James Macdonald Oxley

James Macdonald Oxley (October 22, 1855 – September 9, 1907) was a Canadian writer of juvenile fiction.

James Oxley
Born(1855-10-22)October 22, 1855
Halifax, Nova Scotia
DiedSeptember 9, 1907(1907-09-09) (aged 51)
OccupationWriter (novelist), lawyer
Period19th, 20th century
GenreJuvenile fiction

Oxley was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the son of the merchant James Black Oxley and Ellen Macdonald. He was educated at Halifax Grammar School and Dalhousie University where he graduated with a B.A. in 1874, earning honors in mental and moral philosophy.[1] During this time he served as assistant editor for the Dalhousie Gazette.[2] He was called to the bar in 1874,[3] studied law at Harvard University in 1876–77, then was awarded a LL.B. from a Halifax University in 1878.[2]

He practised the legal profession in Halifax for five years before joining the Ottawa Department of Marine and Fisheries as a legal adviser.[3] On June 10, 1880 he was married to Mary Morrow.[2] From 1880–83, in addition to his regular job, he worked as editor for the Nova Scotia Decisions. In 1882 he edited Admiralty Decisions.[3] Oxley was a reporter at the House of Assembly from 1881–83.[2] He became a manager for the Sun Life Assurance Company in 1891.[3] During his leisure moments,[2] he began writing a series of juvenile fiction books for boys. His works were based on historical events in Canada and the U.S., with a focus on travel and adventure.[4]


Sources: [5][6][7]


  1. ^ Wallace, William Stewart (1940), The encyclopedia of Canada, 5, University associates of Canada, limited, p. 76.
  2. ^ a b c d e Rose, George Maclean, ed. (1886), A Cyclopedia of Canadian Biography: Being Chiefly Men of the Time, Toronto: Rose Publishing Company, pp. 784–785.
  3. ^ a b c d Gilman, Daniel Coit; Colby, Frank Moore; Peck, Harry Thurston; Williams, Talcott (1903), The new international encyclopædia, 13 (2nd ed.), New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, p. 538.
  4. ^ Shortt, Adam; Doughty, Arthur George (1914), Canada and its provinces: a history of the Canadian people and their institutions by one hundred associates, 12, Toronto: Rose Publishing Company, p. 563.
  5. ^ "Author - James MacDonald Oxley". Author and Book Info.
  6. ^ Horning, Lewis Merson; Burpee, Lawrence Johnstone (1904). A bibliography of Canadian fiction. Toronto: Stanford University Press. pp. 47–48.
  7. ^ Mabie, Hamilton Wright; Runkle, Lucia Isabella Gilbert; Warner, George Henry (1904). Warner's dictionary of authors ancient and modern. Akron, Ohio: Stanford University Press. p. 613.

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