A Guide to the James W.M. Harris Papers 1857-1900 Harris, James W.M. Papers Ms2000-085

A Guide to the James W.M. Harris Papers 1857-1900

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms 2000-085


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Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
USA
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2002 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Reagan Grimsley and Gerrianne Schaad Special Collections Staff

Repository
Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Collection number
Ms2000-085
Title
James W.M. Harris Papers 1857-1900
Physical Characteristics
1 cubic foot, 3 boxes, 193 folders
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the James W.M. Harris Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Harris, James W.M. Papers, 1857-1900, Ms2000-085, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Biographical/Historical Information

Born in Natchez, Mississippi in 1828, James W.M. Harris studied at Amherst College and returned to his native state to read law under General Sparrow. In 1852 Harris married Mary C. Lum (1831-1871), and the couple took up residence near Vicksburg at Avenel Plantation. The young couple soon had a growing family, with the birth of daughters Annie Laura (Lola) in 1853, Caroline (Carrie) in 1855, and Natalie in 1859. Harris continued to practice law in Vicksburg, but the family cotton plantation, Avenel, also provided income. The couple's lives would change, however, with the coming of the Civil War.

Like many southerners, the couple's lives changed dramatically with the advent of war. Harris and his two brothers, Nathaniel and William, served the Confederate States of American in various capacities. Both Nathaniel and William joined the army, with the former eventually rising to the rank of General, and the latter serving as quartermaster. Meanwhile, James undertook a position as Third Auditor of the Post Office Department in Richmond, a position that took him away from Avenel and his family for the duration of the war. Because of the Union occupation of Vicksburg, Mary and the three children spent much of the war in Eufaula, Alabama. At the end of the War in 1865, the family was reunited and returned to Warren County to once again make Avenel home. Harris resumed his law practice, but the family moved to New York where Mary died in childbirth in 1871. Harris moved to the Washington Territory shortly before his death in 1885, where he attempted to become territorial governor. Upon his death, Harris's body was returned to New York, where he was interred next to his wife Mary.

Scope and Content Information

The James W.M. Harris Papers consist of over 200 letters written either from or to Harris or immediate members of his family between 1857 and 1909. The majority of the letters are from James to his wife Mary, written almost entirely during the Civil War. These letters contain descriptions of the siege of Vicksburg, life in Richmond, and first hand descriptions of African-Americans during the war. Harris also frequently recounts current events during the war, as well as encounters with Belle Boyd and Jefferson Davis. Other letters are from Mary to her husband relating day to day happenings, from various family members to other family, several letters from Harris to his daughters, a lengthy letter from Harris's mother describing conditions in Mississippi during the war, and finally condolence letters to James on the death of his wife.

Also contained in this collection are two ledgers of Mary Harris and Ann Lum listing household goods, details of plantation life including the shoe sizes of slaves, and remedies of illness. There are two photographs of Judge Harris and General Nathaniel Harris, and several more personal effects of the two gentlemen including a speech the judge gave to the Natchez Library Association and the documents of his bid for territorial Governor of Washington, and a casualty list for the Battle of the Wilderness for the general.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in two series: Biographical and Correspondence. Series I: Series I. Biographical, 1857-1900, is arranged in five sub-series: James W.M. Harris, Mary Catherine Lum Harris, Ann Lum, Annie Laura Harris Broderick and Nathaniel Harrison Harris. This series includes a variety of personal information about the five people including photographs, newspaper clippings, diaries, journals, sketches and speeches.

Series II. Correspondence, 1859-1899, is arranged in nine sub-series: James W.M. Harris with (wife) Mary Catherine Lum Harris; James W.M. Harris with children and mother; James W.M. Harris with brother Nathaniel Harrison Harris; James W.M. Harris with various others; Letters of condolence to James W.M. Harris; Mary Catherine Lum Harris with various family and friends; Nathaniel Harrison Harris with various persons; Various family members correspondence; Miscellaneous correspondence.

Index Terms

    Persons:

  • Harris, James W. M., 1828-1885
  • Harris, Mary C. Lum, 1831-1871
  • Subjects:

