March 17

Corra Harris

March 17, 1869 - Newnan, Elbert County

Before Margaret Mitchell, before Flannery O’Connor, Georgia produced a female author who was just as famous in her day.

Corra Harris was born in Elbert County in 1869. Her writing career began out of economic necessity because of her minister husband’s alcoholism and depression. Harris wrote a letter to a New York magazine defending the Sam Hose lynching in Newnan; the editors asked for more. Over the next 30 years, Harris wrote for a national audience as part humorist, part southern apologist, in periodicals like the Saturday Evening Post and Ladies Home Journal. She was the first female war correspondent to go abroad during World War I.

Harris continued writing through financial difficulties, her husband’s suicide and the death of two children. Her novels attempted to come to grips with the modern world—A Circuit Rider’s Wife was her most famous and was adapted into the movie I’d Climb The Highest Mountain starring Susan Hayward in 1951.

One of Georgia’s most celebrated writers was born on March 17, 1869, Today in Georgia History.