James G Birney., an American politician, born in Danville, Ky., Feb. 4, 1792, died at Perth Amboy, N. J., Nov. 25, 1857. He graduated at the college of New Jersey in 1812, studied law, and removed early to Alabama, where he practised law at Huntsville, held the office of district attorney, and was a member of the legislature. In 1833 he interested himself in the organization of a branch of the colonization society for the state of Alabama. Soon afterward, returning to Kentucky, and becoming a professor in the university at Danville, he organized a colonization society there also, of which he became president. In 1834 he espoused the cause of immediate emancipation in a public letter, at the same time emancipating all his own slaves, about 20 in number. He subsequently removed to Cincinnati, where he began to issue "The Philanthropist," an anti-slavery newspaper, which met with much opposition. Its office was repeatedly sacked and its presses destroyed by mobs. About the year 1836 he went to New York, as secretary of the American anti-slavery society, and for many years devoted himself to the furtherance of the object of that society, by letters, articles in the press, and public addresses.
He took an important part in the organization of the "liberty party," by which during his absence in England he was nominated in 1840 for the presidency. He was again nominated by the same party in 1844. Previous to this, in 1842, Mr. Birney had become a resident of Michigan, where he was disabled, by a fall from his horse not long afterward, from taking an active part in politics. - His son, David Bell, born at Huntsville, Ala., May 29, 1825, practised law in Philadelphia, and during the civil war distinguished himself as a brigadier and major general of volunteers in the army of the Potomac, particularly at Yorktown, Williamsburg, and the battles before Richmond, and at the second battle of Bull Run. He died in Philadelphia, Oct. 18, 1864. - Another son, William, entered the army as captain at the beginning of the war, rose to the rank of major general of volunteers, and now (1873) lives in Florida. - A third son, the youngest, Fitz Hugh, died in the service with the rank of colonel.