James Lord Pierpont (25 April 1822 - 5 August 1893) was an American songwriter and composer, best known for writing and composing Jingle Bells. James Pierpont was born in 1822, while his father served as the Unitarian pastor of the Hollis Street Church in Boston. His father, the Rev. John Pierpont (1785-1866), was a strong abolitionist and noted poet. His mother was Mary Sheldon Lord, the daughter of Lynde Lord, Jr. (1762-1813), and Mary Lyman. Together, they had six children.
In 1832, at the age of 10, James was sent to a boarding school in New Hampshire. Four years later, in 1836, James ran away to sea.
In 1845, he returned to the East Coast, where his father was the minister at a Unitarian congregation in Troy, New York. In 1846, James married Millicent Cowee. They had two children, Mary and John. Mary was later a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
In 1849, Rev. Pierpont accepted a position in Medford, Massachusetts. That same year, James left his wife and children with his father in Massachusetts to open a business in San Francisco during the gold rush of 1849. It is reported that he also worked as a photographer. After the business failed when his goods burned in a fire, Pierpont returned to Medford.
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