HALL, JAMES (1793–1868), American judge and man of letters, was born at Philadelphia on the 19th of August 1793. After for some time prosecuting the study of law, he in 1812 joined the army, and in the war with Great Britain distinguished himself in engagements at Lundy’s Lane, Niagara and Fort Erie. On the conclusion of the war he accompanied an expedition against Algiers, but in 1818 he resigned his commission, and continued the study of law at Pittsburg. In 1820 he removed to Shawneetown, Illinois, where he commenced practice at the bar and also edited the Illinois Gazette. Soon after he was appointed public prosecutor of the circuit, and in 1824 state circuit judge. In 1827 he became state treasurer, and held that office till 1831, but he continued at the same time his legal practice and also edited the Illinois Intelligencer. Subsequently he became editor of the Western Souvenir, an annual publication, and of the Illinois Monthly Magazine, afterwards the Western Monthly Magazine. He died near Cincinnati on the 5th of July 1868.
The following are his principal works:—Letters from the West, originally contributed to the Portfolio, and collected and published in London in 1828; Legends of the West (1832); The Soldier’s Bride and other Tales (1832); The Harpe’s Head, a Legend of Kentucky (1833); Sketches of the West (2 vols., 1835); Tales of the Border (1835); Notes on the Western States (1838); History of the Indian Tribes, in conjunction with T. L. M‘Keeney (3 vols., 1838–1844); The Wilderness and the War-Path (1845); Romance of Western History (1857).