Frank Harris

Frank Harris

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James Thomas (Frank) Harris, the third son and fourth of the five children of Thomas Vernon Harris (1814–1899), a mariner, and his wife, Anne (1816–1859), was probably born on 14th February 1856, in Galway. According to his biographer, Richard Davenport-Hines: "He endured a mean, miserable, and loveless childhood, in which he resented alike the puritanical severity of his father and the discipline of his masters at the Royal School in Armagh and, later, Ruabon Grammar School in Denbighshire (1869–71)"

Harris wrote about his time at Ruabon Grammar School in his autobiography, My Life and Loves (1922): "The English are proud of the fact that they hand a good deal of the school discipline to the older boys: they attribute this innovation to Arnold of Rugby and, of course, it is possible, if the supervision is kept up by a genius, that it may work for good and not for evil; but usually it turns the school into a forcing-house of cruelty and immorality. The older boys establish the legend that only sneaks would tell anything to the masters, and they are free to give rein to their basest instincts."

Harris emigrated to the United States in 1871 and went to live with his brother in Lawrence, Kansas. He enrolled at the University of Kansas in 1874 and passed the Douglas County bar examinations in 1875. He then moved to Brighton and became a French tutor at Brighton College. Harris married Florence Ruth (1852–1879) in Paris, on 17th October 1878. On her death of tuberculosis ten months later, he moved to London where he attempted to make a living from journalism. He joined the Social Democratic Federation where he made contact with H. M. Hyndman, Tom Mann, John Burns, Eleanor Marx, George Lansbury, Edward Aveling, H. H. Champion, Guy Aldred, Dora Montefiore, Clara Codd, John Spargo and Ben Tillet.

In 1883 he was appointed editor of The London Evening News. By this time he had left the SDF but the newspaper did run several campaigns against poverty. Harris developed a reputation as being hostile to the aristocracy with his emphasis on society scandals. Michael Holroyd pointed out: "He (Harris) quadrupled its circulation by sending his journalists to the police courts, and startling his readers with alluring headlines, Extraordinary Charge Against a Clergyman and Gross Outrage on a Female. It was Harris who had reported in scabrous detail the divorce case of Lady Colin Campbell, receiving an indictment for obscene libel that assisted the paper's Tory proprietor in dismissing him in 1886." Soon afterwards he became the editor of The Fortnightly Review.

Harris married Emily Clayton on 2nd November 1887. She was the widow of Thomas Greenwood Clayton, a successful businessman. He intended to use her fortune of £90,000 to launch his political career. He joined the Conservative Party and became the prospective candidate in South Hackney. However, he withdrew his candidature in 1891, after supporting Charles Stewart Parnell in the O'Shea divorce. Harris was a well-known womaniser and his wife left him in 1894.

Harris appointed George Bernard Shaw and Max Beerbohm as drama critics for The Fortnightly Review. He also published long articles by Shaw (Socialism and Superior Brains) and Oscar Wilde (The Soul of Man Under Socialism) about socialism. Harris also continued to campaign against the aristocracy and financial corruption. This made him many enemies and in 1894 he was sacked by Frederick Chapman, the owner of the journal, for publishing an article by Charles Malato, an anarchist who praised political murder as "propaganda… by deed".

Harris now purchased The Saturday Review. The author, H.G. Wells, got to know him during this period: "His dominating way in conversation startled, amused and then irritated people. That was what he lived for, talking, writing that was loud talk in ink, and editing. He was a brilliant editor, for a time, and then the impetus gave out, and he flagged rapidly. So soon as he ceased to work vehemently he became unable to work. He could not attend to things without excitement. As his confidence went, he became clumsily loud."

Once again he appointed George Bernard Shaw as his drama critic on a salary of £6 a week. Shaw later commented that was "not bad pay in those days" and added that Harris was "the very man for me, and I the very man for him". Shaw's hostile reviews led to some managements withdrawing their free seats. Some of the book reviewers were so severe that publishers cancelled their advertisements. Harris was forced to sell the journal for financial reasons in 1898. Michael Holroyd has argued: "There had been a number of libel cases and rumours of blackmail - later put down by Shaw to Harris's innocence of English business methods."

Margot Asquith and Herbert Henry Asquith also met him at this time. Margot recalled in her autobiography: "He sat like a prince - with his sphinx-like imperviousness to bores - courteous and concentrated on the languishing conversation. I made a few gallant efforts; and my husband, who is particularly good on these self-conscious occasions, did his best... but to no purpose."

According to his biographer, Richard Davenport-Hines, Harris had a complicated sex life: "In 1898 Harris was maintaining a ménage at St Cloud with an actress named May Congden, with whom he had a daughter, together with a house at Roehampton containing Nellie O'Hara, with whom he possibly also had a daughter (who died young). He seems to have had other daughters with different women. O'Hara was his helpmate and âme damnée for over thirty years. Apparently the natural daughter of Mary Mackay and a drunkard named Patrick O'Hara, she was a clumsy schemer, battening onto Harris in the hope of millions but encouraging him in self-destructive and rascally courses."

Frank Harris became friends with several leading literary figures, including George Meredith, Oscar Wilde and Walter Pater. In his autobiography, My Life and Loves (1922), Harris recalled that: "One day in 1890 I had George Meredith, Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde dining with me in Park Lane and the time of sex-awakening was discussed. Both Pater and Wilde spoke of it as a sign of puberty. Pater thought it began about thirteen or fourteen and Wilde to my amazement set it as late as sixteen. Meredith alone was inclined to put it earlier."

In 1900 Frank Harris had a book of short stories, Montes the Matador, published. Later that year, his first play, Mr and Mrs Daventry, was produced. The play, that dealt with adultery and sexually emancipated women, was described by Gerald du Maurier, as "the most daring and naturalistic production of the modern English stage… at once repellent and fantastic". His novel, The Bomb, about anarchism set in Chicago, appeared in 1908. The reviewer in the Times Literary Supplement called it a "highly charged with an explosive blend of socialistic and anarchistic matter, wrapped in a gruesome coating of exciting fiction… crowded with swindled workmen, callous employers, brutal police, inhuman millionaires". This was followed by three works about William Shakespeare, The Man Shakespeare (1909), Shakespeare and his Love (1910) and The Women of Shakespeare (1911).

