He was born in Montville, Connecticut, the son of William Hillhouse, and adopted by his childless uncle and aunt, James Abraham and Mary Lucas Hillhouse. He graduated from Yale in 1773, and became a captain in the Revolutionary War. He was active in the drive to plant the elm trees that gave New Haven the nickname of the Elm City.
James Proctor was elected on the Democratic ticket to the Georgia Senate, where he used his influence to inaugurate the Savannah, Albany and Gulf Railway in a scheme to connect the Atlantic seaboard at Savannah with the Gulf of Mexico at Mobile.
James Proctor Screven's agricultural pursuits and political activities, the education of his son, John Screven, and family legal disputes and estate matters comprise the chief topics of correspondence for this period.
James Hamilton Couper was an agricultural innovator and introduced a number of new crops to the coastal Georgia area.
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