John Harris, founder of Harrisburg, PA

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John Harris

Birthdate: (75)
Birthplace: Yorkshire, England
Death: Died in Harris' Ferry, Lancaster County, Province of Pennsylvania
Immediate Family:

Son of Edward Harris
Husband of Esther Harris
Father of John Harris of Harris Ferry; Capt. Samuel Harris; James Harris; Elizabeth Findley; David Harris and 2 others

Occupation: Founder of Harrisburg,PA, Trader, Merchant
Managed by: Ben M. Angel, still catching up
Last Updated:

About John Harris, founder of Harrisburg, PA

[,_Sr. Wikipedia]

John Harris, Sr. (1673 – December 1748) emigrated from Britain to America late in the 17th century. Harris would later settle and establish Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA, which bears his name today.


Harris was born in Yorkshire, England, of Welsh parents. When Harris landed in Philadelphia, his total wealth was 16 guineas (about $81.76) but he began to improve his fortune through contracts to clear land and open streets in the city. He formed a firm and lifelong friendship with Edward Shippen, second Mayor of Philadelphia, justice of the State Supreme Court, the later president of the Provincial Council, and married Shippen's niece Esther Sey (Say), also a native of Yorkshire, England. He developed cordial relations with the Penn family as well.

In 1705 the first John Harris received his trader's licence to "seat himself on the Sasquahannah" (Susquehanna River) and "to erect such buildings as are necessary for his trade, and to enclose and improve such quantities of land he shall see fit." At first a roving trader, he eventually established a trading post along the river. Soon after, he became known for his fair dealings with the local Indians and later, wise counsel to the settlers, reputations which became traditional with him and his sons.

In 1733 he was granted the right to operate a ferry across the Susquehanna and for more than half a century "Harris's Ferry" was the funnel through which much of the Scottish, Irish and German migration trickled west. In the same year Harris acquired, through grants, two tracts of land adjacent to his ferry, totaling 800 acres (3.2 km2). Today, the area has been developed into downtown Harrisburg. John Harris Sr. Had 7 sons and 2 daughters who spread out and whose descendants are spread through the US.

John Harris, the trader, died in December 1748 and left to his son, the second John Harris, Jr., management of the estate and control of an important strong point on the frontier. _______________________________________________________________________________ Simon Cameron House, also known as John Harris Mansion and the Harris Cameron Mansion is a site in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The structure is one of the oldest buildings in Harrisburg and has undergone numerous additions and significant renovations since it was first constructed in 1766.[2] The house and family items were donated to the Historical Society of Dauphin County in 1941 and is open for tours from April through December.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1975. It is located in the Harrisburg Historic District. from:

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John Harris, founder of Harrisburg, PA's Timeline

Yorkshire, England
Age 47
Age 49
October 22, 1729
Age 56
Lancaster County, Province of Pennsylvania
Age 57
Harris's Ferry, Province of Pennsylvania
May 4, 1733
Age 60
Harris's Ferry, Pennsylvania, United States
Age 64
Age 67
Harris' Ferry, Lancaster County, Province of Pennsylvania
December 20, 1748
Age 75
Harris' Ferry, Lancaster County, Province of Pennsylvania