Sampson Willis Harris

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Sampson Willis Harris
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 7th district
In office
March 4, 1855 – March 3, 1857
Preceded byJames Ferguson Dowdell
Succeeded byJabez Lamar Monroe Curry
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1847 – March 3, 1855
Preceded bySamuel W. Mardis
Succeeded byGeorge W. Crabb
Member of the Alabama Senate
In office
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Sampson Willis Harris

(1809-02-23)February 23, 1809
Elbert County, Georgia
DiedApril 1, 1857(1857-04-01) (aged 48)
Washington, D.C.
Political partyJacksonian

Sampson Willis Harris was an American politician and lawyer in the states of Georgia and Alabama.

Early years and education[edit]

Harris was born on February 23, 1809, in Elbert County, Georgia, to Stephen Willis Harris, a judge of the Superior court, and Sarah Herndon Harris. Young Harris graduated from the University of Georgia in Athens in 1828, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1830. Harris established his law practice in Athens.[1][2]

Political career[edit]

Harris was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1833, and served one term from 1834 to 1835.

After moving to Wetumpka, Alabama in 1838, Harris was elected as the solicitor of the eighth circuit in 1841. He then served in the Alabama Senate in 1844 and 1845. Harris was then elected in 1846 to represent Alabama's 3rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives during the 30th United States Congress and was reelected to three additional terms (31st, 32nd and 33rd Congresses) in that seat from March 4, 1847, until March 3, 1855. Harris won election to Alabama's 7th congressional district in 1854 and served in the 34th Congress and served from March 4, 1855, until March 3, 1857.[1][2]

Death and legacy[edit]

Harris did not seek reelection in 1856 and died on April 1, 1857, in Washington, D. C., less than a month after leaving congressional office. He was survived by his wife, Paulina Harris, and four of his five siblings. A small monument still stands in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C., commemorating Harris and his work for his country. He was buried in Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens.[1] His son, Sampson Watkins Harris, was born in Wetumpka, Alabama on March 29, 1828, but later moved to Georgia and graduated from the University of Georgia. Sampson Watkins Harris practiced law, served as a colonel in the Confederate States Army, was Georgia adjutant-general, and was offered appointments to the Supreme Court of Georgia and the position of Georgia Secretary of State, both of which he declined.[2][3]


  1. ^ a b c "Sampson W. Harris". Digital Humanities - University of Georgia. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Allen Daniel Candler; Clement Anselm Evans (1906). Georgia: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons Arranged in Cyclopedic Form ... State historical association. pp. 221–223.
  3. ^ Georgia. Supreme Court; John Erskine (1915). Reports of Cases Decided in the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia. Harrison Company. pp. 851–854.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 3rd congressional district

March 4, 1847 – March 3, 1855
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 7th congressional district

March 4, 1855 – March 3, 1857
Succeeded by