James Linn (1749 – January 5, 1821) was a politician who served as a United States Representative from New Jersey, serving one term from 1799 to 1801.[1]

James Linn
Secretary of State of New Jersey
In office
Preceded byJohn Beatty
Succeeded byDaniel Coleman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's At-large district
In office
March 4, 1799 – March 3, 1801
Personal details
Born1749 (1749)
Bedminster Township, Province of New Jersey, British America
DiedJanuary 5, 1821(1821-01-05) (aged 71–72)
Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Mary Livingston
(m. 1771, died)

Penelope Alexander
RelationsWilliam Livingston (father-in-law)
ChildrenEvelina Belmont Linn
Parent(s)Alexander Linn
Margaret Kirkpatrick
Alma materCollege of New Jersey

Early lifeEdit

Linn was born in Bedminster Township in the Province of New Jersey in 1749. He was the son of Margaret (née Kirkpatrick) and Judge Alexander Linn,[2] an Irish immigrant who became a prominent Judge in Somerset County.[3] An uncle, Joseph Linn, was a prominent landowner and paymaster during the Revolution.[2]

He pursued preparatory studies and graduated from Princeton College in 1769.[4]


After graduating, he was the librarian of the college for a year, then studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1772 and commenced practice in Trenton.[4]

He returned to Somerset County and was judge of the Court of Common Pleas; he was a member of the Provincial Congress of New Jersey in 1776.[1]

During the Revolutionary War he served as captain in the Somerset County Militia in 1776, and first major from 1776 to 1781 under William Alexander, Lord Stirling.[5] He was a member of the New Jersey Legislative Council (now the New Jersey Senate) in 1777, and returned to Trenton; he served in the New Jersey General Assembly in 1790 and 1791, and from 1793 to 1797 was again a member of the State Council serving as Vice-President of Council from October 24, 1796 to October 23, 1797.[1][6]

Linn was elected as a Republican to the Sixth Congress, serving from March 4, 1799 to March 3, 1801; he was not a candidate for renomination in 1800 to the Seventh Congress.[1]

He was appointed by President Thomas Jefferson to be supervisor of the revenue and served from 1801 to 1809, and from 1809 to 1820 he served as the Democratic-Republican Secretary of State of New Jersey,[1] which "strengthened his control of the party in the state."[3]

Personal lifeEdit

On May 27, 1771, Linn was married to Mary Livingston (b. 1749), the daughter of Susannah (née French) Livingston and William Livingston, the future 1st Governor of New Jersey of the prominent Livingston family.[7][8][9] They were the parents of:

Upon his father's death in 1776, he inherited his family's 664-acre estate, which included 20 slaves, in Mine Brook Valley.[4] After his first wife's death, he remarried to Penelope Alexander.[4]

Linn died in Trenton, New Jersey on January 5, 1821 and was survived by his widow and a married daughter.[4] He was buried at the Lamington Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Somerset County, New Jersey.[1]


Through his only surviving daughter Evelina, he was the grandfather of Evelina Linn McLean (d. 1840), who died young, and Princeton graduate and lawyer, James Linn McLean (1834–1914), who married Amanda Mixsell. After her death, he married Josephine S. Dunbar (b. 1844).[5][11] In 1871, McLean served a term in the West Virginia State Legislature.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "LINN, James - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Somerset County Historical Quarterly. Somerset County Historical Society. 1916. p. 42. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "To Thomas Jefferson from James Linn, 24 March 1801". founders.archives.gov. Founders Online. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e Harrison, Richard A. (2014). Princetonians, 1769-1775: A Biographical Dictionary. Princeton University Press. pp. 28–31. ISBN 9781400856527. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Daughters of the American Revolution (1922). Lineage Book - National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Daughters of the American Revolution. p. 14. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  6. ^ "Oaths of Office of Governors and Acting Governors, 1790-2006". nj.gov. New Jersey Department of State. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  7. ^ Livingston, William; Prince, Carl E.; Commission, New Jersey Historical (1988). The papers of William Livingston. New Jersey Historical Commission. pp. 533, 618. ISBN 9780897430449. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  8. ^ Livingston, Edwin Brockholst (1910). The Livingstons of Livingston Manor: Being the History of that Branch of the Scottish House of Callendar which Settled in the English Province of New York During the Reign of Charles the Second; and Also Including an Account of Robert Livingston of Albany, "The Nephew," a Settler in the Same Province and His Principal Descendants. New York: The Knickerbocker Press. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  9. ^ Reynolds, Cuyler (1914). Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. pp. 1335-1336. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  10. ^ History of the Old Tennent Church. G.W. Burroughs, printer. 1904. pp. 129–131. Retrieved February 11, 2018. Daniel Veech McLean.
  11. ^ a b Kappa Alpha Massachusetts Alpha, Williams College (1881). A Biographical Record of the Kappa Alpha Society in Williams College, Williamstown, Mass: From Its Foundation to the Present Time. 1833-1881 ... Society. p. 157. Retrieved June 13, 2018.

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Secretary of State of New Jersey
Succeeded by