James Edward Hungerford, eldest son of William Ellt. Hungerford and his wife, Sophia W. Smith, of Hall Creek, Maryland, was born on "The Old Plantation" in Calvert County, Maryland, February 11, 1814, and died in Baltimore, July 13, 1883. He was graduated from Ashbury College, then began to read law but, his health failing, he became a civil engineer for the Baltimore and Ohio Railway and later was in its legal department. About 1837 he was married to Mary Emma Burbridge at her father's home, "Mexico Plantation." On the 22d of April, 1848, he was elected principal of Franklin Academy at Reisterstown, Maryland, a private school which later became the Franklin High School, and some years after he became principal of the Rockville Academy. In 1852 he commenced the publication of the Baltimore Whig, at Reisterstown, and subsequently became editor and publisher of The Southern Home Journal, a weekly literary paper of Baltimore. For this paper he wrote poems and short stories, and his novel, "The Master of Beverley; or, The Villainous Plot," ran in it for the greater part of 1868.
"The Old Plantation," originally published in New York in 1859, gives a good description of life on the "Eastern Shore" of Maryland. It is a thinly veiled story of a murder in the family of a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and is interspersed with many short stories, including quite a collection of ghost stories.
Hungerford wrote only one novel for Beadle, "The Falcon Rover," a story of the Chesapeake Bay and Drum Point Harbor, but wrote many poems for the Saturday Journal.
REFERENCES: James Wood Davidson, The Living Writers of the South, New York, 1869, 288 (a few lines); John T. Schraf, History of Baltimore City and County, Philadelphia, 1881; Personal letters from James Hungerford's grandson, Arthur E. Hungerford, April 15, 1941, and from his granddaughter, Mrs. W. R. Latimer, May 15, June 11, 20, and 29, 19-11. The dates of Hungerford's birth and death were copied from his tombstone at Reisterstown, Maryland.
Dime Novels. Nos. 112, 431