ELISHA HARRIS was born in Cranston, Rhode Island and attended public schools and the East Greenwich Seminary. He became a bookkeeper after finishing school and then entered the manufacturing business in his early thirties. He was a member of the Rhode Island General Assembly for several sessions and served as Lieutenant Governor from 1846 until 1847, when he became governor. As governor, Harris advocated educational and governmental reform. He left office in 1849 after serving two terms but came back to mount what became an unsuccessful effort to win reelection in 1850. Harris also was President of the Bank of North American in Providence for many years.
Mohr, Ralph S. Governors for Three Hundred Years (1638-1954): Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.State of Rhode Island, Graves Registration Committee, August 1954.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 9. New York: James T. White & Company.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.