Marker Monday: Corra Harris

Corra Harris Marker

Photo Courtesy of David Seibert

This week’s #MarkerMonday shines a spotlight on Corra Harris, one of Georgia’s celebrated female writers. Born in March 17, 1886, Harris was raised in Elbert County, where she attended Elberton Female Academy but did not graduate. In 1887, she married Methodist minister and educator Lundy Howard Harris; they had three children, one of whom survived infancy. Her husband’s career was plagued by bouts with alcoholism and depression, eventually leading to his death in 1910. Harris’s writing career began out of financial necessity with a letter to the editor of the weekly magazine, the Independent, in support of the Sam Hose lynching. The editors were impressed with her writing style and encouraged further submissions. What began as an editorial submission morphed into a 30-year writing career.

Portrait of Corra Harris

Portrait of Corra Harris. Public Domain. Accessed via Wikimedia

During that time, she published thousands of essays, short stories, and book reviews in nationally recognized magazines such as Ladies Home Journal, Harper’s, Good Housekeeping, and Saturday Evening Post. She also published nineteen books, her most famous being A Circuit Rider’s Wife (1910) which was adapted into the film I’d Climb the Highest Mountain (1951). Harris’ work reached an international scale as she became the first female war correspondent to go abroad during World War I for Saturday Evening Post, often slipping past military checkpoints to report on conditions in the French countryside. Following the war, she returned to her home in Bartow County, Georgia. Harris published two autobiographies, My Book and Heart (1924) and As a Women Thinks (1925).  In the 1930s, she wrote “Candlelit Column,” a tri-weekly article for the Atlanta Journal. Harris died of a heart-related illness in 1935. In 1996, Harris was posthumously inducted into Georgia Women of Achievement, a statewide organization dedicated to recognizing the accomplishments of outstanding women around the State of Georgia.

Top Image: Portrait of Corra Harris at her desk. Public Domain. Accessed via Wikimedia.

Explore the links below to learn more about Corra Harris.

Full Marker Text

Today in Georgia History Video

New Georgia Encyclopedia (Corra Harris)

New Georgia Encyclopedia (Lynching)

Our Georgia History: The Lynching of Sam Hose

Etowah Valley Historical Society- Corra Mae White Harris: Nationally Acclaimed Writer/Author

I’d Climb the Highest Mountain Movie Trailer (1951)

Selection of articles, short stories, and essays written by Corra Harris:

Harris, Corra. “Why We Should Read Books,” The Independent 85, January to March 1916, pp. 117–118.

Harris, Corra. “When the Germans Came,” Saturday Evening Post, December 19, 1914.

Harris, Corra. “A Communique: From the Allies to the Allied Army,” Saturday Evening Post, January 23, 1915, pp.14-15, 41-42.

Harris, Corra. “On the Instalment Plan,” Harper’s Monthly Magazine, Vol. CXXVII, June to November 1913, pp. 342–353.

Harris, Corra. “Justice,” Good Housekeeping, Vol. 60, May 1915, pp. 485-496.