Joseph S. (Joseph Smith) Harris.

Record of the Harris family descended from John Harris, born in 1680 in Wiltshire, England online

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Online LibraryJoseph S. (Joseph Smith) HarrisRecord of the Harris family descended from John Harris, born in 1680 in Wiltshire, England → online text (page 7 of 12)
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remained till the outbreak of the Civil war. He was twice commissioned by
President Lincoln as chaplain of the field hospitals within the lines of the army
of the Potomac, and afterward by President Johnson chaplain of the officers'
hospital in the Naval Buildings, Annapolis, Maryland. After the close of the
war he went west, and spent the rest of his active life in Minnesota, where he
reared two churches, and in North Dakota, where he founded three churches.

Worn out by the hardships of frontier life, he retired from the ministry,
and returned to Philadelphia, living the remainder of his life with his sister,
Mary Sloan.

Mary Sloan (XIX 72) lived mostly with her mother until the death of the
latter in 1886. She had the charge of the household of her brother, Andrew
Jackson Sloan, for some years after the death of his first wife. Her home is
now in West Philadelphia.


Andrew Jackson Sloan (XIX 73) was a member of the firm of McCallum,
Crease & Sloan, manufacturers and dealers in carpets, until the dissolution of
the firm in 1S92. He lives in Philadelphia. His first wife, Mary ~W. Potter,
born 1831, died May 28, 1863, was a Philadelphian. His second wife, Frances
Cooper Burrows, was a daughter of Edward Burrows, of Philadelphia.

George "Washington Sloan (XIX 74) has no children.

Samuel Grant Sloan (XIX 75) is a real estate agent and conveyancer. He
lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. His wife, Eleanor Chandler Johnson, born in
Augusta, Maine, Xovember 23, 1S39, was a sister of the artist Eastman John-
son, of Xew York, and also a sister of the wife of Rev. Joseph May, D.D., pas-
tor of the First Unitarian church of Philadelphia. Her parents were Philip C.
Johnson, born March 11, 1794, and Eleanor Chandler, born October 18, 1795,
both of Fryeburg, Maine.

Francis Lee Harris (XIX 76) was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania.
He received his early education at his father's home in Geneseo, Xew York,
and completed it at the Chester county academy, while living with his grand-
mother, Mary Campbell Harris, at the old Harris homestead in Pennsylvania.
He studied medicine with his uncle, Stephen Harris (XV ill 34), and received
the degree of M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in March, 1832.

In the summer of that year he traveled extensively through the eastern
states in company with Mr. "Wadsworth, of Geneseo. He commenced the prac-
tice of medicine in Geneseo, but removed, early in 1834, to Buffalo, Xew York.
He was appointed physician to the hospital which was opened that year for the
reception of cholera patients, when that disease was making its first and most
fatal visit to America. For services rendered in that capacity he and his
colleagues were officially thanked by the mayor of Buffalo.

In the fall of 1840 he was elected coroner of Buffalo.

His first wife, Mary Mather, whom he married in Buffalo, soon lost her
health, and in March, 1840, he thought her dying of consumption, which dis-
ease had proved fatal to her mother and four of her sisters. She, however,
lived several years longer, dying about October 20, 1847. He was, May 1,
1848, appointed deputy Health Officer of the Quarantine station, Staten Island,
Xew York, and upon the expiration of that commission he established himself
in Thirtieth street, Xew York, where he spent the rest of his life in the practice
of his profession, in which he made a decided success.

He was a large man, tall and of a full figure, though not too stout, a
courteous and hospitable gentleman, with a copious fund of humor.


His second wife was his cousin, Mary Fisher Hams (XIX 91), and his
third wife, Sarah Leiper Kane, was a daughter of General Thomas Kane, of
Philadelphia. She outlived him several years. There were no children by
either of the later marriages.

Mary Harris (XIX 77) was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania. She
was for some years at the head of her father's household, after her mother's
death. Although a large woman, weighing in her later years 220 pounds, she
was very active and efficient.

