James, an American physicist, born in New York in 1792, died there, Jan. 12, 1863. He graduated at Columbia college in 1809, was professor of chemistry and physics there from 1820 to 1854, and in 1838 was appointed one of the commissioners to explore the N. E. boundary between the United States and New Brunswick. He was the author of "Outlines of Natural Philosophy" (2 vols. 8vo, New York, 1822-'3), the earliest extended work on that subject published in the United States; "Treatise on the Steam Engine" (8vo, 1830), translated into several languages; "Elements of Mechanics" (8vo, Philadelphia, 1832); and "Applications of the Science of Mechanics to Practical Purposes" (12mo, New York, 1840). He privately printed for the use of his classes "First Principles of Chemistry" and "Outlines of Geology" (1838), the latter preceding by several years any other school treatise on the subject.
James, an American architect, son of the preceding, born in New York in 1819. He graduated at Columbia college in 1836, was an engineer on the Erie railway and the Croton aqueduct for about five years, and superintended the construction of the distributing reservoir. At the age of 23 he won in competition the commission for the building of Grace church, in Broadway, and has since built the new St. Patrick's cathedral in New York, Calvary church, the second Presbyterian church, the Smithsonian institution in Washington, various hospitals on Blackwell's, "Ward's, and Randall's islands, and Vassar college.