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James C. Harper

James Clarence Harper (1819—1890) was a United States Representative in Congress from the state of North Carolina for one term (1871–1873). Harper was born in Pennsylvania but moved in 1840 to what would soon become Caldwell County, North Carolina. A Democrat, he was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in the special election of 1865, after receiving, in August of that year, a pardon from President Andrew Johnson for his part in "the late rebellion." He was re-elected in 1866. Harper was seemingly elected again in 1868, but the election was later declared illegal.[1]

In 1870, Harper was elected to the 42nd United States Congress as a Democrat or "Conservative," as some North Carolina Democrats were calling themselves at the time. He did not run for re-election in 1872.

Harper was the father-in-law of Judge Clinton A. Cilley. Many of Harper's papers, including almost fifty years of his diaries, can be found in the Southern Historical Collection of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This James C. Harper should not be confused with his relative, Captain James Cunningham Harper (1893–1986), who became a famous band director in Lenoir, NC.[2]


  1. ^ North Carolina Manual of 1913
  2. ^ Caldwell County Schools Hall of Honor
  • Congressional Biography
  • James Clarence Harper Papers
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Alexander H. Jones
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 7th congressional district

Succeeded by
William M. Robbins

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