North American Scholar

KINGSLEY, James Luce

  • Image
  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1778-08-28
  • Born City: Scotland
  • Born State/Country: CT
  • Parents: Jonathan & Zillah Cary K.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1852-08-31
  • Death City: New Haven
  • Death State/Country: CT
  • Married: Lydia Coit, 23 Sept. 1811.
  • Education:

    Williams Coll., A.B. Yale, 1799; LL.D. Middlebury Coll., 1831.

  • Professional Experience:

    Princ. sch. in Wethersfield, CT, 1799-1800; tutor Yale, 1801-12; librarian Yale, 1805-24; prof. Hebrew, Gk., & Lat. langs. and eccles. 1805-51.

  • Publications:

    Remarks on the Present Situation of Yale College (New Haven, 1817); Eulogy on Professor Fisher (New Haven, 1822); "German Universities," Chr. Q. Spec. 1 (1829) 634 ff.; "Popular Eloquence of the Romans," North American Review 30 (1830) 259-1A; review of Stuart's Select Classics, Am. Monthly Rev. 34 (Apr. 1833) 280-300; A Sketch of the History of Yale College (Boston, 1835); A Historical Discourse Delivered on the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Settlement of New Haven (New Haven, 1838); M. Tulli Ciceronis ad Quintum fratrem dialogi De oratore (New York, 1839); C. Cornell Taciti Historiarum libri quinque (New York, 1844); The Life of Ezra Stiles (Boston, 1848).

  • Notes:

    James Luce Kingsley, a polymath with wide-ranging interests (including history and science), was a superb Latinist, Yale's first professor of foreign languages. He rose rapidly from tutor to professor of ecclesiastical history and of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. He ceased to teach ecclesiastical history after 1817, Greek after 1831, and Hebrew after 1835, concentrating on Latin thereafter. His few publications were school texts. With President Jeremiah Day, Kingsley wrote the faculty's part of the famous Yale Report (1828) that reaffirmed the humanistic tradition in American colleges and the centrality of the classical languages in education.

  • Sources:

    DAB 10:411-2; Edward B. Goellner, BDAE 751-2; NatCAB 10:121-2; Thomas A. Thacher, A Discourse Commemorating Professor James L. Kingsley (New York, 1852); WhAmHS 365.

  • Author: Meyer Reinhold