When Thacher was 16 he became an apprentice for Abner Hersey, a doctor from Barnstable, Mass. From 1775 to 1783 he was a surgeon in the Revolution, in the Massachusetts 16th Regiment. Afterward, he practiced in Plymouth, Mass. until his death. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1803.
He was married to Susannah Hayward of Bridgewater, Massachusetts. They had six children. However, only two daughters lived into adulthood.
- Military Journal during the American Revolutionary War (1823)
- Observations Relative to the Execution of Major John André as a Spy in 1780 (1834)
- American New Dispensatory (1810; fourth edition, 1821)
- History of the town of Plymouth, from its first settlement in 1620, to the present time (1835)
- Several other books.
- William Thomas Davis Plymouth memories of an octogenarian. p. 49
- Dr James Thacher. findagrave.com
- "Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775–1783 (Footnote.com)". Retrieved May 16, 2007.
- "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter T" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
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