Her husband, Sanford A. Hooper, was, in 1S39, a partner with her father,
Campbell Harris, in the construction of the Genesee Valley canal. In 1841
he became the lessee of the farm of his father-in-law in Geneseo, and was Super-
intendent of the Genesee Valley canal from 1843 to 1845. The family soon
afterward removed to the west, and were among the pioneers of the state of
Minnesota. She was a devoted member of the Episcopal church, and herself
raised nearly all the funds required for the erection of a church edifice in Belle
Plaine, Minnesota. She gave entertainments, for which her husband said he
provided the materials; she prepared them, and he and his three sons bought
the greater part at the sale on the lawn, and presented them to the people of
the village. She was a much-valued helper to Bishop Whipple in his attempts
to get a foothold for practical Christian living in that rough and wild frontier
community, and Bishop Wells said of the church built through her labors at
Belle Plaine : "I consider this a model church edifice, and only wish I had three
such in my diocese."

Ellen Brick Harris (XIX 78) was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania.
She was a tall woman, but never inclined to grow stout, as did her sisters.

Her husband, John Young, was descended from John Young, who
emigrated from England in 1G48 to the Cape Cod settlement in Massachusetts.
His descendant of the same name was born in 1804 in Chelsea, Vermont, and
removed with his parents to what was then thought to be the "far West," set-
tling in Conesus, Ontario county, Xew York. Here he acquired his education,
and became, at 15 years of age, a teacher in the village school at Lima, and
soon after a law student in the office of A. A. Bennett. He was admitted to
the bar in 1829, and settled in Geneseo, the county seat of Livingston county.
He soon achieved success in his profession, and was one of the leading lawyers
in his section of the state.

He was elected to the state legislature in 1832, and again in 1844 and in
1845, and became a political leader of the whig party, which, taking advantage


of intestine fends in the democratic party, succeeded in gaining control of the
state government. He was a member of Congress from 1841 to 1843, gov-
ernor of the state of New York from 1847 to 1849, and United States assistant
treasurer in New York city from 1849 till his death, which occurred in New
York city, April 23, 1852.

He remained throughout his life a student of law and of literature; was
courteous in his bearing, and a forcible public speaker.

After his death his wife returned to her home in Geneseo, where she died.

Jane Lee Harris (XIX 79) was fatally burned in her childhood.

Ann D. Harris (XIX 82) was a tall, handsome woman, with a moderately
full figure. Her husband, James Wood, was born at Alstead, New Hampshire.
He emigrated in his childhood Avith his father to Richmond, Ontario county,
New York. He acquired his early education at the Wesleyan seminary in
Lima, New York, and was graduated at Union college, Schenectady. He
studied law in the office of John Young in Geneseo, and upon his admission to
the bar in 1843 he became his partner, and the two men retained throughout
life the closest personal relations. He was a successful lawyer, and was at one
time district attorney of Livingston county.

In 1862 he raised the One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Regiment, New York
state volunteers, and took the field as its colonel. He served in the army of
Virginia, and after the battle of Gettysburg was transferred to the army of the
Cumberland. He was appointed brigadier-general, and took an active part in
Sherman's campaigns till their termination at Bentonville, North Carolina, in
March, 1865.

After the close of the war he resumed the practice of law in Geneseo in
partnership with his nephew, Campbell H. Young (XX 217), and made Geneseo
his home for the rest of his life, which ended in 1892.

He was a high-minded, benevolent and piiblic-spirited citizen, and was held
in high esteem in the region in which he lived, and in which he filled a
number of positions in the service of the community and of the church.
Colonel "Wood left no children.

Mary Campbell Harris (XIX 83). Her husband, Thomas Beale Dorsey,
was of Andersons, Howard county, Maryland.

William Augustus Harris (XIX 84) received the degree of M.D. from the
University of Pennsylvania in 1843, entered November 27, 1844, the Med-
ical corps of the United States navy, in which he served for some years. He


was retired May 8, 1861, on account of ill health, with the rank of passed assist-
ant surgeon, and lived thereafter in Baltimore, Maryland. His wife, Elizabeth
Saunders Taylor, born in 1828, died in 1856, was of Norfolk, Virginia.

Elizabeth Hodgdon Harris (XIX 85) lost her life in consequence of her
dress taking fire from the candles on her dressing table. Her husband, Peter
Vivian Daniel, was born at Crow's Nest, Stafford county, Virginia, April 24,
1784. He was educated at home by a private tutor, and was graduated at
Princeton college in 1805. He read law under Edmund Randolph, the first
attorney-general of the United States, whose youngest daughter was his first
wife. He was admitted to the bar in 1808, was elected to the Virginia legis-
lature in 1809, and was a member of the Privy Council till the new Constitu-
tion of that state was adopted in 1830. Upon the transfer of Roger B. Taney
to the United States treasury department, he was offered the position of attorney-
general which Taney had vacated. This position was declined by Mr. Daniel.
In 1836 he was appointed United States district judge for the Eastern District
of Virginia, and in 1841 he was appointed associate justice of the United States
Supreme Court, which position he held till his death, which occurred in Rich-
mond, Virginia, May 31, 1860. He was regarded as a learned judge, but was
an extreme conservative. He showed in his opinions resolute opposition to all
extensions of the national power and jurisdiction, and vigorously upheld the
doctrine of state sovereignty.

