"James Sullivan (1744-1808) was an author, lawyer, and Governor of Massachusetts.
Sullivan was about equally a lawyer, author, businessman, and politician, and very busy at each. He was born of Irish descent at Berwick, Maine, April 22, 1744. He stood high among the legal lights that came forth in New England toward the end of the century.
During his seventeen years' service as Attorney-General, he conducted many of the admiralty, probate, superior and supreme courts; in addition, he had a heavy private practice. As an author, he showed marked ability in the writing of law works, political tracts, and constant contributions to the political controversies of the press.
In public life, besides serving on various commissions, he acted as representative, member of the council, delegate to Congress, and, after several close campaigns, was in 1807 and 1808 twice successful as Republican candidate for governor, dying before the end of his second term.
He was one of the incorporators of the Middlesex Canal and largely instrumental in its final building. He helped found the Massachusetts Historical Society and was its first president. He was exceedingly active, high spirited, eloquent, and hospitable, and was popular even with his Federalist opponents in times when party feeling ran high.
The following is the inscription on James Sullivan's tomb:
The family tomb of
JAMES SULLIVAN, ESQ.
late Governor and Commander in chief of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, who departed this life
on the 10th Day of Dec'r A. D. 1808
Aged 64 Years.
His Remains are Here Deposited.
During a life of remarkable industry, activity and usefulness,
amidst Public and private contemporaneous avocations,
he was distinguished for zeal, intelligence and fidelity.
Public-spirited, benevolent and social,
he was eminently beloved as a man, eminently esteemed as a
citizen, and eminently respected as a magistrate.
Huic versatile ingenium Sic
pariter ad omnia fuit, ut, adid unum díceres
quod cum que ageret
Contact Information & Address:
Granary Burying Ground
Tremont & Bromfield Streets, Boston, MA