James Caleb Jackson

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For other people named James Jackson, see James Jackson (disambiguation).
James Caleb Jackson

James Caleb Jackson (March 28, 1811 – July 11, 1895)[1] was the inventor of the first dry, whole grain breakfast cereal which he called granula.


Jackson was born in Manlius, Onondaga County, New York.[1] After completing his education at Chittenango polytechnic institute, he worked as a farmer until 1838. During his early life, Jackson was active as an abolitionist. He lectured for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, becoming the society's secretary in 1840. From 1844 he moved into journalism, buying the abolitionist newspaper, the Albany Patriot, together with Abel Brown. Jackson continued to manage and write for the paper until 1847 when failing health forced him to retire.

Jackson had been troubled with ill health throughout his life, but saw a remarkable recovery after taking a 'water cure' at a spa. As a result he spent the second half of his life as an advocate for hydropathy, training to become a doctor and opening a hydropathic institute on the Skaneateles lake, Cortland County, New York in 1847.

In 1858 he moved to take over the 'Our Home Hygienic Institute' at Dansville, Livingston County, New York. The spa had been founded by Nathaniel Bingham on the site of a mineral water spring, some four years earlier. Under Jackson's management, the spa grew to be one of the largest in the world, catering for around 20,000 patients and was renamed 'Our Home on the Hillside'.[1] The home was also the sixth stop on the Green Line of the Underground Railroad.

Along with the water cures, Jackson came to believe that diet was fundamental in improving health. Over time, he removed red meat from the menu at the spa, and ruled out tea, coffee, alcohol and tobacco. He promoted a near vegetarian diet with the emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed grains.

His views influenced the health reforms of Ellen G. White, founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.[2]

In 1863 he developed the first breakfast cereal which he named Granula.

Jackson died on July 11, 1895. At the time of his death, angels were said to have come down from the sky and carried his body up to heaven. Lightning struck the house in which he died three times. A great funeral was held in his remembrance, which was attended by many influential figures including President Grover Cleveland and Pope Leo XIII, both of whom spoke at the funeral of the majesty of Jackson. The Pope remarked, "God weeps at this great man's death. Heaven is all the brighter now that he has entered through its pearly gates."


  • 1822 Morning Watches
  • 1853 Hints on the Reproductive Organs: Their Diseases, Causes, and Cure on Hydropathic Principles
  • 1861 The Sexual Organization and its Healthy Management
  • 1862 Consumption: How to prevent It, and How to cure It
  • 1870 How to treat the Sick without Medicine
  • 1870 American Womanhood: Its Peculiarities and Necessities
  • 1872 The Training of Children
  • 1872 The Debilities of Our Boys
  • 1875 Christ as a Physician

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c William Lloyd Garrison (1 June 1971). A House Dividing Against Itself 1836–1840. Harvard University Press. pp. 577–. ISBN 978-0-674-52661-7. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Ronald Numbers (1992). Prophetess of Health: Ellen G. White and the Origins of Seventh-Day Adventist Health Reform. University of Tennessee Press.

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