Born: March 13, 1804, Hopewell, Virginia.
Died: July 31, 1859, Sweet Springs, Virginia.
Buried: Princeton Cemetery, Princeton, New Jersey.
James was the son of Archibald Alexander and Janetta Waddel, and brother of Joseph Alexander.
He graduated from Princeton University in 1820.
Ordained in 1827, he served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Trenton, New Jersey (1829–32).
He became Professor of Rhetoric at Princeton (1833); pastor of the Duane Street Presbyterian Church, New York (1844); Professor of Church History at Princeton (1849); and pastor of the 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York (1851)