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James Abraham Hillhouse (1789–1841)

Author of Dramas, discourses, and other pieces

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James Abraham Hillhouse (September 26, 1789 - January 4, 1841) was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the eldest child of James and Rebecca (Woolsey) Hillhouse. Hillhouse entered Yale at the age of 13, withdrew before the end of his freshman year, but eventually received an A.B. degree with the class of 1808. When his business plans were interrupted by the War of 1812, he relocated to New Haven from Boston, where he had resided for three years after his graduation. In 1819 he visited England, where he first published Percy's Masque (1819), a drama based on Bishop Percy's ballad, "The Hermit of Warkworth." Returning to the U.S. in 1820, Hillhouse engaged in business as a hardware merchant in New York City. In 1822 he married Cornelia Lawrence, the eldest daughter of New York merchant Isaac Lawrence, and the following year returned to New Haven, where he spent the remainder of his life in study and literary pursuits. In 1824, he wrote Hadad (1825), a drama based upon the Biblical narrative of Absalom's rebellion. Most of his writings are contained in the volume Dramas, Discourses, and Other Pieces (1839).
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