Isabella Batchelder James

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(1810-1901)

Mrs. Isabella James was born September 19th, 1810, in New Ipswich, New Hampshire.

She was the fifth child of Samuel and Mary Batchelder.  While a child the family moved to Lowell, Massachusetts, then East Chelmsford, and later to Saco, Maine.  Mrs. James was educated at the school of the Misses Inglis in Boston.

In 1842 her father bought the John Vassall house on Brattle street, Cambridge, from which she was married on December 2nd, 1852, to Thomas Potts James of Philadelphia, PA, a noted botanist.

Mrs. James’s home was in Philadelphia until 1869, when, on the death of her mother, she returned to Cambridge to keep house for her father.

She was chairman of the Cambridge Ladies’ Centennial Committee that published the historical sketch of “Cambridge in 1776,” to which she contributed.  From time to time she wrote fro various magazines.

Mrs. James was one of the first in this neighborhood to collect antique china.  She made a deep study of the manufacture of porcelain and pursued her investigations abroad.  She wrote a family history of the Potts family of Pannsylvania that involved much historical research.

In 1885 she went to live in Devonshire, England, where she died on August 6, 1901.