Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BARKER, James Nelson, author, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 17 June 1784; died in Washington, District of Columbia, 9 March 1858. In the war of 1812 he rose to the rank of major in the army. In 1814 he was severely wounded in a duel. From 1814 till 1817 he was assistant adjutant-general of the 4th military district. He then entered civil life, was chosen alderman, and in 1820was mayor of Philadelphia. From 1829 till 1838 he was collector of customs for the port, and from 1838 till 1858 comptroller of the United States treasury. During his active life he contributed largely to the public journals, and some of his poems attracted general attention, notably "The Sisters" and "Little Red Riding Hood." His dramatic writings include "Marmion," "The Indian Princess," "Superstition," a tragedy, and "' Smiles and Tears," a comedy. He also published "A Sketch of the Primitive Settlements on Delaware River" (1827).
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