More about the author(s):
James Grant Wilson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of poet William Wilson. Soon after his birth, his family relocated to Poughkeepsie, New York. He was educated at College Hill, and then privately tutored. He joined his father in business, later becoming his partner. In 1855, he began a two-year trip to Europe. In 1857, he returned to the U.S. and founded the Chicago Record, a journal of art and literature.In 1862, during the Civil War, he sold his the Chicago Record and entered the Union Army as a major of the 15th Illinois Cavalry. He left the Army in 1865 and moved to New York City, where he became an author, speaker, and president of the Society of American Authors. In 1885 he also became president of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. He edited several works of history and biography.