James was one of the Minute-men who marched at the alarm at Lexington in 1775. He served at Ticonderoga, 1777, and was one of the soldiers who set out for Bennington on August, 1777. He next appears as a soldier at Salem, N.Y. He followed the wave of emigration and was in Kentucky about 1784, where he bought a large tract of land, said to be the site of the present city of Lexington. He erected a distillery before being called to serve during the Indian trouble of that region, and was killed in Marmer's defeat by the Indians near Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1791 (Severance, B. Frank. Genealogy and biography of the descendants of Walter Stewart of Scotland and of John Stewart who came to America in 1718 and settled in Londonderry, N.H. Greenfield, Mass. : T. Morey & Son, 1905, pg. 30-31).