Biography and History

James Barnes was a writer and military historian who lived in Princeton, New Jersey. Born in 1866, Barnes graduated from Princeton University in 1891 and served in the Spanish-American War and World War I. During World War I, he was head of the head of the Princeton Aviation School. He also worked for Scribner's Magazine, was assistant editor of Harper's Weekly, war correspondent for The Outlook in South Africa, and from 1905 to 1908 was editor of Appleton's Booklover's Magazine. Barnes authored a number of books, including For King or Country (1896), Naval Actions of 1812 (1896), A Princetonian (1896), Commodore Bainbridge (1912), Yankee Ships and Yankee Sailors (1898), David G. Farragut (1899), Drake and His Yeomen (1899), The Giant of Three Wars (1903), The Unpardonable War (1904), The Blockaders (1905), Outside the Law (1906), The Clutch of Circumstance (1908), Rifle and Caravan (1912), and Through Central Africa from Coast to Coast (1915). He later served as president of the Naval History Society of America. Barnes died in 1936.

Source: From the finding aid for C0051


  • Authors, American -- 20th century..
  • James Barnes Papers. 1894-1936 (inclusive), 1930-1936 (bulk).

    Call Number: C0051

    James Barnes, Class of 1891, was a writer and military historian. The collection consists primarily of correspondence to Barnes from friends and contemporary writers, such as Joseph Choate, William Lyon Phelps, and Edith Wharton. Also included are carbons of some of Barnes’s letters, memorabilia and papers of other persons.