Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Whitney, James Amaziah

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WHITNEY, James Amaziah, lawyer, b. in Rochester, N. Y., 30 June, 1839. He removed in childhood with his parents to Maryland, Otsego co., N. Y., where he received a common-school education, and began life as a farmer, but in 1860-'5 studied chemistry, mechanics, and engineering without a master, and in the latter year became a writer of specifications in the office of a firm of patent solicitors. In 1868 he became an editor of the “American Artisan,” and took an active part in organizing the New York society of practical engineers, of which he was president for several years. In 1869-'72 he was professor of agricultural chemistry in the American institute, and in the latter year he established himself as a solicitor of patents. In 1876 he was admitted to practice in the U. S. circuit courts. Iowa college gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1880. Besides numerous essays on scientific, mechanical, legal, and political subjects, Mr. Whitney is the author of a monograph on “The Relations of the Patent Laws to the Development of Agriculture” (New York, 1874); “The Chinese and the Chinese Question” (1880; enlarged ed., 1888); “Shobab, a Tale of Bethesda,” a poem (1884); “Sonnets and Lyrics” (1884); “The Children of Lamech,” a poem (1885); and “Poetical Works” (2 vols., 1886).