James Grant Wilson

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James Grant Wilson
James Grant Wilson - Brady-Handy.jpg
Personal details
Born (1832-04-28)April 28, 1832
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died February 1, 1914(1914-02-01) (aged 81)
New York City, New York
Resting place Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York
Spouse(s) Jane Emily Searle Cogswell
(m. 1869; her death 1904)

Mary H. Nicholson
(m. 1907; his death 1914)
Children 1
Parents William Wilson
Jane Sibbald
Education Bartlett's College Hill School
Military service
Allegiance United States
Union
Service/branch Union Army
Rank Union Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel
Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Bvt. Brigadier General
Unit 15th Illinois Cavalry Regiment
Commands 4th U.S.C.T. Cavalry Regiment
Battles/wars American Civil War

James Grant Wilson (April 28, 1832 – February 1, 1914) was an American editor, author, bookseller and publisher, who founded the Chicago Record in 1857, the first literary paper in that region. During the American Civil War, he served in the Union Army and became a brevet brigadier general in 1865. He settled in New York, where he edited biographies and histories, was a public speaker, and served as president of the Society of American Authors and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.[1]

Early life[edit]

James Grant Wilson was born on April 28, 1832 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of the poet William Wilson and his second wife, Miss Jane Sibbald of Hawick. In infancy, he moved with his family to the United States, where they settled at Poughkeepsie, New York. He had two younger brothers. Wilson was educated in Poughkeepsie at College Hill, and continued his studies in the languages, music, and drawing, under private teachers.[2]

Career[edit]

Eventually, he joined his father in business as a bookseller/publisher, later becoming his partner.[2][3] In 1855, Wilson started on an extended journey, his tour of Europe and its capitals. Upon his return in 1857, he settled in the growing city of Chicago, Illinois, where he founded the Chicago Record, a journal of art and literature. It was the first literary paper published in that region.[2][3] He also became known as a speaker.

U.S. Civil War[edit]

During the Civil War, Wilson sold his journal and entered the Union Army late in 1862. He was commissioned as a major of the 15th Illinois Cavalry, commanded the 4th U.S.C. Cavalry as colonel, and left the Army in 1865 as a brevet brigadier general. His middle brother was killed at Fredericksburg, Virginia, and his youngest brother also served.[2][3]

Later career[edit]

After the war, Wilson settled in New York City. He became known as a speaker, a frequent contributor to periodicals, president of the Society of American Authors, and, after 1885, of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. He edited Fitz-Greene Halleck's Poems (1868) and wrote his biography, published in 1869; and in 1876 his anthology Poets & Poetry of Scotland in four volumes . He edited A Memorial History of the City of New York (four volumes, 1892–93); Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography (six volumes, 1887–89, with John Fiske; volume vii, 1900); The Great Commanders Series (eighteen volumes, completed 1913); and Wikisource-logo.svg The Presidents of the United States, 1789-1914 (four volumes, 1914), the work of many distinguished writers..

Personal life[edit]

On November 3, 1869, he married Jane Emily Searle Cogswell (d. 1904), the sister of Andrew Kirkpatrick Cogswell (1839-1900) and the daughter of Rev. Jonathan Cogswell (1781–1864) and Jane Eudora Kirkpatrick (1799–1864). Jane's grandfather was Andrew Kirkpatrick (1756–1831) and her great-grandfather was John Bayard (1738–1807).[4] Before her death in 1904, they had one daughter together:[1]

  • Jane Wilson, who married Frank Sylvester Henry (who died before 1914)[5]

After his first wife's death in 1904, he married Mary H. Nicholson, the widow of his friend Admiral James William Augustus Nicholson, in 1907.[1] He resided at 143 West 79th Street in New York City.[6]

Wilson died in New York City and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York.[3]

Selected works[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c Nineteenth Annual Report, 1914 of the American Scenic Historic Preservation Society | To The Legislature of the State of New York. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, Printers. 1914. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1889). "Wilson, James". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton. 
  3. ^ a b c d Eicher & Eicher 2001, pp. 573–574.
  4. ^ Bulloch, Joseph Gaston Baillie (1919). A History and Genealogy of the Families of Bayard, Houstoun of Georgia: And the Descent of the Bolton Family from Assheton, Byron and Hulton of Hulton Park, by Joseph Gaston Baillie Bulloch ... J. H. Dony, Printer. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  5. ^ Greene, Richard Henry; Stiles, Henry Reed; Dwight, Melatiah Everett; Morrison, George Austin; Mott, Hopper Striker; Totten, John Reynolds; Pitman, Harold Minot; Forest, Louis Effingham De; Ditmas, Charles Andrew; Mann, Conklin; Maynard, Arthur S. (1914). The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  6. ^ Mohr, William F. (1914). Who's who in New York City and State. L.R. Hamersly Company. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
Sources

External links[edit]