Founder of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Farmer, Indian trader, and ferry keeper at Paxtang on the Susquehanna (from 1748). Advised Pennsylvania officials on frontier defense and hosted conferences between provincial officials and Indians, whose respect he enjoyed. Active in local defense in Seven Years’ War and Revolutionary War. Built an elegant residence at Harris Ferry (1766) and planned a town (1775); Harrisburg was finally laid out in 1785.
Son of John and Esther (Say) Harris of Harris Ferry, Pennsylvania. Married Elizabeth McClure.