Elisha Harris

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Governor Elisha Harris

Elisha Harris (September 8, 1791 – February 1, 1861) of Coventry, Kent County, Rhode Island, was Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island, 1846–47 serving under Governor Byron Diman and the 20th Governor of Rhode Island 1847–49.

Harris was born in Cranston, Providence County, Rhode Island. He was a member of the Whig Party (United States). Between 1846 and 1861 President of the Providence Bank. He was also the founder of the Harris Mill in the Harris village of Coventry. He was buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Coventry.

Father of Dan Harris.

The National Cyclopedia of American Biography wrote:

[Elisha Harris was the] son of Joseph Harris, and descendant of William Harris, who emigrated to America in the ship Lion with Roger Williams, and was one of the original proprietors of Providence, and later of Pawtuxet. Elisha Harris was educated at the public schools of his town, and was for a time at the East Greenwich Seminary. Soon after leaving school he became book-keeper at the mills at Phœnix, then called the Roger Williams Mills. Subsequently acquiring the water privilege next above, he entered upon the manufacturing business for himself in 1822. Possessed of good mercantile habits, he succeeded in developing a considerable business, which is yet under the control and management of his descendants. The village of his creation is a very handsome one, and is known as Harris. Although too modest to seek public office, he conscientiously accepted it, when assured that it was but duty to do so. He was lieutenant - governor in 1846-47 and governor, 1847-49. He belonged to the Whig party until its dissolution, and then became a Republican, and was a presidential elector in 1860....[1]


  1. ^ The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol IX. James T. White and Company. 1899. p. 398. 

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Political offices
Preceded by
Byron Diman
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Henry B. Anthony