Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/McHenry, James

McHENRY, JAMES (1785–1845), poet and novelist, son of a merchant in Larne, co. Antrim, was born there on 20 Dec. 1765. After attending a. local school, he studied medicine and begun practice in his native town, whence he later removed to Belfast. In 1817 he emigrated to the United States, where he lived successively in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. Re settled in the last-named place in 1824, both trading; and practising medicine. From 1842 till his death he was United States consul in Londonderry, Ireland. He died at Larne, 21 July 1845. his son James, who died in 1891 at Kensington, was a well-known financier. His daughter Mary married Mr. J. Bellargee Cox of Philadelphia.

McHenry had strong literary interests. His first work, 'The Pleasures of Friendship,' a poem, appeared in 1822, and was reprinted with other poems at Philadelphia in 1836. In 1824 he became editor of the 'American Monthly Magazine,' and in its pages 'O'Halloran, or the Insurgent Chief,' the novel by which he is probably best known, first appeared. His other prose works are:

  1. 'The Wilderness, or Braddock's Times: a Tale of the West,' 2 vols. New York,1823.
  2. 'The Spectre of the Forest,' 2 vols. 1823.
  3. ' The Hearts of Steel: an Irish Historical Tale of the last Century,' 2 vols. Philadelphia, 1825.
  4. 'The Betrothed of Wyoming,' 1831.
  5. 'Meredith, or the Mystery of the Meschianza,' 1831.

In verse he published:

  1. 'Walthani: an American Revolutionary Tale,' New York, 1823.
  2. 'The Usurper: an Historical Tragedy,' Philadelphia, 1829.
  3. 'Jackson's Wreath,' written in honour of Andrew Jackson, 1829.
  4. 'The Antediluvians, or the World Destroyed,' 1840.

[Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography.]

T. H.