William Alexander Harris (Virginia)

William Alexander Harris ( * August 24, 1805 in Warrenton, Fauquier County, Virginia; † March 28, 1864 in Pike County, Missouri ) was an American politician. Between 1841 and 1843 he represented the state of Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives.


William Harris, the father of Congressman William A. Harris (1841-1909) of Kansas, enjoyed a good education. After a subsequent study of law and qualifying as a lawyer, he started in Luray to work in this profession. At the same time he proposed as a member of the Democratic Party launched a political career. In the years 1830 and 1831 he sat in the House of Virginia.

In the congressional elections of 1840 Harris was in the 16th electoral district of Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC chosen, where he became the successor of William M. McCarty on March 4, 1841. Until March 3, 1843, he was able to complete a term in Congress. Then, his election district was dissolved. His time as a congressman was marked by tensions between President John Tyler and the Whigs. It was also at that time already been discussed about a possible annexation of the independent Republic of Texas since 1836 by Mexico.

After the end of his time in the U.S. House of Representatives Harris published the newspapers Spectator and The Constitution in Washington. Between 1846 and 1851 he was a follower of William Brent American ambassador in Argentina; afterwards he moved to Missouri. In the meantime, he returned to the capital, where he managed the printing of the U.S. Senate 1857-1859. He died on 28 March 1864.