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Harris, Charles Wilson

Charles Wilson Harris (1771-1804), born near Concord, NC, was the son of Mary Wilson and Robert Harris, a farmer. After graduating from the College of New Jersey (Princeton) in 1792, Harris taught at schools in Mecklenburg County, NC, and Prince Edward County, VA. He studied experimental philosophy at William and Mary College, then medicine with his half-uncle, physician Charles Harris of Carbarrus County, NC. Joining the University faculty as tutor of mathematics in 1795, Harris became presiding professor from July to December 1796 after David Ker resigned. After studying law with William Richardson Davie in Halifax, NC, Harris was admitted to the bar in 1797 and took over Davie's practice when Davie became governor. Harris received an MA from the University in 1799 and served as a trustee from 1800 until 1803. He died, evidently of tuberculosis, in 1804 while visiting his brother Robert (Dictionary of North Carolina Biography 3:50-51; Hamilton, Harris Letters).