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Rep. James Harlan

Former Representative for Kentucky’s 5th District

Harlan was the representative for Kentucky’s 5th congressional district and was a Whig. He served from 1837 to 1839.

He was previously the representative for Kentucky’s 5th congressional district as a Whig from 1835 to 1837.

Legislators who enslaved Black people

Harlan was among more than 1,800 legislators who enslaved Black people. The Washington Post compiled the first database of slaveholding members of Congress by examining thousands of pages of census records and historical documents. Harlan was one of them.

Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Dec 1835 to Mar 1839, Harlan missed 206 of 934 roll call votes, which is 22.1%. This is on par with the median of 23.4% among the lifetime records of representatives serving in Mar 1839. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses, major life events, and running for higher office.

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Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: