Noah's Top Matches
About Noah James
Teamster for the Donner's. Age 16 and survived.
Noah’s mother Frances (known as Fanna) was a sister of Archer G. Herndon, making her the aunt, and Noah the first cousin, of William H. Herndon, Abraham Lincoln’s last law partner and biographer. After Fanna's husband Elisha died, Archer arranged for her to come to Sangamon County and set her up as a seamstress. She and her family lived near the Donners in Clear Lake Township.
Although his age is usually given as 20, Noah was actually only about 16 when the Donners hired him as a teamster. He stayed at the Donner family camp in the Alder Creek Valley during the winter of 1846-47 and was rescued by the First Relief. He disappeared after his arrival in California, although an entry in the federal census lists an "N. James," of about the right age and place of birth, working as a miner in Calaveras County in 1850. The historical record is silent as to his fate, except for a tantalizing reference in an early diary: reportedly Noah James was the real name of James Wilson, alias "Mountain Jim," who was hanged as a horse thief near Stockton in November 1851.
Parents: Elisha James, b. 1785 in MD, d. 14 October 1841, Rush Co., IN; m. 10 Feb 1823 to Frances Herndon (b. abt 1791 in VA, d. 29 Jan 1875, Sangamon Co., IL.)
b. abt 1830 in Delaware d. November 1851 in Stockton, San Joaquin Co., CA (?)