bill to establish the Georgia Institute of Technology (originally called the Georgia School of Technology until assuming its current name in 1948).[3] That bill was approved by the Georgia General Assembly on October 13, 1885, after failing to pass through the legislature in 1883 and again in 1884. Harris received public support in this matter from Henry W. Grady and John Fletcher Hanson.

The bill called for Governor Henry Dickerson McDaniel to appoint a five-member commission to select the location of the new school and organize it. Harris was named to that group as chairman alongside Samuel N. Inman from Atlanta as the treasurer, Oliver S. Porter from Newnan, Georgia, Edward R. Hodgson Sr. from Athens, and Judge Columbus Heard from Greene County, Georgia.

Meeting in Atlanta on October 19, 1886, the committee took 23 separate ballots amongst themselves before selecting Atlanta for the school's location over Macon, Milledgeville, Athens and Penfield. Harris, Hodgson and Inman voted for their cities of residence on every ballot with Porter and Heard voting for Atlanta on the last ballot to give that city a majority. Harris was named the president of the school's Board of Trustees, and he served in that position the rest of his life.

Elected to the Georgia Senate from 1894 to 1895, Harris then served as judge of the Superior Court of the Macon Circuit from 1912 until his resignation in 1915 to successfully run for Governor of Georgia. He was sworn in on June 26, 1915, and served until 1917 being the last governor of Georgia born outside the state of Georgia. During his tenure, Harris was noted for signing Prohibition into state law. He returned to his Macon law practice after his gubernatorial term and served as Pension Commissioner of Georgia from 1924 to 1925 in addition to being president of the Electoral College of Georgia.

Harris was a first cousin of Alfred Alexander Taylor and Robert Love Taylor, both of whom were United States Congressmen from, and Governors of, Tennessee.

Death

Harris died at his summer home in Hampton, Tennessee in 1929 and was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon.

See also

References

  1. ^ National Governors Association
  2. ^ Harris, Nathaniel E. (1925). Autobiography: the story of an old man's life, with reminiscences of seventy-five years. The J.W. Burke company. p. 222.
  3. ^ Harris, Nathaniel Edwin (1884). Address on technical education ... delivered before the Georgia State Agricultural Society, at its meeting in Savannah, Ga., February 12th, 1884. Macon: J.W. Burke. Retrieved June 20, 2016.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
John M. Slaton
Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia
1914
Succeeded by
Hugh Dorsey
Political offices
Preceded by
John M. Slaton
Governor of Georgia
June 26, 1915 – 1917
Succeeded by
Hugh M. Dorsey
This page was last edited on 13 May 2020, at 18:03
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