  • Civil War
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865

Contents List

Biographical 1863-1885, n.d.
  • James W.M. Harris 1863-1885, n.d.
    • Box-folder 1-1
      Photograph November 29, 1873
    • Box-folder 1-2
      Harris Genealogy n.d.
    • Box-folder 1-3
      Burton Harrison letter to O. R. Singleton confirming Harris as third auditor December 17, 1863
    • Box-folder 1-4
      Travel Pass September 5, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-5
      Civil War Pardon December 12, 1865
    • Box-folder 1-6
      Certification as Attorney and Counselor of Court of Claims February 3, 1879
    • Box-folder 1-7
      Documents to certify as practicing Attorney in Supreme Court of Mississippi June 28, 1884
    • Box-folder 1-8
      Certification as practicing Attorney in Supreme Court of Mississippi July 4, 1884
    • Box-folder 1-9
      Speech to Natchez Library Association - "The Lesson which Natchez Teaches her Sons" May 21, 1884
    • Box-folder 1-10
      Application for Governor of Washington Territory April 4, 1885
    • Box-folder 1-11
      Letters and documents addresses to President Grover Cleveland and L.Q.C. Lamar in support of James Harris for territorial Governor of Washington April-July, 1885
    • Box-folder 1-12
      Newspaper clippings regarding Harris' death 1885
    • Box-folder 1-13
      Miscellaneous story n.d.
  • Mary Catherine Lum Harris 1857, 1860
    • Box-folder 1-14
      Household Ledger and Diary 1857, 1860
  • Ann Lum 1860-68
    • Box-folder 1-15
      Journal with other entries written by unknown persons 1860-68
  • Nathaniel Harrison Harris May 12, 1864, n.d.
    • Box-folder 1-16
      Photograph n.d.
    • Box-folder 1-17
      Casualty List: Warren Rifles in the Battle of the Wilderness May 12, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-18
      Battle Maps - Cold Harbor, Fraziers Farm, Ellysons (?) Mills n.d.
    • Box-folder 1-19
      Newspaper clippings n.d.
Correspondence 1862-99, n.d.
  • James W. M. Harris with Mary Lum Harris (wife) 1863-65, n.d.
    • Box-folder 1-20
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 8, 1863
    • Box-folder 1-21
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 6, 1863
    • Box-folder 1-22
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris July 13, 1863
    • Box-folder 1-23
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris July 14, 1863
    • Box-folder 1-24
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris July 19, 1863
    • Box-folder 1-25
      Mary Lum Harris to James W.M. Harris November 24, 1863
    • Box-folder 1-26
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris December 1, 1863
    • Box-folder 1-27
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris December 12, 1863
    • Box-folder 1-28
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris December 15, 1863
    • Box-folder 1-29
      Mary Lum Harris to James W.M. Harris December 25, 1863
    • Box-folder 1-30
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris December 29, 1863
    • Box-folder 1-31
      Mary Lum Harris to James W.M. Harris December 30, 1863
    • Box-folder 1-32
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris 1863
    • Box-folder 1-33
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris 1863
    • Box-folder 1-34
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris January 1, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-35
      Mary Lum Harris to James W.M. Harris January 3, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-36
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris January 5, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-37
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris January 11, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-38
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris January 13, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-39
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris January 14, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-40
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris January 15, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-41
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris January 16, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-42
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris January 17, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-43
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris January 18, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-44
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris January 21, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-45
      Mary Lum Harris to James W.M. Harris January 21, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-46
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris January 23, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-47
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 2, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-48
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 3, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-49
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 4, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-50
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 4, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-51
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 11, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-52
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 11, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-53
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 12, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-54
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 13, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-55
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 14, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-56
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 14, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-57
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 15, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-58
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 16, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-59
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 18, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-60
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 21, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-61
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 23, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-62
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 23, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-63
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 23, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-64
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 27, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-65
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 27, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-66
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 29, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-67
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 30, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-68
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris April 30, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-69
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 2, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-70
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 3, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-71
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 3, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-72
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 3, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-73
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 3, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-74
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 4, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-75
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 4, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-76
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 4, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-77
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 6, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-78
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 6, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-79
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 10, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-80
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 12, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-81
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 16, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-82
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 18, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-83
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 19, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-84
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 19, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-85
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 20, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-86
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 23, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-87
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 23, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-88
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 25, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-89
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 25, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-90
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 27, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-91
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 27, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-92
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 28, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-93