In August 1913, Harris began a magazine entitled, Modern Society. He employed Enid Bagnold as a staff writer. She later recalled: "He was an extraordinary man. He had an appetite for great things and could transmit the sense of them. He was more like a great actor than a man of heart. He could simulate anything. While he felt admiration he could act it, and while he acted it, he felt it. And greatness being his big part, he hunted the centuries for it, spotting it in literature, in passion, in action." She added: "His theory was that women love ugly men. He made sin seem glorious. He was surrounded by rascals. It was better than meeting good men. The wicked have such glamour for the young."

In her Autobiography (1917) she admitted that Harris took her virginity. "The great and terrible step was taken... I went through the gateway in an upper room in the Cafe Royal. That afternoon at the end of the session I walked back to Uncle Lexy's at Warrington Crescent, reflecting on my rise. Like a corporal made sergeant.... And what about love - what about the heart? It wasn't involved. I went through this adventure like a boy, in a merry sort of way, without troubling much. I didn't know him. If I had really known him I might have been tender." During dinner with Uncle Lexy she later wrote that she couldn't believe that her skull wasn't chanting aloud: "I'm not a virgin! I'm not a virgin".

In February 1914 Harris was sent to Brixton Prison for contempt of court following an article on Earl Fitzwilliam, who had been cited as a co-respondent in a divorce case. On his release he moved to New York City. In 1915 he published Contemporary Portraits. The following year he published a biography of Oscar Wilde. Harris also wrote extensively about the First World War. He was highly critical of the way the war was being fought and some of these were described as "traitorious". He also predicted that Germany would win the war. These articles appeared as England or Germany? (1915). In 1916 he became editor of Pearson's Magazine. According to his biographer, Richard Davenport-Hines: "He (Harris) repeatedly clashed with American censorship and made many enemies with his rude, unpredictable, and arrogant conduct."

Harris now moved to Nice. After the death of his second wife he married Nellie O'Hara. Harris's response to becoming sexually impotent was to write an autobiography about his sex life. Harris told George Bernard Shaw: "I am going to see if a man can tell the truth naked and unashamed about himself and his amorous adventures in the world." The first volume of My Life and Loves was published in 1922. The first volume was burnt by customs officials and the second volume resulted in him being charged with corrupting public morals.

In 1928 Harris wrote to Shaw asking if he could write his biography. Shaw replied: "Abstain from such a desperate enterprise... I will not have you write my life on any terms." Harris was convinced that the royalties of the proposed book would solve his financial problems. In 1929 he wrote: "You are honoured and famous and rich - I lie here crippled and condemned and poor."

Eventually, George Bernard Shaw agreed to cooperate with Harris in order to help him provide for his wife. Shaw told a friend that he had to agree because "Frank and Nellie... were in rather desperate circumstances." Shaw warned Harris: "The truth is I have a horror of biographers... If there is one expression in this book of yours that cannot be read at a confirmation class, you are lost for ever. " He sent Harris contradictory accounts of his life. He told Harris that he was "a born philanderer". On another occasion he attempted to explain why he had little experience of sexual relationships. In 1930 he wrote to Harris: "If you have any doubts as to my normal virility, dismiss them from your mind. I was not impotent; I was not sterile; I was not homosexual; and I was extremely susceptible, though not promiscuously."

Frank Harris died of heart failure on 26th August 1931. Shaw sent Nellie a cheque and she arranged to send him the galley-proofs. The book was then rewritten by Shaw: "I have had to fill in the prosaic facts in Frank's best style, and fit them to his comments as best I could; for I have most scrupulously preserved all his sallies at my expense.... You may, however, depend on it that the book is not any the worse for my doctoring." George Bernard Shaw was published in 1932.

All English school life was summed up for me in the "fagging." ... The fags' names on duty were put up on a blackboard, and if you were not on time, ay, and servile to boot, you'd get a dozen from an ash plant on your behind, and not laid on perfunctorily and with distaste, as the Doctor did it, but with vim, so that I had painful weals on my backside and couldn't sit down for days without a smart.

The fags, too, being young and weak, were very often brutally treated just for fun. On Sunday mornings in summer, for instance, we had an hour longer in bed. I was one of the half-dozen juniors in the big bedroom; there were two older boys in it, one at each end, presumably to keep order; but in reality to teach lechery and corrupt their younger favorites. If the mothers of England knew what goes on in the dormitories of these boarding schools throughout England, they would all be closed, from Eton and Harrow, upwards or downwards, in a day. If English fathers even had brains enough to understand that the fires of sex need no stoking in boyhood, they, too, would protect their sons from the foul abuse. But I shall come back to this. Now I wish to speak of the cruelty.

Every form of cruelty was practiced on the younger, weaker and more nervous boys. I remember one Sunday morning the half-dozen older boys pulled one bed along the wall and forced all seven younger boys underneath it, beating with sticks any hand or foot that showed. One little fellow cried that he couldn't breathe, and at once the gang of tormentors began stuffing up all the apertures, saying that they would make a "Black Hole" of it. There were soon cries and strugglings under the bed, and at length one of the youngest began shrieking, so that the torturers ran away from the prison, fearing lest some master should hear.

One wet Sunday afternoon in midwinter, a little nervous "mother's darling" from the West Indies, who always had a cold and was always sneaking near the fire in the big schoolroom, was caught by two of the fifth and held near the flames. Two more brutes pulled his trousers tight over his bottom, and the more he squirmed and begged to be let go, the nearer the flames he was pushed, till suddenly the trousers split apart scorched through; and as the little fellow tumbled forward screaming, the torturers realized that they had gone too far. The little "******," as he was called, didn't tell how he came to be so scorched but took his fortnight in sick bay as a respite.

We read of a fag at Shrewsbury who was thrown into a bath of boiling water by some older boys because he liked to take his bath very warm; but this experiment turned out badly, for the little fellow died and the affair could not be hushed up, though it was finally dismissed as a regrettable accident.

The English are proud of the fact that they hand a good deal of the school discipline to the older boys: they attribute this innovation to Arnold of Rugby and, of course, it is possible, if the supervision is kept up by a genius, that it may work for good and not for evil; but usually it turns the school into a forcing-house of cruelty and immorality. The older boys establish the legend that only sneaks would tell anything to the masters, and they are free to give rein to their basest instincts.

He (Frank Harris) was an extraordinary man. And greatness being his big part, he hunted the centuries for it, spotting it in literature, in passion, in action...

For what happened, of course, was totally to be foreseen. The great and terrible step was taken. What else could you expect from a girl so expectant? "Sex," said Frank Harris, "is the gateway to life." So I went through the gateway in an upper room in the Cafe Royal.

That afternoon at the end of the session I walked back to Uncle Lexy's at Warrington Crescent, reflecting on my rise. Like a corporal made sergeant.

As I sat at dinner with Aunt Clara and Uncle Lexy I couldn't believe that my skull wasn't chanting aloud: "I'm not a virgin! I'm not a virgin".

It was a boy's cry of initiation - not a girl's.

And what about love - what about the heart? It wasn't involved. If I had really known him I might have been tender.

"In love" doesn't make one tender. It makes one furious or jealous, or miserable when it stops. It's the years that make one tender. Time, affection, knowledge. "In love" is the reverse of knowledge.

I went home every week-end. Once home it seemed it hadn't happened. Lies were told. You can't grow up without lies. A child is so much older than her mother thinks she is. I risked so much. It was their happiness I risked: not mine. Nothing could have foundered me - I thought. But if they had known (that's what I risked) could things ever have been the same?

There was plenty to tell at week-ends, without thinking of sex. The office was so thunderingly alive, F.H. in and out, struggling in despair, or blazingly optimistic.

If a novelist were to develop his characters evenly, the three-hundred-page novel might extend to five hundred, the additional two hundred pages would be made up entirely of the sex preoccupations of the characters. There would be as many scenes in the bedroom as in the drawing room, probably more, as more time is passed in the sleeping apartment. The additional two hundred pages would offer pictures of the sex side of the characters and would compel them to become alive: at present they often fail to come to life because they only develop, say, five sides out of six.... Our literary characters are lop-sided because their ordinary traits are fully portrayed while their sex life is cloaked, minimized or left out.... Therefore the characters in modern novels are all false. They are megalocephalous and emasculate. English women speak a great deal about sex... It is a cruel position for the English novel. The novelist may discuss anything but the main preoccupation of life... we are compelled to pad out with murder, theft and arson which, as everybody knows, are perfectly moral things to write about.

The parts he played had one common link - they were all Great Parts. He was the Greatness-Spotter. And perhaps that was the strange elusive fragment that was real. He knew greatness when he saw it. He then sold it, pimped it, pawned it, wore it as his own, and while wearing it (playing the character of the "Character") he loved best what Simenon calls the "limit-moment".

He was en rapport with confession-moments, agony-moments. He stood in the prison corridor while Wilde, in a white sweat of nerves, changed his shoes for the prison boots, he arranged for a yacht to lie off Dartford, and the terrible interview he had when Wilde refused to flee before the trial so tore my heart that I could tell my grandchildren I was there myself.

But then, too, I was with him at the Last Supper - broken and astounded by the words of Jesus Christ. I waited with Mary Fitton when Shakespeare was late for a love appointment and she in such a pain of impatience she didn't know she hadn't put on her dress.

What was fascinating to me in him? Everything, Everything one had to "get over" - to swallow. Even the ugliness. Besides, for ugliness, his theory was that women love ugly men. The wicked have such glamour for the young.

If a doubt sneaked in he made the doubt glorious. Caught out in a lie he laughed his great laugh, and that had its dash.

But all the time he was a ship nose-down for disaster. He could pull the stars out of the sky but he flushed them down the drain. Yet what a talker! What an alchemist in drama - what a story-teller! It's as impossible to reconstruct the thrall as to call back the voice and powers of Garrick.

Frank Harris - History

Rotary started with the vision of one man — Paul P. Harris.

Paul Harris at age 3, around the time he moved to his grandparents’ home.

Harris was born on 19 April 1868 in Racine, Wisconsin, USA. At age 3, he moved to Wallingford, Vermont, where he grew up in the care of his paternal grandparents. He attended the University of Vermont and Princeton University and received his law degree from the University of Iowa in 1891.

In 1896, Harris settled in Chicago and opened a law practice. Four years later, he met fellow attorney Bob Frank for dinner on Chicago’s North Side. They walked around the area, stopping at shops along the way. Harris was impressed that Frank was friendly with many of the shopkeepers. He had not seen this kind of camaraderie among businessmen since moving to Chicago and wondered if there was a way to channel it, because it reminded him of growing up in Wallingford.

“The thought persisted that I was experiencing only what had happened to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of others in the great city. . I was sure that there must be many other young men who had come from farms and small villages to establish themselves in Chicago. . Why not bring them together? If others were longing for fellowship as I was, something would come of it.”

Jean and Paul Harris board a ship after visiting Rotary members in Bermuda, 1925.

Harris eventually persuaded several business associates to discuss the idea of forming an organization for local professionals. On 23 February 1905, Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram Shorey gathered at Loehr’s office in downtown Chicago for what would become known as the first Rotary club meeting.

In February 1907, Harris was elected the third president of the Rotary Club of Chicago. Toward the end of his presidency, he worked to expand Rotary beyond the city. Some club members resisted, not wanting to take on the additional financial burden. But Harris persisted, and by 1910, Rotary had expanded to several other major U.S. cities.

Harris recognized the need to form a national association with an executive board of directors. In August 1910, Rotarians held their first national convention in Chicago, where the 16 existing clubs unified as the National Association of Rotary Clubs (now Rotary International). The new association unanimously elected Harris as its president.

