James Thomas Fields, an American author and publisher, born at Portsmouth, X.

II., Dec. 31, 1817. He was educated at the high school of his native city, and at the age of 14 went to Boston to become a clerk in a book store. At 18 he was invited to deliver the anniversary poem before the Boston mercantile library association, Edward Everett being the orator of the occasion. Twelve years later he read before the same society a poem entitled "The Post of Honor," the oration being by Daniel Webster. Soon after he reached the age of 21 Mr. Fields became a partner in the bookselling firm of Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, which about 1844 by the withdrawal of Mr. Reed became the house of Ticknor and Fields, and was soon honorably distinguished by the high character of its publications, especially of poetry. Among the American authors whose works it issued were Emerson, Hawthorne, Holmes, Longfellow, Lowell. Thoreau, and Whittier. Mr. Ticknor died in 1864, and the firm became Fields, Osgood, and co. In 1870 Mr. Fields withdrew from it to devote himself to authorship and to public lecturing.

While a publisher he collected and edited in 22 vols, the writings of Thomas De Quincey. For several years he edited the Atlantic Monthly." In 1849 he published a volume of his poems, in 1854 printed another for private distribution, and in 1858 a third entitled A Few Verses for a Few Friends." His latest publication is a volume of prose sketches of his literary friends, entitled "Yesterdays with Authors"(1873). In November, 1873, he delivered six lectures on modern English literature before the Lowell institute at Boston. He visited Europe in 1848, 1851, and 1S59.