Member Biography

James Hanna 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1837-1838       2 Whig

COUNTIES: Philadelphia  


02/02/1806 - 11/06/1888

First Lieutenant James Hanna (Whig2) Philadelphia County 1838-1839

Early Life:

First Lieutenant James Hanna, born February 2, 1806, Southwark, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; son of John and Elizabeth Patterson Hanna; attorney; married, Clarissa Sidney Wilson Hanna, 1829 (d.1853), children, Clarissa Sidney Hanna Wood, Aquilla Wilson Hanna, William Patterson Hanna, Ella Sophia Hanna Fauntleroy, James Claypoole Hanna; elected, Whig, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1838-1839; first lieutenant, Philadelphia Grays, 1848-1849; moved, from Philadelphia to San Francisco via Panama, 1850, to Eureka, California, 1854; died, November 6, 1888 (aged 82–83), Humboldt County, California; interment, Myrtle Grove Memorial Cemetery, Eureka, Humboldt County, California. 

Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships:

Member, Humboldt Lodge No. 79, Free and Accepted Masons; member, Society of Humboldt County Pioneers. 

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Whig, Pennsylvania State Senate, 2nd district, Philadelphia County, 1838-1839; expelled at conclusion, Buckshot War for polling violations, October 1838; sworn, seated, voted during the Senate Speaker election, thus is considered a legitimate state Senator. 

The Senate was initially organized by the Whigs who recognized the disputed election of Whigs James Hanna and William Wagner. This was reversed following the end of the Buckshot War, with the seating of Democrats Samuel Stevenson and Michael Snyder. The Whigs regained one seat when Democrat Thomas Bell (Chester) was replaced by Nathaniel Brooke, a Whig. 


Wife, Clarissa Sidney Wilson Hanna, granddaughter of Betsy Ross.


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members H"Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

Cox, Harold. Senate1790-1869 ( Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

Ferndale Enterprise (Ferndale, California) Friday, November 16, 1888, page 1.

James Hanna (1805-1888) - Find a Grave Memorial