James Wright, of Mooresburg, was born at Waltham Abbey, Essex County, England, November 5, 1813, and is the son of James Sr., and Lucy (Campbell) Wright. The father was also born at that place, and died at Gravesend, England, in 1853, at the age of eighty-one. James, the father, was store-keeper of the Royal Gunpowder Works at the above place, a position also held by the grandfather. Both father and mother were Episcopalians, and the mother, born in Epping, near Epping Forest (made famous by Thomas Hood) about 1777, died at Waltham Abbey in 1855. Our subject, the seventh and only living one of nine children, was educated in Hartfordshire, England, and when twenty-two went to South Australia, exploring and surveying in that then savage county for five years. He had also traveled extensively in South America, and after a short sojourn in England, came, in 1837 to Baltimore County, Md., and engaged in the mercantile trade. In 1858 the Dougherty Marble Quarry Company, of Hawkins County, Tenn., gave his charge of their works, which he has successfully managed up to the present time. From after the war, and until 1883, he was engaged in merchandising, with an annual trade of from $20,000 to $35.000. On coming to America, he borrowed money of his brother to go into business, but during the war lost all, but, since, has succeeded well. He is in belief an Episcopalian, and politically a Democrat. Caroline, a daughter of Jesse Ritter (now living with our subject, at the age of eighty-four), became his wife in 1838. She was born in Baltimore County, Md., 1822, and is a Methodist. Alice is the only living child, and those deceased are W. F., Emily M., Laura J., James C., and Robert.
Transcribed by Betty Mize from Goodspeed’s History of Tennessee, 1886.