James Ross Snowden

Is your surname Snowden?

Research the Snowden family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

James Ross Snowden

Birthplace: Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: 1878 (68-69)
Place of Burial: Laurel Hill Cemetery Philadelphia Philadelphia County Pennsylvania
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Nathaniel Randolph Snowden and Sarah G. Snowden
Husband of Susannah Engel Snowden
Father of Sarah Patterson Mitchell; Mary Thompson Stansfield; Louise Hortense Snowden and Robert Patterson Snowden
Brother of Dr. Isaac Wayne Snowden; Mary Parker Thompson; Nathaniel Duffield Snowden; Samuel Gustine Snowden; Charles Snowden and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About James Ross Snowden

"HON. JAMES ROSS SNOWDEN, son of Rev. Nathaniel Randolph and Sarah (Gustine) Snowden, was born in Chester, Pennsylvania, December 9, 1809, while his father was pastor of the Middletown Presbyterian Church in Chester [Delaware] county. The family moved to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, while James Ross Snowden was quite young. His education was acquired principally under the tuition of his father and he became a fine classical scholar. He studied law and was admitted to the Venango county bar in 1828, at the early age of nineteen years, and was soon after appointed assistant attorney-general of Pennsylvania. He practiced law in Franklin, Venango county, Pennsylvania, for several years, and was elected to represent that district in the Pennsylvania Legislature, and served several terms. He was speaker of the House of Representatives in 1842, and again in 1844, and distinguished himself by his clear-minded rulings. He was state treasurer for the term, 1845-46, and while filling that position instituted a number of reforms and placed the state treasury on a sound financial basis. In 1848 he was appointed treasurer and superintendent of the United States Mint at Philadelphia and removed to that city. In 1851 he was appointed solicitor for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, with offices at Pittsburgh, where he resided until 1853, when he was appointed director of all the United States mints, with offices in Philadelphia, and returned to that city. He was admitted to practice at the Philadelphia bar, May 20, 1861, and practiced for many years, achieving considerable eminence, and in the same year was appointed prothonotary of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania....

"He married, September 13, 1848, Susan Engle Patterson, born in Philadelphia, October 19, 1823, died there February 11, 1897... "

— John W. Jordan, editor, Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania: Genealogical and Personal Memoirs, New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1911, pp. 1651-1652.

James Ross Snowden (9 December 1809, Old Chester, Pennsylvania – 21 March 1878, Hulmeville, Pennsylvania) was treasurer of the United States Mint from 1847 to 1850, and director of the Mint from 1853 to 1861.

He was educated at Dickinson College. Subsequently he studied law, and, settling in Franklin, Pennsylvania, was made deputy attorney general, elected to the legislature in 1838, and served as speaker in 1842-44. He was state treasurer from 1845 until 1847, and was also elected colonel in the state militia.

Snowden developed an interest in numismatics during his work at the United States Mint, and became a noted numismatist of his day. He contributed to such publications as Bouvier's Law Dictionary, as well as publishing several numismatic works of his own.

He married Susan Engle Patterson in 1848. They had five children.

Published Works; A measure proposed to secure a safe treasury and a sound currency (1857) Descriptions of Coin in the U. S. Mint (Philadelphia, 1860)

A description of the medals of Washington. (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1861).

The Mint at Philadelphia (1861)

The Coins of the Bible, and its Money Terms (1864)

The Cornplanter Memorial (Harrisburg, 1867)

He contributed articles on the coin of the United States to the National Almanac of 1873.

His great-grandfather, Nathanael Fitz Randolph, served in the American Revolutionary War, being known as “Fighting Nat,” and was presented with a sword by the legislature of New Jersey. He also started the first subscription paper for Princeton College, and gave the ground upon which Nassau Hall, the first edifice of that college, was built. This received its name in honor of William III of England of the “illustrious house of Nassau.” It has been twice burned down. His father, Rev. Nathanael Randolph Snowden, was curator of Dickinson College from 1794 until 1827. His nephew A. Loudon Snowden became superintendent of the Philadelphia office of the United States Mint.

view all

James Ross Snowden's Timeline

December 9, 1809
Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States
Age 39
Age 42
Age 50
Age 54
Age 68
Laurel Hill Cemetery Philadelphia Philadelphia County Pennsylvania