Member Biography

Oliver Perry James 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1865       6 Democrat
1866       6 Democrat
1867       6 Democrat



07/19/1815 - 11/14/1894

Doctor Oliver Perry James (D6) Bucks County 1865-1867

Early Life:

Doctor Oliver Perry James, born July 19, 1814, Pine Run, New Briton Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania; son of Benjamin and Nancy Williams James; local school education; engaged, carpentry, Philadelphia; studied medicine with his cousin, Doctor Robt E. James; Jefferson Medical College, 1840; medical practice, New Briton Almshouse, 1841-1858; private medical practice, Doylestown, 1859; married, Sarah A Gordon, 1859, children, Oliver B., Martha A., Sarah M.; elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1864; unsuccessful campaign, United States Congress, 1878; president, Doylestown Borough Council; director, Doylestown National Bank; board of directors, Grove Turnpike Company; died, November 19, 1894 (aged 79), Doylestown Cemetery, Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Early Career:

Abandoned the saw and plane, and in 1837 entered himself as a student of medicine in the office of his cousin, Dr. Robert E. James, of Upper Mount Bethel. Northampton County, Pennsylvania, father of Robert E. James, Esq. of Easton and read the allotted time with the Doctor, and during the winter season attended lectures at the Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, where he graduated in March. 1840.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 6th district, Bucks County, 1865-1867; defeated, William Godshalk, by 980 votes.

Unsuccessful campaign, United States Congress, 1878; defeated by William Godshalk.


On the maternal side he is said to be a descendant of the Roger Williams family, Rhode Island.


Manual of Rules and Legislative Directory together with the Constitution of the United States and of Pennsylvania Smull, J.A., (Editor) (1866) pages 261-263.