James Thornton Harris is an independent historian, essayist and journalist. He began his career as a daily newspaper reporter and worked at The Sacramento Bee, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the Santa Cruz Sentinel and The Ukiah Daily Journal. He is a regular contributor to the History News Network and his work has appeared in many publications including Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, Heirs, New West and The San Francisco Chronicle.
After leaving journalism, he entered corporate public relations working at Hill & Knowlton and The Rowland Company. He later served as director of public relations for one of California’s major healthcare companies. In 2000, he founded a boutique public relations agency, Westside Public Relations, which represented healthcare hardware and software companies. Since selling the company, he has devoted full time to writing and historical research. The father of two adult sons, Harris served as an volunteer advisor to his local school district for eight years. His work with the local schools focused on providing arts and music education for K-12 students within an economically diverse community. In recent years, he has conducted research on the history of inequality in America, particularly on the origins of wealth accumulation and racial discrimination in the Virginia Colony in the 17th century.
Some of his early work on the Virginia Colony has been published online at www.theevilinoursoil.com.