At the end of his second term as Rotary president, Harris resigned, citing ill health and the demands of his professional practice and personal life. He was elected president emeritus by convention action, a title he held until his death.

• Read about the education of Paul Harris

In the mid-1920s, Harris became actively involved in Rotary again, serving as the public face of the organization. To promote membership and service, he attended conventions and visited clubs throughout the world, often accompanied by his wife, Jean.

Harris died on 27 January 1947 in Chicago at age 78, after a prolonged illness. Before his death, he made it known that he preferred contributions to The Rotary Foundation in lieu of flowers. By coincidence, days before he died, Rotary leaders had committed to a major fundraising effort for the Foundation.

Upon news of his death, Rotary created the Paul Harris Memorial Fund as a way to solicit these donations. Rotarians were encouraged to commemorate the late founder of Rotary by contributing to the fund, which would be used for purposes dear to Harris’ heart. In the 18 months following his death, The Rotary Foundation received $1.3 million, which helped support the Foundation’s first program — scholarships for graduate study abroad.

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Frank Harris

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After earning admittance to the State Bar of California in 1990, Harris began her career as a deputy district attorney in Alameda County. She became managing attorney of the Career Criminal Unit in the San Francisco District Attorney&aposs Office in 1998, and in 2000 she was appointed chief of its Community and Neighborhood Division, during which time she established the state&aposs first Bureau of Children’s Justice.

In 2003, Harris defeated incumbent Terence Hallinan, her former boss, to become San Francisco district attorney. Her accomplishments in this role include the launch of the "Back on Track" initiative that cut recidivism by offering job training and other educational programs for low-level offenders.

However, Harris also drew criticism for adhering to a campaign pledge and refusing to seek the death penalty for a gang member convicted of the 2004 killing of police officer Isaac Espinoza.


“The pilot gave the order for west quarter north, but she was put west quarter south, and sunk a tugboat, hit a scow, and then cut an 18-inch (water) main,” Harris told The Province.

Vancouver pioneer Frank Harris, Dec. 4, 1944. Vancouver Archives AM54-S4-2-: CVA 371-81 PNG

Eventually, the Great Vancouver Water Board put in a water tunnel, which ended the slicing and dicing of the mains. Harris worked as caretaker of the waterworks in Stanley Park until 1933, when he retired at the age of 72.

His job after that seems to have been going to pioneer reunions and talking to newspaper reporters about the old days.

“The first car that came in (to the park) … man!” he told The Sun’s St. Pierre. “We all went out to the road to see what the racket was, and there it is with steam pouring out and shaking all over.”

When Harris passed away, three of his children were living in his house with him. But the lease in the park ran out with Frank’s death, and they were forced to move. His house was demolished, but you can still see it in a W. J. Moore panorama photo in the Vancouver Archives.

Frank Harris and Miss B. Roeder dance at a pioneer’s gathering. Oct. 31, 1945. Vancouver Archives AM54-S4-2-: CVA 371-82 PNG

Longtime Vancouver waterworks employee Frank Harris poses in a giant waterworks pipe on April 27, 1932. The original of this is missing, this is scanned from the paper. Syd Williamson/Vancouver Sun PNG

Kamala Harris

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Kamala Harris, in full Kamala Devi Harris, (born October 20, 1964, Oakland, California, U.S.), 49th vice president of the United States (2021– ) in the Democratic administration of Pres. Joe Biden. She was the first woman and the first African American to hold the post. She had previously served in the U.S. Senate (2017–21) and as attorney general of California (2011–17).

Who is Kamala Harris?

Kamala Harris, 49th vice president of the United States, is the first Black woman to have been elected vice president. She represented California in the U.S. Senate from 2017 to 2021 and served as the state’s attorney general from 2011 to 2017.

What political party is Kamala Harris a member of?

Kamala Harris is a member of the Democratic Party.

Did Kamala Harris run for president?

Kamala Harris sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. The nomination was secured by Joe Biden, who chose Harris as his running mate.

Where was Kamala Harris born?

Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California, on October 20, 1964.

Where did Kamala Harris go to college?

Kamala Harris earned a B.A. in political science and economics from Howard University in 1986 and a law degree from Hastings College in 1989.

Her father, who was Jamaican, taught at Stanford University, and her mother, the daughter of an Indian diplomat, was a cancer researcher. Her younger sister, Maya, later became a public policy advocate. After studying political science and economics (B.A., 1986) at Howard University, Kamala earned a law degree (1989) from Hastings College.

She subsequently worked as a deputy district attorney (1990–98) in Oakland, earning a reputation for toughness as she prosecuted cases of gang violence, drug trafficking, and sexual abuse. Harris rose through the ranks, becoming district attorney in 2004. In 2010 she was narrowly elected attorney general of California—winning by a margin of less than 1 percent—thus becoming the first female and the first African American to hold the post. After taking office the following year, she demonstrated political independence, rejecting, for example, pressure from the administration of Pres. Barack Obama for her to settle a nationwide lawsuit against mortgage lenders for unfair practices. Instead, she pressed California’s case and in 2012 won a judgment five times higher than that originally offered. Her refusal to defend Proposition 8 (2008), which banned same-sex marriage in the state, helped lead to it being overturned in 2013. Harris’s book, Smart on Crime (2009 cowritten with Joan O’C. Hamilton), was considered a model for dealing with the problem of criminal recidivism.

In 2012 Harris delivered a memorable address at the Democratic National Convention, raising her national profile. Two years later she married attorney Douglas Emhoff. Widely considered a rising star within the party, she was recruited to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Barbara Boxer, who was retiring. In early 2015 Harris declared her candidacy, and on the campaign trail she called for immigration and criminal-justice reforms, increases to the minimum wage, and protection of women’s reproductive rights. She easily won the 2016 election.

When she took office in January 2017, Harris became the first Indian American in the Senate and just the second Black woman. She began serving on both the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Judiciary Committee, among other assignments. She became known for her prosecutorial style of questioning witnesses during hearings, which drew criticism—and occasional interruptions—from Republican senators. In June she drew particular attention for her questions to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was testifying before the intelligence committee on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election she had earlier called on him to resign. Harris’s memoir, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, was published in January 2019.

