Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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JAMES, Edwin, geologist, born in Weybridge, Vermont, 27 August, 1797; died in Burlington, Iowa, 28 October, 1861. He was graduated at Middlebury college in 1816, and then spent three years in Albany, where he studied medicine with his brother, Dr. Daniel James, botany with Dr. John Torrey, and geology under Professor Amos Eaton. In 1820 he was appointed botanist and geologist to the exploring expedition of Major Samuel H. Long, and was actively engaged in field work during that year. For two years following he was occupied in compiling and preparing for the press the report of the "Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, 1818-'19 " (2 vols., with atlas, Philadelphia and London, 1823). He then received the appointment of surgeon in the United States army, and for six years was stationed at frontier outposts. During this time, in addition to his professional duties, he was occupied with the study of the native Indian dialects, and prepared a translation of the New Testament in the Ojibway language (1838). In 1830 he resigned his commission and returned to Albany, where for a short time he was associated with Edward C. Delavan in the editorship of the "Temperance Herald and Journal." Meanwhile he also prepared for the press "The Narrative of John Tanner," a strange frontier character, who was stolen when a child by the Indians (New York, 1830). In 1834 he again went west, and in 1836 settled in the vicinity of Burlington, Iowa, where he spent the remainder of his life, mainly in agricultural pursuits. Dr. James was the earliest botanical explorer of the Rocky mountains, and his name was originally given by Major Long to the mountain that has since been known as Pike's peak.
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