James Roosevelt (1760–1847)
- For other persons with similar names, see James Roosevelt (disambiguation)
Born on January 10, 1760 and baptized on January 23 that same year, in New York City, he was the son of Isaac Roosevelt and Cornelia Hoffman, and the great-great-grandson of the first Roosevelt in America, Claes Maartenszen Van Rosenvelt. He graduated from Princeton in 1780.
James was a sugar-refiner (his father's trade) and banker in post-revolutionary New York, and amassed a large fortune in addition to his inheritance. An active Federalist, he served in the New York State Assembly in 1796 and 1797 and was an alderman in the New York City Council for the Fourth Ward in 1809. However, his interest in politics was less than previous Roosevelts, especially his father, and he was the last of his branch of the family to engage in politics until Franklin D. Roosevelt. He engaged in some philanthropy with the large fortune he acquired through business. He was also involved in the Bank of New York like his father, but was never its president.
At one point he owned stony farmland at Harlem now occupied by 120 city blocks, between 110th and 125th streets and Fifth Avenue and the East River. Lacking long range vision, he sold it for $25,000, partly to John Jacob Astor. In 1819, late in life, he removed to Poughkeepsie and bought a large tract of land on the Hudson River, called Mount Hope. He died in 1847.
He married three times and had thirteen children, several of whom died young. He was the father of Isaac Roosevelt, grandfather of James Roosevelt, Sr., and great-grandfather of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- Whittelsey, Charles B. (1902). The Roosevelt Genealogy, 1649–1902.
- Scoville, Joseph A. (1863). The Old Merchants of New York City. New York, NY: Carlton.
- DeGregorio, William A. (2001). The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. Gramercy Books.