Shortly thereafter Harris announced that she was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. From the outset she was seen as one of the leading contenders, and she drew particular attention when, during a primary debate, she had a contentious exchange with fellow candidate Joe Biden over his opposition to school busing in the 1970s and ’80s, among other race-related topics. Although Harris’s support initially increased, by September 2019 her campaign was in serious trouble, and in December she dropped out of the race. She continued to maintain a high profile, notably becoming a leading advocate for social-justice reform following the May 2020 death of George Floyd, an African American who had been in police custody. Her efforts silenced some who had criticized her tenure as attorney general, alleging that she had failed to investigate charges of police misconduct, including questionable shootings. Others, however, felt that her embrace of reform was a political maneuver to capitalize on the increasing public popularity of social change. As racial injustice became a major issue in the United States, many Democrats called on Biden, the party’s presumptive nominee, to select an African American woman—a demographic that was seen as pivotal to his election chances—as his vice presidential running mate. In August Biden chose Harris, and she thus was the first Black woman to appear on a major party’s national ticket. In November she became the first Black woman to be elected vice president of the United States.

In the ensuing weeks Trump and various other Republicans challenged the election results, claiming voter fraud. Although a number of lawsuits were filed, no evidence was provided to support the allegations, and the vast majority of the cases were dismissed. During this time Harris and Biden began the transition to a new administration, announcing an agenda and selecting staff. By early December all states had certified the election results, and the process then moved to Congress for final certification. Amid Trump’s repeated calls for Republicans to overturn the election, a group of congressional members, which notably included Senators Josh Hawley (Missouri) and Ted Cruz (Texas), announced that they would challenge the electors of various states. Shortly after the proceedings began on January 6, 2021, a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. It took several hours to secure the building, but Biden and Harris were eventually certified as the winners. She later denounced the siege—which many believed was incited by Trump—as “an assault on America’s democracy.” On January 18 she officially resigned from the Senate. Two days later, amid an incredible security presence, Harris was sworn in as vice president.

Frank Harris - History

  • Rachel (b. 1769, d. 1863), married Benjamin Drane
  • Benjamin C. (b. unknown, d. unknown)
  • Jane (b. unknown, d. unknown)
  • Dr. John Crampton (b. 1773, d. 1842), married Sarah Ann Harrison Regan. One of their great-grandsons, Nathaniel E. Harris (b. 1846, d. 1929) became a governor of Georgia.
  • Sarah (b. 1775, d. unknown)
  • George Carroll (b. 1781, d. 1865), married Sally McCray, then Sarah Heiskell
  • Mary (b. 1783-1843), married S , amuel Alexander Bayless
  • Lydia

In 1878, Sarah Heiskel Harris submitted a stack of documentation that she was George Harris's widow in order to collect War of 1812 widow's pension. In addition to filling out forms, she had to submit written testimony by several witnesses, including the Justice of the Peace who married them, her physician, and several neighbors, verifying that she was his widow and had not remarried. Dewitt Harris, George's grandson who was then serving as County Clerk, witnessed and verified these letters.

Aptheker, H. 1974. Anti-racism in U.S. history: The first two hundred years. New York: Greenwood Press.

Bailey, F. A. (1985). Class and Tennessee's confederate generation. The Journal of Southern History 51 (1), 31-60.

Boyer, R. B. (1970). Monroe County, Tennessee records, 1820-1870. Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press.

Byrum, C. S. (1984). McMinn County. Memphis: Memphis State University Press.

Christopher Tyler Cemetery, Jonesboro, Tennessee. Retrieved February 15, 2009 from http://www.tng (get rest)

Cowen, C. Biography: Benjamin Harris. Retrieved May 1, 2009 from http://freepages.history/

Cummings, Herman C., Public Tree (get a littlle more info)

Everett, C. S. (1999). Melungeon history and myth. Appalachian Journal 26 (4), 358-409.

Finkelman, P. (1998). Slavery in the courtroom: An annotated bibiography of American cases. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.

Glover, W. B. (1935). A history of the Caddo Indians. The Louisiana Historical Quarterly 18 (4). Retrieved May 4, 2009 from

Goodspeed's History of Washington County (n.d.) Retrieved January 1, 2009 from

Harris, R. E. (date). From Essex, England to the sunny southern USA: A Harris family journey. Tucker, GA: Robert Harris.

Houston, K. E. (2008). Slaveholders and slaves of Hempstead County, Arkansas. Unpublished Master's thesis, University of North Texas.

Imes, W. L. (1919). The legal status of Negroes and slaves in Tennessee. Journal of Negro History 4, 254-72.

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At a Glance …

Born May 31,1924, in Mattoon, IL died of cancer, March 23,1985, in Washington, DC daughter of Bert (a dining-car waiter) and Hildren C. Roberts married William Beasley Harris (a lawyer died November, 1984). Education: Howard University, A.B. (summa cum laude), 1945 graduate studies at the University of Chicago, c. 1946-49, and American University, beginning, 1949 George Washington University Law School, graduate, 1960. Politics: Democrat.

U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC, member of appeals and research staff, criminal division, c. 1960 Howard University, Washington, DC, 1961-65 and 1967-69, began as law school lecturer and associate dean of students, became dean of law school, 1969 U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg, 1965-67 Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, and Kampelman (law firm), Washington, DC, c. 1970-77 U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development, 1977-80 U.S. secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1980 ran for mayor of Washington, DC, 1982 George Washington University, Washington, DC, law professor, 1983-85. Worked during the 1940s and 1950s for the Young Women ’ s Christian Association (YWCA), Chicago Delta Sigma Theta, executive secretary, beginning 1953 alternate delegate, United Nations General Assembly, 1966-67. Member of the board of directors of Chase Manhattan Bank, Scott Paper Company, and IBM. Trustee, Twentieth Century Fund.

Awards: Alumni Achievement Award, George Washington University, c. 1965 Distinguished Achievement Award, Howard University, 1966 Order of Oaken Crown, 1967.

Member: Delta Sigma Theta, Phi Beta Kappa.

age she displayed a drive to achieve academic excellence while also devoting considerable energy to civil rights activities and social work. After receiving five scholarship offers to attend college, Harris chose Howard University in Washington, DC, from which she graduated in 1945 with highest honors. While at Howard, Harris also served as vice-chairman of a student branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and was involved in early nonviolent demonstrations against racial discrimination, including a sit-in protest at a “ whites-only ” Washington restaurant. She returned to Illinois in 1945 to study industrial relations at the University of Chicago, and at the same time became active in the Young Women ’ s Christian Association (YWCA). Returning to Washington in 1949 to continue graduate studies at American University, Harris furthered her involvement with social organizations, working as an assistant director for the American Council of Human Rights.

From 1953 to 1959 Harris served as executive director of the national black sorority, Delta Sigma Theta. A self-described “ generalist, ” she pursued law as a career, concluding that it was the discipline best suited to fulfill her range of academic and social interests. With the encouragement of her husband, attorney William Beasley Harris, Harris enrolled in George Washington University Law School she graduated at the top of her class in 1960. After working for a year with the U.S. Department of Justice, Harris became a part-time law lecturer at Howard University, being named associate professor in 1965. Harris ’ s work as a social activist reached new levels at this time when she was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to co-chair the National Women ’ s Committee for Civil Rights, an umbrella organization encompassing some 100 women ’ s groups throughout the United States. In 1965 Harris was chosen by President Lyndon Johnson to become U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg, the first black woman ever to be named an American envoy. “ I feel deeply proud and grateful this President chose me to knock down this barrier, ” she was quoted as saying in the New York Post, “ but also a little sad about being the ‘ first Negro woman ’ because it implies we were not considered before. ”

Following her diplomat duties Harris returned to Howard and in 1969 served as dean of its law school — another first for a black woman. She followed this feat with several years as a corporate attorney, during which she also served on the boards of several U.S. corporations. According to Smith in Notable Black American Women, Harris firmly believed that “ social change could be influenced by corporate responsibility. ” Her 1977 appointment by President Carter to become secretary of HUD gave Harris an opportunity to fight racial discrimination in housing practices and advocate government financial support for inner cities. Harris held, as stated in a speech quoted by Smith, that “ the Federal Government has adopted national policy which simultaneously addresses the weakening of older central cities ’ economies, the causes and negative effects of suburbanization, and the plight of central city minority groups. In many cases, it has inadvertently contributed to the problems. ” As a Cabinet secretary Harris was considered a tough negotiator for her departments and policies. Carter ’ s domestic policy advisor, Stuart E. Eizenstat, was quoted by New York Times contributor Boyd as saying that Harris usually won battles concerning funding for her departments. Carter himself praised Harris, describing her as “ a fine Cabinet officer, sensitive to the needs of others and an able administrator. ”

Harris served on Carter ’ s Cabinet until he was defeated in the 1980 presidential election. In 1982 she made an unsuccessful run for the mayorship of Washington, DC, losing to incumbent Marion S. Barry in the Democratic primary. Political observers indicated that Harris failed to gain the support of lower-income blacks during the race and was often portrayed as a candidate for middle-class blacks and whites. “ I looked at the nation ’ s capital and saw that it was not living up to its potential, ” Boyd quoted her as saying on her decision to run for mayor. “ Seventy percent of us here are black. This is seen as a black town. But it ’ s not working well. ” Undefeated by her loss, Harris returned to law in 1983, becoming a professor at George Washington University, a position she held until her death from cancer in 1985.

HARRIS Genealogy

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One New York Plaza
New York, New York 10004-1980


Founded: 1890s as Riegelman and Bach
Employees: 1,050
Gross Revenues: $225 million (1999)
NAIC: 54111 Offices of Lawyers

Company Perspectives:

The core values of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson include outstanding and creative solutions for a broad base of important clients, integrity, collegiality and community, individual autonomy and institutional focus, and recognition and rewards.

Key Dates:

1890s:Charles Riegelman begins a New York City law practice.
1932: Walter J. Fried joins the firm.
1943: Hans J. Frank joins the firm.
1949: Firm opens its Washington, D.C., office.
1970: The London office is established.
1971: The current firm name is adopted after Sargent Shriver joins the firm.
1986: Los Angeles office is opened.
1993: The Paris office is started.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson is a major international law firm that operates offices in New York City, London, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. In 2000 it ranked among the top firms offering legal services to corporate clients, as well as government agencies and associations. Fried Frank serves clients involved in mergers, acquisitions, taxation issues, antitrust, litigation, and most other areas of corporate law. Unlike some firms, Fried Frank has no single historic client that accounts for most of its revenues its heritage as a law firm of mostly German Jewish attorneys in the early 20th century is also unique. Sometimes described as a liberal law firm, Fried Frank supports minority organizations such as the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Origins and Early Practice

Although the names of Fried and Frank would not be reflected in the company's name until the 1950s, the history of Fried Frank may be traced to the 1890s, when a group of German Jewish lawyers began practicing in New York City at a time when few New York-based firms employed attorneys of Jewish or other ethnic heritage. The lead partner was Charles A. Riegelman in the firm of Riegelman and Bach. Later Riegelman joined other attorneys, and by 1929 he was part of a partnership known as Limburg, Riegelman, Hirsch & Hess.

Riegelman's practice in the early 20th century focused on representing Maurice Wertheim and the investment bank he founded called Wertheim Schroder & Company Incorporated. When Wertheim died, Riegelman also served as his executor, a typical practice in the days before specialization.

In 1932 Walter J. Fried joined the firm as an associate. On January 1, 1934 the firm was renamed again, this time to Riegelman, Hirsch & Hess, after name partner Limburg died. In 1938 the firm recruited partner Arthur L. Strasser and thus became Riegelman, Hess, Strasser & Hirsch. By the end of 1939 Hirsch had died, so the firm of eight partners and seven associates became just Riegelman, Hess & Strasser.