Thomas Cadwallader Harris (XIX 86) was appointed midshipman, United
States navy, September 4, 1841, and remained in that service during the rest
of his Hfe, rising to the rank of captain December 12, 1872.

In the early part of the Civil war he was attached to the United States
steamer Powhatan, Captain David D. Porter commanding, and sailed in her
about ten thousand miles in unsuccessful attempts to capture the Confederate
States steamer Sumter. In 1863 and the early months of 1864 he was executive
officer of the United States steamer Kearsarge, Captain John A. Winslow com-
manding, which was detailed to capture, and did finally sink in action, the Con-
federate States steamer Alabama.

His later service during the war was on the Atlantic coast and in the Gulf
of Mexico. His sea duty was continuous for six years during and immediately
subsequent to the Civil war, when he only came home long enough to be trans-
ferred from one vessel to another.

At the time of his death he was on duty at the Philadelphia United States
naval asvlum.


His wife, Mary Louisa Bainbridge Jaudon, born April 22, 1835, is a
daughter of Ashbel Green Jaudon and Lucy Ann Bainbridge, of New York.
Her mother was a daughter of Commodore "William Bainbridge, United States

Charles Morris Bainbridge Harris (XIX 87) was born in Philadelphia.
He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received
the degrees of A.B. 1845, A.M. 1848 and M.D. 1851. After his father's re-
moval to Washington he entered the service of the United States government.
He was a clerk in the office of the Secretary of the Treasury from 1861 to 1863;
captain's clerk of the United States steamer Yantic from 1864 to 1865; was in
action at Fort Fisher, North Carolina, in December, 1864, and again in Janu-
ary, 1865; was assistant assessor of Internal Revenue of the Fourth District,
New York city, from 1865 to 1871, and was a clerk in the Sixth Auditor's
office, United States Post Office Department, from 1872 to 1893.

After leaving the Government service he opened a real estate office in
Washington, D. C.

His wife, Amelia Gantt Bowie, is a daughter of John Bowie, of Maryland.

Emma Ewing Harris (XIX 88). Her husband, Nathan D. Benedict, was
born in De Ruyter, New York, April 7, 1815. He was educated, first, in
Dr. Phinney's school in Newburgh, New York; was graduated at Rutgers col-
lege, New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1837, and received the degree of M.D.
from the University of Pennsylvania in 1840. He settled in Philadelphia,
where he practiced medicine till he was appointed Chief Resident Physician in
charge of the Philadelphia Blockley Hospital in 1846. Thence he was trans-
ferred to the superintendency of the New York State lunatic asylum at Utica.
After several years spent there, his failing bealth admonished him to remove to
the south, and he opened a sanitarium at Magnolia, on St. John's river, Florida.
This proved a successful enterprise until the outbreak of the Civil war, when,
as Dr. Benedict was a strong Union man, he was obliged to leave Magnolia, and
find safety in the region under the control of the United States government.

He then took charge of the United States general hospital at St Augus-
tine, Florida. After the war he resumed his practice, and when the state gov-
ernment was reestablished was appointed a judge.

The disease, which had attacked him in the north, aggravated by the hard-
ships of the first years of the Civil war, proved too much for him to withstand,
and he died April 30, 1871, of consumption. His wife returned to the north
after his death.


He and his wife were throughout their lives earnest and active Christians
of the Presbyterian Church.

Robert Patterson Harris (XIX 89) received from the University of Penn-
sylvania the degrees of A.B. in 1841 and M.D. in 1844. After several years
of practice in AVills' eye hospital and the Pennsylvania hospital in Philadel-
phia, he commenced, in 1847, the private practice of medicine, to which and to
literary pursuits the rest of his life was devoted. His tastes in early life had
inclined him to a mechanical career, and he was a very skillful handicraftsman.
Whatever he did he threw into the pursuit great energy, and when he was still
young, his father, himself a physician, said that he was the best read physician
in Philadelphia. He remained a student throughout his life, and was a fre-
quent contributor to medical periodicals, and a recognized authority on many
points of medical and surgical history.

