Thomas James was born in slavery, migrated to Canada, and then returned to settle in Seneca Falls, New York, where he became a barber and wealthy landowner. In the 1850 federal census, he listed his birthplace as "unknown," with a 13-year-old daughter born in Canada. In 1863, two newspaper articles noted that he was a "fugitive slave" who owned $12-15 thousand dollars of real estate in Seneca Falls, including a new brick business block. "He has shown that although he belongs to the down-trodden race he can take care of himself, and we think no one will deny that he has rights which white men are bound to respect, Judge Taney to the contrary notwithstanding." At his death in 1867, executors of his will noted that ""Elizabeth James, his widow, and the said Thomas James had no other relatives known to the deponents or either of them, he having formerly been a slave and made, during his lifetime, diligent enquiry for his relatives without effect." As a barber, Thomas James cut the hair of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1852, as part of Stanton's campaign for health reform.
Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.
Location: 52 State St, Seneca Falls, Seneca, 13148
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: John and Elizabeth Churchill
Location Type: Site
UGRR Operatives: Thomas and Elizabeth James