Webb, James Watson

Webb, James Watson

(1802–84) journalist, diplomat; born in Claverack, N.Y. After serving in the U.S. Army, where he won a reputation as a duelist, he bought the New York Morning Courier in 1827, soon merging it with the Enquirer, and eventually took over editorship of the merged paper, retaining that role until 1861. A strong partisan, he originally supported Andrew Jackson but later became a prominent Whig. As a diplomat he helped secure French withdrawal from Mexico in 1865 and from 1861 to 1869 was U.S. ambassador to Brazil.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.