He was also a well read botanist, and took great interest in the introduction
into the country of new ornamental plants and useful vegetables and fruits.

He carried on an extensive correspondence in Europe, Asia and Spanish
America in connection with these two subjects of medical and surgical history
and economic botany, being a fluent writer in several of the principal European

He was for many years an active member of the College of Physicians and
Surgeons of Philadelphia.

He was an elder in the Presbyterian church, and was a most manly and
cheerful Christian man.

John Campbell Harris (XIX 90) died while a student in the University
of Pennsylvania from the effects of a bath in the Schuylkill river, taken too
soon after his recovery from an attack of the measles.

Mary Fisher Harris (XIX 91) was badly burned by falling into an open
fire when she was seven years old. She was thought, at the time, to have been
fatally injured, and though she recovered, the accident may have shortened her
life. She married her cousin, Francis Lee Harris (XIX 76), but lived only
two years after her marriage. She left no children.

Matilda Moore Harris (XIX 92). Her husband, Isaac Oliver Blight, born
December 29, 1830, died August 6, 1899, was for many years superintendent
of the Barclay Railroad and Coal company in Bradford county, Pennsylvania.


William Harris (XIX 93) received the degree of A.B. from the University
of Pennsylvania in 1850. His first service after graduation was with a mer-
cantile house in Philadelphia, and afterward, from 1852 to 1858, with Maitland,
Phelps & Company, of Xew York. He showed great aptitude for mercantile
pursuits, and would probably have been a successful merchant had he not
thought it his dut}' to enter the ministry. He was graduated at the Theological
seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, in 1861; was chaplain of the One Hundred
and Sixth regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers, in the Civil war in 1861 and
1862, serving throughout the Peninsular campaigns with General McClellan's
army. He was agent of the United States Sanitary Commission in 1862 and
1863; pastor of the Presbyterian church at Towanda, Pennsvlvana, from 1864
to 1870, and treasurer of the College of Xew Jersey at Princeton from 1S70 to
1885, in which year he died.

His wife, Christina Van Alen Butler, is a daughter of Walter Butler and
Maria Van Alen. All of their children were born in Princeton, except the
second, who was born in Towanda.

Stephen Harris (XIX 95) was educated, first, in Chester Valley, and after
the removal of his father to Philadelphia in April, 1850, he entered the Central
High school in September, 1850, passing an examination which placed him at
the head of a class of over 140 boys. His progress was so satisfactory that he
was twice promoted into the next class above his own, and was graduated in
June, 1S53, with the degree of A.B., being one of a very few who ever finished
the four-years' course at the Central High school in three years. He was gen-
erally at or very near the head of his class during his whole course, though he
was graduated without rank, as he was ill of typhoid fever at the time the class
finished its work.

He entered at once the service of the United States Coast Survey, in which
he remained seven years, rising to the rank of sub-assistant. His work was
mostly on the coast of Maine in summer, and on the coast of Florida, Mississippi
or Louisiana in the winter. He rendered valuable service, and was highly
thought of in the service, but he desired a more settled life, and in 1860 he
established himself as a civil and mining engineer in Pottsville, Pennsylvania,
where he spent the rest of his life. He and his brother Joseph formed, in 1860,
a partnership which lasted till Stephen's death, though Joseph did not perma-
nently join him in Pottsville till 1864. The engineering practice became at
once a remunerative one, and his services were held in high estimation by a
wide range of clients.


In 1864 he was appointed the agent and engineer of the City of Philadel-
phia, in which capacity he had charge of the very valuable coal estate left to
the city by Stephen Girard in 1831. This property he developed and made it
very remunerative.

A long career of usefulness seemed to have opened before him, but it was
destined to come to a tragic close. On the morning of the 10th of March, 1874,
he went to inspect some mining work that was being done on the Broad Moun-
tain lands, about nine miles from his home. The day was cold and there was
a furious snowstorm raging on the mountain. In some unknown way he was
struck by a coal train which was backing up the Broad Mountain and Mahanoy
railroad, and was instantly killed.

He was a man of unusual gifts, an able mathematician, an untiring student,
and a man of great reasoning power and of wide influence. He was an earnest,
devoted and useful Christian man, and combined in a degree rarely seen the
abilities of a successful man of business and the deep and true family affections
with devoted and self-sacrificing piety.

