James Caleb Jackson

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James Caleb Jackson
James Caleb Jackson1.jpg
Born(1811-03-28)March 28, 1811
DiedJuly 11, 1895(1895-07-11) (aged 84)
Known forGranula

James Caleb Jackson (March 28, 1811 – July 11, 1895) was the inventor of the first dry, whole grain breakfast cereal which he called granula.[1] His views influenced the health reforms of Ellen G. White, one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.[2]


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 physician and opening a hydropathic institute on Skaneateles Lake in 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]

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. Jackson was a vegetarian.[3] He promoted a vegetarian diet with the emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed grains. Jackson believed that his diet could cure intemperance and masturbation.[3][4] Although accepting the use of surgery, he opposed all drugs.[4] Jackson was opposed to abortion and opposed it in any circumstance. He described abortion as "among the greatest crimes".[5]

In 1863, he developed the first breakfast cereal which he named Granula.[6]

Jackson died on July 11, 1895 in Dansville, Livingston County, New York.


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  1. ^ a b c William Lloyd Garrison (June 1, 1971). A House Dividing Against Itself 1836–1840. Harvard University Press. pp. 577–. ISBN 978-0-674-52661-7. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
  2. ^ Ronald Numbers (1992). Prophetess of Health: Ellen G. White and the Origins of Seventh-Day Adventist Health Reform. University of Tennessee Press.
  3. ^ a b Forward, Charles W. (1898). Fifty Years of Food Reform: A History of the Vegetarian Movement in England. London: The Ideal Publishing Union. p. 66
  4. ^ a b Mrozek, Donald J. (1987). The Scientific Quest for Physical Culture and the Persistent Appeal of Quackery. Journal of Sport History 14 (1): 76-86.
  5. ^ Mohr, James C. (1978). Abortion in America: The Origins and Evolution of National Policy. Oxford University Press. p. 172. ISBN 0-19-502249-1
  6. ^ "Who Made That Granola?". New York Times. March 23, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2013. In 1863, Dr. James Caleb Jackson, a health reformer who believed illness was rooted in the stomach, began experimenting with cold cereal to augment the mineral-spring treatments at his sanitarium in upstate New York. ...