Born on November 9, 1818, in Pike County, Mississippi, Harris attended the common schools and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He was graduated from the law department of Transylvania College, Lexington, Kentucky, in 1840. He was admitted to the bar in 1840 and commenced practice in Gallatin, Mississippi. He was Circuit judge of the second district from 1844 to 1850 and served as member of the State constitutional conventions in 1850, 1861, and 1890.
Harris was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-third Congress (March 4, 1853-March 3, 1855). He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1854. He resumed the practice of law in Jackson, Mississippi. He served as member of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States in 1861. He continued the practice of law in Jackson, and died there on December 3, 1891. He was interred in Greenwood Cemetery.
- Memorials of the life and character of Wiley P. Harris, of Mississippi. Jackson, Mississippi: Clarion Printing Estab. 1892. p. 36. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
- Harris, Gideon Dowse (1914). Harris Genealogy. Columbus, Mississippi: Keith Printing Co. p. 58. ISBN 1298495261.
- United States Congress. "Wiley P. Harris (id: H000256)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Wiley P. Harris at Find a Grave
- Wiley P. Harris at The Political Graveyard
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