With about 15 lawyers in the late 1940s, the firm's name partners were Riegelman, Strasser, Schwarz, and Spiegelberg. The firm practiced general corporate law and litigation for both American and foreign clients, such as retailer Bergdorf Goodman importer-exporter Stein Hall Ecusta Paper, a cigarette paper manufacturer and some Indonesian firms. Spiegelberg, in particular, had risen to prominence as a litigator for both American and British clients, and he was also well known for helping Congress pass 'reverse lend-lease' legislation.

A few years before Riegelman died in 1950, the partnership recruited a new generation of young lawyers, including Hans J. Frank who joined in 1943. Frank had left Germany when Hitler's laws forbidding Jews to practice law had been enacted in the United States his practice emphasized international taxation. Meanwhile, Walter Fried's specialty in real estate law significantly increased the firm's billings. One of Fried's contributions was in helping found New York City's co-oping residential buildings. In 1955 the law firm became Strasser, Spiegelberg, Fried & Frank.

In 1949 the partnership opened its first branch office in Washington, D.C. Felix S. Cohen, former solicitor for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), was instrumental in founding the D.C. office, which worked mainly on representing Native Americans who used the new Indian Claims Commission Act in filing claims against the federal government. By the mid-1950s the Washington, D.C., office had developed more of a general law practice, under the leadership of Max M. Kampelman, one of the firm's better known attorneys who in 1989 would receive the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Ronald Reagan and in 1991 would publish his memoirs.

According to journalist John Taylor, in the early postwar era 'far and away the most dynamic of the younger attorneys at the firm was Sam Harris.' Harris had worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission, started during the New Deal era of the 1930s, and had helped the United States prosecute war criminals in the Nuremberg trials before joining Fried Frank in the late 1940s. Moreover, Harris represented uranium magnate Joseph Hirshhorn of Canada and later joined the board of directors of Rio Tinto-Zinc Corporation after Hirshhorn sold his business to RTZ. Harris was also important in recruiting other young lawyers for Fried Frank, especially several who, like Harris, had graduated from Yale Law School. In those early postwar years in particular, Harris helped recruit other Jewish lawyers who had been excluded from most of the nation's largest law firms. He was made a partner in the firm two years after he arrived, in 1949.

Much of Fried Frank's expansion in the postwar era was influenced by Arthur Fleischer, Jr., who joined the firm as an associate after graduating from Yale Law School in 1958. From 1961 to 1964 Fleischer served as the assistant to the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, then returned to Fried Frank. Under his mentor Sam Harris, Fleischer became a major securities lawyer by the late 1960s. In 1969 he helped organize the Practicing Law Institute's first Annual Institute on Securities Regulation to help lawyers stay informed in that specialty. In 1971 the law firm changed its name to Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson after Sargent Shriver joined the firm. Shriver was well known for directing the Peace Corps when it was started in the early 1960s during President John F. Kennedy's administration.

In the 1970s and 1980s Fleischer led a team of Fried Frank attorneys engaged in building a strong merger/acquisition practice. In 1975 the firm worked on five such projects that number increased to 87 in 1985, including one in which Fleischer represented General Electric in its $6.28 billion merger with RCA Corporation. In 1984 Fried Frank represented the Getty Oil Company when it was purchased by Texaco for $10 billion, and for the year 1986 the law firm participated in 11 of the 33 transactions valued at $1 billion or more.

Thus Fried Frank gained a reputation as having a 'transactional' practice, based on case-by-case counsel, instead of having one or a few major long-term clients like some other leading law firms. New York's Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, for example, had for decades represented the Rockefeller family and Chase Manhattan Bank, while New York's Shearman & Sterling's major client since 1891 was Citigroup and its predecessors.

In 1980 Fried Frank attorneys and many others in the profession were saddened by Harris' tragic suicide. 'After his death there was a void,' said Harris's colleague and friend, Leon Silverman, in the March 1987 Manhattan, inc., adding 'He was the most important force in the firm. But it was the character he gave to the firm that permitted it to withstand his death and go on.'

Between 1981 and 1987 Fried Frank grew from 204 lawyers and 67 partners to 325 lawyers and 93 partners. The firm's Washington, D.C., office went from 56 lawyers in 1982 to 93 lawyers just five years later. Harvey Pitt, the SEC general counsel who joined Fried Frank in 1978, was responsible for much of the Washington office's growth.

Much of Fried Frank's rapid expansion came from hiring experienced attorneys from competing law firms. Such lateral hiring or raiding began increasing in the late 1970s, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that professional advertising was a First Amendment free-speech right and after The National Law Journal and The American Lawyer began publishing articles about law firm finances and management. This was part of a major transformation of large law firms from a institutions characterized by long-term loyalty to one's firm, relatively slow growth, and a great deal of collegiality, to more of a business culture emphasizing competition for top attorneys with rapidly increasing salaries, openly advertising for clients, specialization, less collegiality, and new offices both in the United States and abroad.

Although Fried Frank represented noted clients such as Goldman, Sachs & Company, Morgan Stanley, and Lazard Freres in the 1980s, its representation of Ivan F. Boesky probably garnered the most media attention. Fried Frank attorneys had in the 1970s begun representing financier Boesky as he established and operated his various businesses. When Boesky was investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Fried Frank partner Harvey Pitt represented him. Finally, Pitt was Boesky's counselor in 1986, when he was charged with securities fraud, advising Boesky to plead guilty to insider trading. Boesky was allowed to act as a government informant in exchange for shorter prison time (three years), paid $100 million in fines, and was barred for life from the securities business. Journalist John Taylor called this 'a superb deal' for Boesky. Boesky also used Fried Frank attorneys to help him liquidate his partnerships thus, 'Fried Frank will have worked him on the way up and then worked him on the way down,' wrote Taylor.

