Logan, James (American colonial statesman and scholar)

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Logan, James (American colonial statesman and scholar)

James Logan, 1674–1751, American colonial statesman and scholar, b. Ireland. While engaged in the shipping trade, Logan met William Penn and became (1699) his secretary. He emigrated to Philadelphia with Penn and remained his confidential adviser for many years. He served as provincial secretary and clerk of the provincial council, where he was a member from 1702 to 1747. A leader of the aristocratic proprietary party, he often came into bitter conflict with David Lloyd. Logan became mayor of Philadelphia (1722), justice of the court of common pleas (1727), and chief justice of the supreme court (1731). He was acting governor of the province from 1736 to 1738. Logan became very wealthy through land investment and trade with Native Americans. He maintained a large estate, where his hospitality to the Native Americans established their long-lasting friendship with the colony. Logan's wide scholarly interests included botanical research that received recognition from Carolus Linnaeus, who named the genus Logania after him. He was also the author of numerous scientific works, and at his death he left his large library of classical and scientific books to Philadelphia.

See Correspondence between William Penn and James Logan, ed. by D. Logan and E. Armstrong (2 vol., 1870–72, repr. 1972); biography by F. B. Tolles (1957).

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