James Hadley, an American scholar, born in Fairfield, Herkimer co., N. Y., March 30, 1821, died in New Haven, Conn., Nov. 14, 1872. When nine years old he was accidentally lamed for life, and devoted himself to study, soon acquiring a mastery of ancient languages. He graduated at Yale college, at the head of his class, in 1842, was for a short time tutor in Middlebury college, Vermont, where he displayed remarkable mathematical ability, and graduated at the theological seminary in New Haven in 1845. In that year also he became tutor, in 1848 assistant professor, and in 1851 professor of Greek in Yale college, holding the chair until his death. He was familiar with Sanskrit, Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Latin, Armenian, Gothic, and many modern languages, including Swedish and Welsh, and had given special attention to early forms of English; and he was master of the methods and main results of comparative philology. He was a leading member of the American oriental society, and during the last two years of his life its president. He was vice president of the philological association, before which he read a number of papers of value. He was one of the American committee for the revision of the New Testament now in progress.
His acquisitions were all made during the regular discharge of his duties as a teacher, in which position he was most successful. He wrote the "History of the English Language" in the introduction to Webster's Dictionary, and was the author of a "Greek Grammar" (1860); "Elements of the Greek Language " (1869); an essay on the Greek accent, republished in German in Curtius's Studien zur griechischen und lateinischen Grammatik; an article on the "Language of the New Testament," in the American edition of Smith's " Dictionary of the Bible;" " Lectures on Roman Law " (1873); and "Essays Philological and Critical," edited by Prof. W. D. Whitney (1873).