The fight against intemperance and slavery, in which Deacon James
was prominent, brought down all religious barriers and healed many old wounds made by doctrinal differences.
In conjunction with the temperance movement, an attempt was made to carry on the Medford House
as a temperance hotel backed by stockholders who were prominent citizens.
George W. Porter
was treasurer and Luther Angier
was a shareholder owning five at a par value of one hundred dollars each, numbered 51 to 55 inclusive, and did his part to make the undertaking a success, but the effort failed.
From 1834 to 1840, inclusive, Mr. James
was a member of the school committee.
He was much interested in higher education, especially for girls.
In 1834, he was associated with Horatio A. Smith
and Milton James
on the board.
for some years had carried on what he called ‘The Medford
High School,’ and the children and niece of Mr. James
These men were in hearty accord, and, against much opposition, but to the great joy of many who were financially debarred from private schools, the public Medford
High School was established in 1835, for children of both sexes over twelve years old who could pass the examination.
Mr. Charles Cummings
says: ‘Though the school tax would be increased one half, yet he stemmed the tide of objection, and, with the aid of one or two others, the school was established.’
I have been giving you documentary history of this man of iron with a tender heart, but his history is recorded in the hearts of those whose lives he made brighter by his smiles and ready wit, or who were rescued from ruin by his timely advice or financial aid.
He could never be downed in an argument, and was never at a loss for a repartee, his wit being often twoedged.
One of his dearest friends was Capt. St. Croix Redman
, his brother-in-law.
Many were the discussions that they indulged in when the captain chanced to be at