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Isham G. Harris facts for kids

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Isham G. Harris
Photograph of Harris by Mathew Brady
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
January 10, 1895 – March 3, 1895
Preceded by Matt W. Ransom
Succeeded by William P. Frye
In office
March 22, 1893 – January 7, 1895
Preceded by Charles F. Manderson
Succeeded by Matt W. Ransom
United States Senator
from Tennessee
In office
March 4, 1877 – July 8, 1897
Preceded by Henry Cooper
Succeeded by Thomas B. Turley
16th Governor of Tennessee
In office
November 3, 1857 – March 12, 1862
Preceded by Andrew Johnson
Succeeded by Andrew Johnson
as Military Governor
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1853
Preceded by Lucien B. Chase
Succeeded by Emerson Etheridge
Member of the Tennessee Senate
In office
Personal details
Born (1818-02-10)February 10, 1818
Franklin County, Tennessee
Died July 8, 1897(1897-07-08) (aged 79)
Washington, D.C.
Resting place Elmwood Cemetery (Memphis, Tennessee)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Martha Mariah Travis
Profession Merchant, Attorney

Isham Green Harris (February 10, 1818 – July 8, 1897) was an American politician who served as Governor of Tennessee from 1857 to 1862, and as a U.S. Senator from 1877 until his death. He was the state's first governor from West Tennessee. A pivotal figure in the state's history, Harris was considered by his contemporaries the person most responsible for leading Tennessee out of the Union and aligning it with the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Harris rose to prominence in state politics in the late 1840s when he campaigned against the anti-slavery initiatives of northern Whigs. He was elected governor amidst rising sectional strife in the late 1850s, and following the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, persistently sought to sever the state's ties with the Union. His war-time efforts eventually raised over 100,000 soldiers for the Confederate cause. After the Union Army gained control of Middle and West Tennessee in 1862, Harris spent the remainder of the war on the staffs of various Confederate generals. Following the war, he spent several years in exile in Mexico and England.

After returning to Tennessee, Harris became a leader of the state's Bourbon Democrats. During his tenure in the U. S. Senate, he championed states' rights and currency expansion. As the Senate's president pro tempore in the 1890s, Harris led the charge against President Grover Cleveland's attempts to repeal the Sherman Silver Purchase Act.

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