HARLAN, JAMES (1820-1899), American politician, was born in Clark county, Illinois, on the 26th of August 1820. He graduated from Indiana Asbury (now De Pauw) University in 1845, was president (1846-1847) of the newly founded and short-lived Iowa City College, studied law, was first superintendent of public instruction in Iowa in 1847-1848, and was president of Iowa Wesleyan University in 1853-1855. He took a prominent part in organizing the Republican party in Iowa, and was a member of the United States Senate from 1855 to 1865, when he became secretary of the interior. He had been a delegate to the peace convention in 1861, and from 1861 to 1865 was chairman of the Senate committee on public lands. He disapproved of President Johnson's conservative reconstruction policy, retired from the cabinet in August 1866, and from 1867 to 1873 was again a member of the United States Senate. In 1866 he was a delegate to the loyalists' convention at Philadelphia. One of his principal speeches in the Senate was that which he made in March 1871 in reply to Sumner's and Schurz's attack on President Grant's Santo Domingan policy. He was presiding judge of the court of commissioners of Alabama claims (1882-1885). He died in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, on the 5th of October 1899.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)