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 30, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-94
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris May 31, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-95
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 1, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-96
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 2, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-97
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 4, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-98
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 5, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-99
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 7, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-100
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 8, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-101
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 9, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-102
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 10, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-103
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 11, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-104
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 13, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-105
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 14, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-106
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 15, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-107
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 17, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-108
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 18, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-109
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 22, 1864
    • Box-folder 1-110
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 29, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-1
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris June 30, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-2
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris July 3, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-3
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris July 4, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-4
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris July 4, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-5
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris July 7, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-6
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris July 9, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-7
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris July 12, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-8
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris July 15, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-9
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris July 20, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-10
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris July 25, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-11
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris July 25, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-12
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris July 27, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-13
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris August 4, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-14
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris August 6, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-15
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris August 11, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-16
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris August 13, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-17
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris August 16, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-18
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris August 17, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-19
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris November 19, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-20
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris November 30, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-21
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris December 5, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-22
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris December 12, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-23
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris December 16, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-24
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris December 20, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-25
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris January 5, 1865
    • Box-folder 2-26
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris January 23, 1865
    • Box-folder 2-27
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris January 27, 1865
    • Box-folder 2-28
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris January 30, 1865
    • Box-folder 2-29
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris September 20, 1865
    • Box-folder 2-30
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris October 9, 1865
    • Box-folder 2-31
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris n.d.
    • Box-folder 2-32
      James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris, fragment n.d.
    • Box-folder 2-33
      Poetry from James W. M. Harris to Mary Lum Harris n.d.
  • James W.M. Harris with children and mother 1863-87, n.d.
    • Box-folder 2-34
      James W. M. Harris to Carrie L. Harris (daughter) November 21, 1863
    • Box-folder 2-35
      James W. M. Harris to Natalie Harris (daughter) November 28, 1863
    • Box-folder 2-36
      James W. M. Harris to Annie Laura (Lola) Harris (daughter) a.k.a. Lola Broderick December 4, 1863
    • Box-folder 2-37
      James W. M. Harris to Lola Broderick April 13, 1887
    • Box-folder 2-38
      James W. M. Harris to Lola Broderick and Natalie Harris September 29, 1884
    • Box-folder 2-39
      Lola Broderick to James W.M. Harris n.d.
    • Box-folder 2-40
      Lola Broderick to James W.M. Harris n.d.
    • Box-folder 2-41
      James W. M. Harris to Master Harris Broderick (grandson) n.d.
    • Box-folder 2-42
      Grandma Harris Truman (mother) to James W.M. Harris May 31, 1864
  • James W.M. Harris with brother Nathaniel Harrison Harris 1862-63
    • Box-folder 2-43
      Nathaniel Harrison Harris to James W.M. Harris June 11, 1862
    • Box-folder 2-44
      James W.M. Harris to General Nathaniel Harrison Harris June 8, 1863
  • James W.M. Harris with various others 1859-85, n.d.
    • Box-folder 2-45
      James W.M. Harris to "cousin Jim" September 21, 1859
    • Box-folder 2-46
      George Washington Custis Lee to James W.M. Harris January 10, 1863
    • Box-folder 2-47
      Wade H. Griffin to James W.M. Harris July 1, 1863
    • Box-folder 2-48
      James W.M. Harris to unknown Doctor October 12, 1863
    • Box-folder 2-49
      Meyer sisters to James W.M. Harris November 5, 1866
    • Box-folder 2-50
      Mrs. Gibson to James W.M. Harris June 10, 1885
    • Box-folder 2-51
      A. E. Johnson to James W.M. Harris n.d.
  • Letters of condolence to James W.M. Harris 1871
    • Box-folder 2-52
      From C. Pope August 6, 1871
    • Box-folder 2-53
      From Jim Harris August 7, 1871
    • Box-folder 2-54
      Collie (sister) September 12, 1871
  • Mary Catherine Lum Harris with various family and friends 1863-64, n.d.
    • Box-folder 2-55
      Mary Lum Harris to mother October 24, 1863
    • Box-folder 2-56
      Mary Lum Harris to Lizzie March 23, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-57
      Mary Lum Harris to Lizzie May 11, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-58
      From Lizzie, Mother, Julia Payne, C. Rhodes Cashier and unknown refugee to Mary Lum Harris 1863-64
    • Box-folder 2-59
      From W.W. Lord and W.L. Lord to Mary Lum Harris n.d.
  • Nathaniel Harrison Harris with various persons 1871-99
    • Box-folder 2-60
      Upton Young to Nathaniel Harrison Harris July 26, 1871
    • Box-folder 2-61
      Garnett Andrews to Nathaniel Harrison Harris August 1, 1871
    • Box-folder 2-62
      R.L. Gibson to Nathaniel Harrison Harris August 20, 1885
    • Box-folder 2-63
      Henrietta (sister) to Nathaniel Harrison Harris September 13, 1885
    • Box-folder 2-64
      A. Coles to Nathaniel Harrison Harris September 15, 1885
    • Box-folder 2-65
      S.A. Jones to Nathaniel Harrison Harris September 17, 1885
    • Box-folder 2-66
      Nathaniel Harrison Harris to niece Lola Broderick November 21, 1885
    • Box-folder 2-67
      Nathaniel Harrison Harris to unknown doctor September 8, 1890
    • Box-folder 2-68
      Nathaniel Harrison Harris to unknown doctor November 15, 1890
    • Box-folder 2-69
      Nathaniel Harrison Harris to Charles Lewis March 22, 1899
  • Box-folder 2-70
    Various family members correspondence 1864-71, n.d.
    • Box-folder 2-71
      "Babe" to Ann Lum August 17, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-72
      Norman Bolton to Ann Lum February 5, 1868
    • Box-folder 2-73
      Mandy to Rose (Harris's sister) August 28, 1871
    • Box-folder 2-74
      Carrie L. Harris (daughter) to Mollie Broaddick n.d.
    • Box-folder 2-75
      "H" to Callie n.d.
  • Miscellaneous Correspondence 1862-64, n.d.
    • Box-folder 2-76
      I.A. Campell, CSA Secretary of War to Lt. General Pemberton releasing A.M. Heath and W.W. Wiles from military service December 5, 1862
    • Box-folder 2-77
      Dr. Archer to unknown, Partial letter July 8, 1864
    • Box-folder 2-78
      Partial Letter n.d.
    • Box-folder 3-1-5
      Oversized materials removed from regular inventory. Access is through folders

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Harris, James W. M., 1828-1885
  • Harris, Mary C. Lum, 1831-1871