About Harris Flanagin, Governor
Harris Flanagin (November 3, 1817 – October 23, 1874) was an American politician and the seventh Governor of the State of Arkansas.
Flanagin was born in Roadstown, New Jersey, and educated in Quaker schools in New Jersey. At the age of eighteen, he became a professor of mathematics. Flanagin moved west and opened his own private school in Paoli, Illinois. He studied law and was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1837. He married Martha Eliza Nash-Flanagin and had a son, Nash Flanagin.
Flanagin moved to Arkansas and entered politics. He served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1842 to 1844.Newberry, Farrar. “Harris Flanagin.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 17 (Spring 1955): 3–20.
During the American Civil War, he served in the Confederate States Army as a Captain and rose to the rank of Colonel before the conflict was over. He served with the 2nd Arkansas Mounted Rifles.
In 1862, Flanagin was elected Governor of Arkansas and was recalled from active duty to take office. His administration dealt primarily with war related measures and maintaining order and continuing government while undergoing an invasion. His administration was faced with shortages of critical items, rising prices, care of fallen soldier's families, and related problems. During the war the government was forced to suspend the collection of taxes and financed the war with paper "war bonds".
The capitol at Little Rock, Arkansas fell to Union troops on September 10, 1863. Flanagin seized as many government documents as he could and fled to Washington, Arkansas where he set up a temporary capitol.
While Flanagin stayed in Confederate controlled territory, a new Union government under Isaac Murphy was inaugurated on April 18, 1864. After the war, Flanagin returned to his law practice in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
Flanagin is buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Arkadelphia.