- Mark Warren Bailey
Harlan, James (22 June 1800–18 February 1863), lawyer and congressman, was born in Mercer County, Kentucky, the son of James Harlan and Sarah Caldwell, farmers. He probably attended a nearby grammar school. Harlan decided early in life that he did not wish to farm for a living and entered employment in a mercantile house in Danville, Kentucky, at age sixteen. Between 1817 and 1822 he devoted himself to commercial enterprise, but after five years he abandoned it to study law. Harlan was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1823 and quickly acquired a reputation as an accomplished lawyer and a large law practice that he maintained throughout his life....