His wife, Catharine McArthur, born January 7, 1837, was the daughter
of John McArthur and Elizabeth Wilson, of Philadelphia. Mr. McArthur was
an architect and builder of Scottish birth, and an elder in the Tenth Presby-
terian church of Philadelphia.

Joseph Smith Harris (XIX 96) had a career, which, during his school life,
ran closely parallel to that of his brother Stephen, entering the Central High
school with him, and being graduated with him, and holding, like him, the
highest places in his class.

Upon leaving school in 1853 he entered the service of the North Pennsyl-
vania Railroad company, in which he rose to the rank of topographer. On
leaving this work upon the completion of the surveys in which he was engaged
he entered, in the fall of 1S54, the service of the United States government, in
which he remained nearly ten years. He served for about two years in the
Coast Survey in Mississippi Sound, spent the season of 1856 in Kentucky, run-
ning a base line for the Kentucky Geological Survey, and in 1857 was appointed
one of the astronomers of the Northwest Boundary Survey. He remained
nearly five years on the extreme northwestern frontier of the United States, in
what are now the States of Washington, Idaho and British Columbia. In the
season of 1862 he was, at first, the first officer, and later in command of the
United States steamer "Sachem," on duty with Farragut's fleet in the Mis-


Leaving the service of the United States government in 1864 he removed
to Pottsville, Pennsylvania, joining there his brother Stephen in business. He
was engaged in civil and mining engineering for a number of years, until he
was called to New York in 1880 as general manager of the Central Railroad of
ISTew Jersey. In 1882 he was elected president of the Lehigh Coal and Naviga-
tion company and removed to Philadelphia. In 1893 he was appointed the
managing receiver, and elected the president of the Philadelphia and Reading
railroad company and the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron company.
He held these presidencies till his retirement in 1901.

His first wife, and the mother of all his children, Delia Silliman Brodhead,
born January 20, 1842, died August 19, 1880, was the second daughter of
George Hamilton Brodhead, of New York, for many years secretary of the
New York Stock Exchange, and later its vice-president and president, and
Julia Ann Phehps.

His second and third wives, Emily Eliza and Anna Zelia Potts, were sis-
ters, and were daughters of George Henry Potts, president of the National Park
bank, New York, and Emily Dilworth Gumming. His second wife, Emily
Eliza Potts, was born July 14, 1843, and died December 29, 1890. His third
wife, Anna Zelia Potts, was born June 11, 1850.

Martha Frazer Harris (XIX 97). Her husband, Henry Chester Parry,
born June 17, 1839, died November 7, 1893, was a physician, a graduate of
the Medical school of the University of Pennsylvania. He was, during the
Civil war and for some years later, a surgeon in the United States army.
After his marriage he commenced the private practice of medicine in Brooklyn,
New York, and in 1874 removed to Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

After his death, which occurred November 7, 1893, his widow removed,
in 1897, to Augusta, Georgia, where she now lives.

John Campbell Harris (XIX 98) was educated at the Central High school
of Philadelphia, and studied law afterward with his mother's brother, P. Frazer
Smith, in West Chester, and with John G. Carlisle, in Washington, D. C,
where he was admitted to practice.

In 1860 he was appointed clerk to the commandant of the United States
Marine Corps by his uncle, Colonel John Harris, and November 25, 1861, he
was commissioned a second lieutenant in that corps. He served throughout
the Civil war; was brevetted first lieutenant for "gallant and meritorious services
at the attack on Forts Jackson and St. Philip April 24, 1862;" was com-
missioned first lieutenant February 16, 1864, and remained in the service until



July 31, 1869, when he resigned and engaged in the manufacturing business
in Philadelphia.

He retired from active business pursuits in 1879.

His wife, Mary Powers, born October 30, 1845, is the only daughter of
Thomas H. Powers, senior partner of the firm of Powers & Weightman, manu-
facturing chemists of Philadelphia, and Anna Cash.

Frazer Harris (XIX 99) was a lad of great promise and decided artistic
ability. He died suddenly, before his education was completed, from a malig-
nant pustule in his face, which ended his life a few days after its appearance.

Mary Campbell Harris (XIX 100) died of consumption in her early

Thomas Harris Pearce (XIX 104) was graduated at the West Point

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Online LibraryJoseph S. (Joseph Smith) HarrisRecord of the Harris family descended from John Harris, born in 1680 in Wiltshire, England → online text (page 7 of 12)