Henry James Sr.

(600 words)

Henry James Sr. is now known mainly as the father of the novelist Henry James and the philosopher William James, but in his own lifetime he was prominent as a writer and speaker in the circles around the Transcendentalists where the heritage of New England Calvinism was transformed into a more optimistic, benevolent and secular Christianity.

The history of the James family in America goes back to the landing of William James, a poor Irish immigrant from County Cavan in 1789. Hard work and good judgement enabled William to move quickly from work as a clerk in a New York store to speculative land purchases in Manhattan and upper New York State, and then into salt manufacture and other commercial interests. His fortunes rose with …

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Clark, Robert. "Henry James Sr.". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 June 2002; last revised 17 December 2004.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5084, accessed 04 July 2015.]