FAIR, James Graham (1831-1894)

FAIR, JAMES GRAHAM, a Senator from Nevada; born near Belfast, County Tyrone, Ireland, December 3, 1831; immigrated to the United States in 1843 with his parents, who settled in Illinois; trained in business; moved to California in 1849 and engaged in gold mining until 1860, when he moved to Virginia City, Nev.; in partnership with associates engaged in lucrative gold and silver mining; also engaged in the real estate business in San Francisco with interests in various manufactures on the Pacific coast; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1881, to March 3, 1887; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1886; resumed his business interests in San Francisco, Calif., where he died on December 28, 1894; interment in Laurel Hill Cemetery; reinterred in Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma, Calif.

California Historical Society
San Francisco, CA
Papers: Legal documents in John H. Burke papers, 1878-1879.

Nevada Historical Society
Reno, NV
Papers: Correspondence and other papers relating to activities as a mining superintendent in the Gould and Curry Silver Mining Company records; Mackay, Fair, Flood, and O'Brien Records; and various other collections.

University of California, Berkeley
The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, CA
Papers: 1880-1909. 1 box. Papers relating to litigation over the wills of James G. and Charles L. Fair. In part, photocopies.

University of Nevada
Special Collections
Reno, NV
Papers: 4 letters (1884-1886) from Fair in Dan De Quille papers, 1884-1889; in the Matthew Gillighan papers, 1896; in United States Circuit Court, J.M. Baldwin and L.B. Abernathie vs J.G. Fair and the Consolidated Virginia Mining Company records, Feb. 9, 1878; Mackay, Fair, and Company records, 1871-1887; Gould and Curry Mining Company records, 1863-1933; Consolidated Virginia Mining Company records, 1859-1921; and Pacific Wood, Lumber and Flume Company records, 1869-1904.

  • Baur, John E. "The Senator's Happy Thought.'' American West 10 (January 1973): 35-39, 62-63.
  • Lewis, Oscar. Silver Kings: The Lives and Times of Mackay, Fair, Flood, and O'Brien, Lords of the Nevada Comstock Lode. 1947. Reprint, with new foreword by James J. Rawls. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1986.