Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 2.djvu/236

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Harris
Harris
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his powers on his profession. It is mainly on his record as secretary of the Land League that Harrington's reputation rests. His refusal of government positions when he was in sore financial straits proved his thorough disinterestedness. He was held in high esteem by his political opponents. He married in 1892 Elizabeth, second daughter of Dr. Edward O'Neill of Dublin, who, with five children, survived him. Besides the pamphlet already cited, he published 'A Diary of Coercion' (1888).

[Davitt's Fall of Feudalism, pp. 514 &c.; O'Brien's Life of Parnell, passim; O'Connor's Parnell Movement, passim; D'Alton's History of Ireland, p. 348 ; Dod's Parl. Companion; Freeman's Journal and Irish Independent, 13 March 1910.]

D. J. O'D.


HARRIS, THOMAS LAKE (1823–1906), mystic, was born of poor parents at Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire, on 15 May 1823. In 1828 his parents emigrated to Utica, New York state. He was an only child, and lost his mother in his ninth year. Before he was seventeen he began to write for the press, and his verses attracted notice. Brought up as a Calvinistic baptist, he joined the universalists about 1843, and became pastor of the 'fourth universalist church ' of New York. In 1845 he married Mary Van Arnum (d. 1850), by whom he had two sons. A visit in 1847 to Andrew Jackson Davis, the Poughkeepsie 'seer,' confirmed him in 'spiritualism'; becoming a 'medium,' he retired, along with James D. Scott, another 'medium,' to Mountain Cove, Auburn, New York state; they edited the 'Mountain Cove Journal,' and gathered a small community. Lake broke with Scott, and in 1848 organised on Swedenborgian principles an 'independent Christian congregation' in New York (called later 'the Church of the Good Shepherd'). He was what is called an 'inspirational' preacher; the effect of his sermon (1850) on behalf of children was the founding of the New York Juvenile Asylum. With 1850 began his claim to be the 'medium' of lengthy poems. 'An Epic of the Starry Heaven,' the first of these, was 'suggested' in March 1850, 'dictated' between 24 Nov. and 8 Dec. 1853, and taken down by amanuenses, Harris being in a trance condition ; other poems were alleged to be 'dictated' by Byron, Shelley, Keats, Coleridge, Pollok, or Poe; among the amanuenses were Charles Partridge and S. B. Brittan, his publishers. About 1855 he married Emily Isabella Waters (d. 1883). He wrote also in prose, and edited (May 1857-August 1861) the 'Herald of Light,' a spiritualist organ. He came to England in 1859, preaching in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. Returning to America, with some English followers, in the autumn of 1861 he bought a small hill farm near the village of Wassaic, Duchess county. New York state, and here set up a community, styled 'the Use,' consisting of twelve persons in addition to his own family. By the end of 1863 he had acquired a mill, close to the village of Amenia. He further set up the 'first national bank ' of Amenia, with himself as president, and began to engage in grape culture. His community, now numbering about sixty, was known as the 'brotherhood of the new life' ; it included several persons of position, Japanese as well as American, some clergymen, and two Indian princes. Harris was in England in 1865-6, and in 1865 (March-September) Laurence Oliphant [q. v.] contributed anonymously to 'Blackwood' his 'Piccadilly,' in which there is a covert allusion (April, p. 504) to Harris as 'an apostle of a new church' ; but it is not till the republication in 1870 that Harris is extolled (p. 84) as 'the greatest poet of the age,' and (p. 283) 'the greatest man in Piccadilly.' Oliphant in 1867 joined the 'brotherhood,' which in October migrated to Brocton, Chautauqua county. New York state, on the shore of Lake Erie ; hence the settlement was known as Salem-on-Erie. Various farms here, purchased with the Oliphants' money and the proceeds of sale of previous holdings, were devoted to vine-growing and wine-making. Harris taught a new mode of breathing, 'open or divine respiration,' which was to secure immunity from death. In virtue of this mode of breathing Harris's wine had mystic qualities, freeing it from ill effects ; hence he commended its use (and that of tobacco) to his followers, and opened a tavern for their benefit. Over Oliphant he established an autocratic sway, sending him back to Europe in 1870, and regulating his marriage relations. Obedient to command, Oliphant with his wife and mother left Paris in 1873 for Brocton and was completely enslaved by Harris. The 'brotherhood' removed in 1875 to Fountain Grove, near Santa Rosa, California, where Harris had 1200 acres under vine culture. He broached a theory of celestial marriages in 1876 ; his own 'counterpart' being the 'Lily Queen,' Jane Lee Waring, who became his third wife in 1892 in consequence of certain