About this Famous Person
James I. ROOSEVELT
American politician, jurist and businessman
Source : Tim DOWLING
James I (the Roman numeral was used to distinguish him from others of the same name) was born on December 14, 1795 in New York City to Jacobus James Roosevelt and Maria Van Schaak and baptized at the Dutch Reformed Church. He was a great-grandson of Johannes Roosevelt (the founder of the Oyster Bay branch of the family) and a granduncle of Theodore Roosevelt through his brother Cornelius. He was also the uncle of Robert Barnwell Roosevelt.
Roosevelt graduated from Columbia College in 1815 and was admitted to the bar in 1818, becoming a partner of Peter Jay (son of John Jay), with a practice in New York City. An active Democrat, he campaigned for Andrew Jackson for president in 1828. He was elected alderman in 1828 and 1830, was a member of the New York State Assembly in 1835 and 1840, and served in the United States Congress from 1841 to 1843 (he declined to seek reelection). As a jurist, he became a justice of the New York Supreme Court in 1851, and during one term was ex-officio judge of the State Court of Appeals. From 1860 to 1861, he was United States District Attorney for Southern New York. He studied foreign law in the courts of England, the Netherlands, and France. In business, Roosevelt followed in the tradition of his father as a hardware merchant. He engaged in farming after retiring. He was the first president of Roosevelt Hospital, which was founded by his cousin James H. Roosevelt.