I. The Elder, one of the twelve apostles, son of the fisherman Zebedee and Salome, and brother of the evangelist John, died about A. D. 44. With his brother John he followed his father's occupation, and they seem to have been acquainted with Jesus, and to have recognized him as the Messiah, some time before their call to attend him. It was probably their zeal and boldness that gained them the appellation of Boanerges, or sons of thunder. They witnessed the transfiguration, the restoration to life of Jairus's daughter, the agony in the garden of Gethsemane, and the ascension. James preached as an apostle chiefly in the vicinity of Jerusalem. Under Herod Agrippa he suffered martyrdom by the sword, and, according to Clement of Alexandria, his accuser was so much affected by the boldness of his confession of faith that he at once professed himself a Christian, and was beheaded immediately after him. There is a tradition that he went to Spain, of which country he is the patron saint, and Santiago de Compostela claims the possession of his bones. The Gospel of St. James which was discovered in 1595 on a mountain in Granada, written upon lead, was declared by Pope Innocent XI. in 1682 to be spurious.
II. The Less, one of the twelve apostles, son of Cleophas (or Alpheus) and Mary, a sister of the Virgin Mary, died about A. D. 62. He was the cousin of Jesus, and was sometimes called his brother. The son of Alpheus and the brother of the Lord are supposed by some critics to be two persons, and Neander pronounces the question the most difficult in the apostolic history. According to Clement of Alexandria, he was a priest and a Nazarite before he was an apostle. After the ascension he was appointed bishop of Jerusalem, and there, in the first apostolic council, he spoke against those who wished to make the law of Moses binding upon Christians. The progress of Christianity under him alarmed the Jews, and Ananus, a son of the high priest Annas, accomplished his death. The apocryphal " Gospel according to the Hebrews " states that he was first precipitated from a pinnacle of the temple, and afterward stoned. He was noted for the purity and holiness of his life, and held in the highest esteem by Jewish professors of the Christian faith.
Saint James, a S. E. parish of Louisiana, having Lake Maurepas on the northeast and intersected by the Mississippi; area, 330 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 10,152, of whom 6,877 were colored. The surface is level and the soil fertile. The plantations are chiefly on the river. It is intersected by the New Orleans, Mobile, and Texas railroad. The chief productions in 1870 were 91,105 bushels of Indian corn, 3,450 lbs. of tobacco, 934,915 of rice, 3,041 bales of cotton, 6,265 hogsheads of sugar, and 347,722 gallons of molasses. There were 66 molasses and sugar establishments. Capital, Couvent.