Pen names: Adina, A Yankee, Katae Conyngham, F. Clinton Barrington, Greenliffe Warren
- The Throne of David (1860)
- The Pillar of Fire (1859)
- The Prince of the House of David (1855)
- The Lady of the Gulf (1845)
- Alice May and Bruising Bill (1845)
- The Diary of a Hackney Coachman (1844)
- The Quadroone, or, St. Michael’s Day (1840)
- Burton, or, The Sieges (1838)
- Lafitte: The Pirate of the Gulf (1836)
- The Southwest, by a Yankee (1835) and many others
Joseph Holt Ingraham was born in 1809 in Portland, Maine. He was one of the most popular authors of his time, writing over a hundred novels and many stories and poems.
Ingraham’s father was a shipbuilder, and at the age of seventeen, young Ingraham worked as a sailor. In the 1830’s he moved to Natchez, Mississippi, where he taught at Jefferson College in Washington, Mississippi, and was known as the Professor, which he often used as his name for his writings. He married Mary Elizabeth Odlin Brookes.
His first novel, Lafitte: The Pirate of the Gulf, was published in 1836. Burton, or, The Sieges: A Romance followed in 1838 and was a novel based on the early career of Aaron Burr. The novel The Quadroone was the last novel of his that Harpers published. As a result, Ingraham began writing paperbound novels that were from thirty to a hundred pages long. The first, The Dancing Feather (1842), was published serially in the Boston Notion and later published alone.
His writings were frequently based on American history, the supernatural, or were moral tales, travel sketches, poems, or literary criticism. His last novels were Biblical in nature. Although his writings earned him considerable money, he declared bankruptcy in 1842. Although he loved Mississippi, he apparently began moving around to Boston, New York, and Philadelphia where his various publishers were.
In 1847 he was confirmed to study for the ministry in the Protestant Episcopal Church, and he and his wife moved to Nashville, Tennessee. There he taught to support his family, and he became principal of the Vine Street Female Academy or Christ Church School. He also taught prisoners to read at the Tennessee State Penitentiary.
He received his first official assignment as Episcopal priest in 1851 at the missionary post in Aberdeen, Mississippi, that included Okolona and Columbus. He designed and helped build St. John’s Church in Aberdeen. He also served as a rector in Mobile, Alabama; Riverside, Tennessee; and Holly Springs, Mississippi.
He died in Holly Springs, Mississippi, in 1860, after dropping a loaded pistol in the vestibule of the church. Mary, his wife, survived him by a year. His son, Prentiss Ingraham, became a famous novelist as well.
- Alabama’s Literary Landscape: J. H. Ingraham
- Read LaFitte: The Pirate of the Gulf online at Google Books
- Read The Pillar of Fire of Israel in Bondage online by the Rev. J. H. Ingraham