Harris, Townsend, 1804-1878

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1804-10-04
Death 1878-02-25
Americans
English, Japanese

Biographical notes:

Harris was born Oct. 3, 1804 in Sandy Hill, NY; at age 13 started work at a dry goods store in NYC; joined his father and brother in business importing china; elected as a Democrat to the Board of Education in 1846, where he successfully led the fight for a free college which later became the College of the City of New York; purchased a trading ship, sailed to California, and undertook voyages in the Pacific and Indian Oceans which ended in financial disaster; in 1855 he was appointed US Consul General to Japan; negotiated commercial treaties with Siam in 1857 and Japan in 1858; after the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, he resigned, returned to NYC, became a War Democrat, and joined the Union League Club; spent his remaining years concerned with temperance, Christian missions, and foreign affairs; he died on Feb. 25, 1878.

From the description of Papers, 1855-1892. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 39287188

Harris was a merchant, educator, politician, diplomat, and first U.S. Consul General to Japan (1855-1862). As President of the Board of Education of New York City, he was instrumental in obtaining the legislation and charter for the Free Academy of New York (later the City College of New York).

From the description of [Letters and papers of Townsend Harris]. 1855-1890, 1855-1862. (City College / CUNY). WorldCat record id: 19580394

Harris was President of the New York City Board of Education, 1846-1848, and Consul General to Japan, 1855-1861.

From the description of Papers, 1856-1978, 1885-1962 (bulk) (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155502840

Biography

Harris was born October 3, 1804 in Sandy Hill, New York; at age 13 started work at a dry goods store in New York City; joined his father and brother in business importing china; elected as a Democrat to the Board of Education in 1846, where he successfully led the fight for a free college which later became the College of the City of New York; purchased a trading ship, sailed to California, and undertook voyages in the Pacific and Indian Oceans which ended in financial disaster; in 1855 he was appointed U.S. Consul General to Japan; negotiated commercial treaties with Siam in 1857 and Japan in 1858; after the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, he resigned, returned to New York City, became a War Democrat, and joined the Union League Club; spent his remaining years concerned with temperance, Christian missions, and foreign affairs; he died on February 25, 1878.

From the guide to the Townsend Harris Papers, 1855-1892, (University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.)

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Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6tb1fjn
Ark ID:
w6tb1fjn
SNAC ID:
71344246

Subjects:

  • Memorials
  • Townsend Harris Memorial (Shimoda, Japan)
  • Diplomatic and consular service, American
  • Diplomatic and consular service, American--Japan
  • Consuls--Archival resources
  • Consuls--Correspondence
  • Consuls--United States--Archival resources

Occupations:

  • Educators
  • Diplomats

Places:

  • Japan (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Japan--Shimoda (as recorded)
  • Japan (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Japan (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)