Charles Pinckney James

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Charles Pinckney James
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
In office
December 10, 1879 – December 1, 1892
Appointed by Rutherford B. Hayes
Preceded by David C. Humphreys
Succeeded by Charles Cleaves Cole
Personal details
Born (1818-05-11)May 11, 1818
Cincinnati, Ohio
Died August 9, 1899(1899-08-09) (aged 81)
Leesburg, Virginia
Alma mater Harvard College

Charles Pinckney James (May 11, 1818 – August 9, 1899) was a United States federal judge.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, James graduated from Harvard College in 1838. He was in private practice in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1840 to 1850, and was a Professor of law, Cincinnati College, Cincinnati, Ohio from 1850 to 1856. He was judge of the Superior Court of Cincinnati from 1850 till 1851.[1] He was in private practice in Washington, DC from 1864 to 1879, also working as a professor of law at Georgetown University from 1870 to 1874.

James substantially contributed to the Revised Statutes of the United States during the 1870s. He was appointed by President Andrew Johnson in 1866 and re-appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1870 as one of three commissioners tasked to revise and consolidate existing federal statutes.[2] The first edition of the Revised Statutes was adopted by Congress in 1874. In 1877, commissioner George S. Boutwell prepared the second edition of the Revised Statutes with the assistance of James.[3] James appears to have been the only person to have worked on both the first and second editions of the Revised Statutes.

On July 24, 1879, James received a recess appointment from President Rutherford B. Hayes to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia vacated by David C. Humphreys. Formally nominated on December 1, 1879, James was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 10, 1879, and received his commission the same day. He retired from the bench on December 1, 1892. He died in Leesburg, Virginia, in 1899 at the age of 81.


  • James, Charles Pinckney. Address delivered at Camp McRae: before the Citizens' Guards of Cincinnati, on their fourth anniversary, July 4th, 1842. Cincinnati: R. P. Brooks, 1842.
  • James, Charles Pinckney, and C. A. L. Richards. Oration and Poem, delivered before the Cincinnati Literary Club, July 4th, 1853. Cincinnati: Truman & Spofford, 1853. (oration by James; poem by Richards)
  • James, Charles Pinckney. Address to the class of 1872 Law Department of the University of Georgetown, June 4, 1872. Washington [D.C.]: Cunningham & McIntosh, 1872.
  • James, Charles Pinckney. Oration delivered before the Philodemic Society of Georgetown College, June 24, 1874. Washington [D.C.]: Joseph L. Pearson, 1874.
  • James, Charles Pinckney. The power of Congress to punish contempts and breaches of privilege. Washington [D.C.]: W. H. & O. H. Morrison, 1879.


  1. ^ Hosea, Lewis Montgomery (1907). Cincinnati Superior court decisions: a collection of cases decided at ... Cincinnati Superior Court. p. i. 
  2. ^ Charles Sumner: his complete works. With Introduction by Hon. George Frisbie Hoar. Boston, Lee and Shepard. 1900. Vol. VIII. Revision and Consolidation of the National Statutes, p.5.
  3. ^ Introduction to the Revised Statutes of the United States, 1878.

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Legal offices
Preceded by
William Johnston
Judge of the Cincinnati Superior Court
Succeeded by
George Hoadly
Preceded by
David Campbell Humphreys
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Succeeded by
Charles Cleaves Cole