James Smith Bush

Born Jun 15, 1825

Rev. James Smith Bush was an attorney, Episcopal priest, and religious writer, and an ancestor of the Bush political family. He was the father of business magnate Samuel Prescott Bush, grandfather of US Senator Prescott Bush, great-grandfather of former US President George H. W. Bush and great-great-grandfather of former US President George W. Bush.… Read More

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1825 Birth Born on June 15, 1825.


1841 16 Years Old Bush entered Yale College in 1841 (class of 1844), the first of what would become a long family tradition, as his grandson Prescott Sheldon Bush, great-grandsons George H.W. Bush, Prescott Sheldon Bush, Jr. and William H.T. Bush, great great-grandson George W. Bush, and great-great-great-granddaughter Barbara are all Yale alumni. … Read More


1855 30 Years Old This prompted Bush to study divinity with the rector of the Episcopal church there. Ordained a deacon in 1855, he was appointed rector at the newly organized Grace Church in Orange, New Jersey.
1859 34 Years Old On February 24, 1859, he married Harriet Eleanor Fay, daughter of Samuel Howard and Susan Shellman Fay, at Trinity Church, New York City. … Read More


1865 40 Years Old In 1865–66, having been given a health sabbatical by his church, he traveled to San Francisco via the Straits of Magellan on the ironclad monitor with Commodore John Rodgers (a parishioner of his), with international goodwill stops along the way. … Read More
1867 42 Years Old In 1867–1872, Bush was called to Grace Church (later Cathedral) in San Francisco, but troubled by family obligations, only stayed five years. … Read More
1872 47 Years Old In 1872, Bush took a call from Church of the Ascension at West Brighton, Staten Island. … Read More


1883 58 Years Old In 1883, Bush published a collection of sermons called More Words About the Bible, a response to his colleague Heber Newton's book Uses of the Bible.


1885 60 Years Old In 1885, his book Evidence of Faith was reviewed by The Literary World as "clear, simple, and unpretending", and summarized as an argument against supernatural explanations for God. … Read More
1888 63 Years Old Bush retired to Concord, Massachusetts, and in 1888 left the Episcopal Church altogether and became a Unitarian. … Read More
1889 64 Years Old He moved to Ithaca, New York where he died suddenly while raking leaves in 1889.
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