This was just one side to what the Wall Street Journal on December 21, 1987 called 'the largest scandal in Wall Street's history.' In 1989 a group of investors represented by the Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft law firm sued Fried Frank for deceptive statements regarding Boesky's finances. Moreover, in 1991, Fried Frank and the auditing firm Oppenheim, Appel, Dixon & Company agreed to settle a lawsuit out of court by paying $11.2 million to some 42 individual and institutional investors in Ivan F. Boesky & Company. Those investors alleged that the law firm had deceived them in documents prepared for the Boesky firm's initial offering in 1986. At least two books, in addition to many media accounts, covered these and many other aspects of the Boesky scandal.

Another financial scandal occurred in the late 1980s when savings and loans firms began to collapse, leading to a massive government bailout of billions of dollars. In 1983 Fried Frank attorney Thomas Vartanian, as general counsel for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, had helped develop new rules that deregulated the savings and loans unfortunately, many took on irresponsible loans and thus soon failed. By the late 1980s Vartanian returned to Fried Frank, where he helped negotiate 55 thrift mergers and acquisitions of the many failed savings and loans, significantly increasing the firm's billings.

In July 1992 the law firm announced it had formed a representative office in Budapest, Hungary, in cooperation with the locally prominent law firm of Burai-Kovacs, Buki & Partner. With the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, many American law firms established offices to help foreign firms invest in Hungary, Russia, and other former Eastern Bloc nations. However, this Fried Frank office was shuttered after a few years.

In the late 1990s Fried Frank literature proclaimed, 'Over the past several decades, we have represented every one of the major investment banking firms and broker-dealers, each of the Big Six accounting firms and the major insurance companies of the world in securities regulation, compliance and corporate governance matters. And during the same period, we have been involved in nearly every high-profile securities enforcement matter.'

Fried Frank's merger/acquisition (M/A) practice in 1998 included representing Kirk Kerkorian, a top Chrysler shareholder, when Chrysler merged with Germany's Daimler-Benz, a $39 billion deal. Other clients included Dow Jones, Loews, GTE, Northrup Grumman. From 1985 to the late 1990s Fried Frank represented Proctor & Gamble during its acquisition of public companies.

Fried Frank's practice in the late 1990s included most other aspects of corporate law. It was involved in major initial public offerings (IPOs), including its 1998 representation of the underwriters in Republic Services's $1.5 billion IPO. One of the firm's major Latin American clients was Mexico's Grupo Televisa. In 1997 Fried Frank, in a joint venture with the London law firm Simmons & Simmons that later was discontinued, worked on the $8 billion privatization of Endesa, the largest electric company in Spain. Litigation also played a big part in the firm's practice the firm successfully represented Lloyd's of London, for example, when it was accused of breaking U.S. securities laws. Numerous specific discussions of the firm's clients and their roles in antitrust, intellectual property, and other areas were detailed in Fried Frank literature, a candor not usually seen in the brochures and Web sites of major law firms.

Based on its 1997 gross revenues of $200 million, Fried Frank ranked as the 39th largest law firm in the United States, according to The American Lawyer of July/August 1998. The same magazine in November 1998 ranked Fried Frank as the world's 47th largest law firm. The July 1999 American Lawyer rankings featured Fried Frank as number 42 among the country's largest law firms, based on its 1998 revenues of $225 million, and 19th in terms of its average partner compensation of $760,000.

At the end of the century law firms continued to expand globally, perhaps the best example being London's Clifford Chance, which had about 3,000 lawyers after mergers with one American and one German law firm. Fried Frank faced plenty of competition from other major law firms operating in the globalized economy. Moreover, employing their own workforce of attorneys, mostly specializing in tax law, large accounting firms also competed with law firms. Finally, with the growth of the so-called 'new economy' or Information Age, in which electronic commerce boomed, the entire legal profession, Fried Frank included, faced new and unforeseen opportunities to help corporate clients.

Principal Competitors: Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton Davis Polk & Wardwell Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Cohen, Laurie P., 'Boesky Lawyers Call `Outrageous' Net Worth Claims,' Wall Street Journal , March 22, 1989, p. 1.
Fleischer, Arthur, Jr., Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr., and Miriam Z. Klipper, Board Games: The Changing Shape of Corporate Power, New York: Little, Brown, 1988.
'Fraud Case Is Dismissed,' Wall Street Journal , January 3, 1996, p. B2.
'Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson,' in The Insider's Guide to Law Firms , special edition, Mobius Press, 1999.
'Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson,' in Inside Track, 1984, pp. 336-44.
'Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson,' in Law Firm Highlights from, New York, 1999.
'Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson Forms Cooperative Relationship with Hungarian Law Firm,' PR Newswire , July 20, 1992.
Galanter, Marc, and Thomas Palay, Tournament of Lawyers: The Transformation of the Big Law Firm, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.
Hagedorn, Ann, 'Boesky Lawyers Agree to Settle,' Asian Wall Street Journal , July 10, 1991, p. 19.
Hertzberg, Daniel, 'Milken and 26 Other Drexel Employees Owned Stake in Boesky Arbitrage Firm,' Wall Street Journal , August 15, 1988, p. 1.
Kampelman, Max M., Entering New Worlds: The Memoirs of a Private Man in Public Life, New York: HarperCollins, 1991.
Kang, Grace M., 'Suit Tests Continuing Obligation of Law Firms on Advising Clients,' Wall Street Journal , July 20, 1992, p. B6.
'The Legal Masterminds Behind Merger Mania,' Business Week , August 13, 1984, p. 122.
Pollock, Ellen J., 'Legal Beat: Slump Hits Elite Firms, Survey Shows,' Wall Street Journal , June 29, 1993, p. B1.
Radigan, Joseph, 'Getting Sued on the Internet,' US Banker , June 1997, p. 19.
Rice, Robert, 'Leading Law Firms in Joint Venture,' Financial Times (London), August 1, 1997, p. 11.
Slater, Robert, and Jeffrey A. Krames, The Titans of Takeover, Beard Group, 1999.
Stewart, James B., and Daniel Hertzberg, 'Boesky Sentence Ends Chapter in Scandal--But Many More Are Thought to Be Implicated,' Wall Street Journal , December 21, 1987, p. 1.
Taylor, John, 'Brief Encounters,' Manhattan, Inc. , March 1987.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories , Vol. 35. St. James Press, 2001.

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