James Scollay Whitney
|Died||October 24, 1878 67) (aged|
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Employer||Metropolitan Steamship Company|
|Children|| Henry Melville Whitney |
William Collins Whitney
Susan Collins Whitney
Lily Collins Whitney
|Relatives||Henry L. Dawes (cousin)|
James Scollay Whitney (May 19, 1811 – October 24, 1878) was an American business executive and politician. He was the father of Henry Melville Whitney and William Collins Whitney, founders of the Whitney family business interests.
Whitney was born on May 19, 1811, in the part of South Deerfield, Massachusetts that was then known as "Bloody Brook".  He was the son of Stephen Whitney (1784–1852), a merchant manufacturer, and his second wife, Mary ( née Burgess) Whitney (1786–1868), the daughter of Dr. Benjamin Burgess. Among his siblings was Susan Whitney (wife of James I. Wakefield) and Mary Ann Whitney (wife of Theodore Billings). From his father's first marriage to Persis Locke, he was the younger half-brother of Stephen Whitney. 
Through his maternal aunt, Mercy (née Burgess) Dawes, he was a first cousin of Republican Senator and Representative Henry L. Dawes.  The Whitney family were descended from John Whitney (1590–1673) of London who settled in 1635 at Watertown, Massachusetts. 
In 1835, when he was only 24, Whitney was elected and commissioned brigadier general of the 2nd Brigade of the Massachusetts State Militia, which he was largely influential in reorganizing. Upon succeeding to the management of his father's manufacturing business in 1838, he moved it to Conway, Massachusetts, where he became a large manufacturer. 
A Jacksonian Democrat, Whitney was town clerk of Conway from 1843 to 1852. He represented Conway in the legislature of 1851 and, in the same year, he was appointed sheriff of Franklin County. In 1853, he was elected to the convention for the revision of the state constitution, in which he was prominent in the deliberations of the delegates. Whitney again represented Conway in the legislature of 1854.
In 1854, Whitney was appointed superintendent of the federal armory at Springfield, Massachusetts, by President Franklin Pierce, holding the position until 1860. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention of 1856 in Cincinnati, which nominated James Buchanan, and also that of 1860 in Charleston, which was wracked by sectional dissension before finally nominating Stephen A. Douglas. When Whitney left the Springfield Armory in 1860, President Buchanan appointed him Collector of Customs for the Port of Boston. He was removed, however, by the incoming Republican administration of Abraham Lincoln in 1861. 
Whitney then went into business in Boston. In February 1866, he joined Boston interests in organizing the Metropolitan Steamship Company, of which he was elected president. His son Henry was named its agent at Boston. The company operated steamships between Boston and New York City on the "outside line" around Cape Cod.  The line named the iron steamer SS General Whitney in his honor in 1873.
A member of the Massachusetts State Senate from the 1st Norfolk District in 1872, Whitney was president of the Democratic State Convention of 1876, which nominated Charles Francis Adams, Sr. for governor, and also that of 1878, which nominated Josiah G. Abbott for governor. 
On November 23, 1836, Whitney married Laurinda Collins (1810–1908) in Somers, Connecticut.  Laurinda, a daughter of William Collins and Eunice (née) Collins, was a descendant of William Bradford, the Governor of Plymouth Colony. The Whitneys were the parents of two sons and four daughters, of whom the following received historical mention:
Whitney died in Boston on October 24, 1878.  He was succeeded as president of the Metropolitan Steamship Company by his son, Henry M. Whitney.
William Collins Whitney was an American political leader and financier and a prominent descendant of the John Whitney family. He served as Secretary of the Navy in the first administration of President Grover Cleveland from 1885 through 1889. A conservative reformer, he was considered a Bourbon Democrat.
The Whitney family is an American family notable for their business enterprises, social prominence, wealth and philanthropy, founded by John Whitney (1592–1673), who came from London, England to Watertown, Massachusetts in 1635. The historic family mansion in Watertown, known as The Elms, was built for the Whitneys in 1710.
Richard Whitney was an American financier, president of the New York Stock Exchange from 1930 to 1935. He was later convicted of embezzlement and imprisoned.
The Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation was a Canadian coal mining and steel manufacturing company.
Russell Sturgis was a Boston merchant active in the China trade, and later head of Baring Brothers in London.
Susan Dimock M.D. was a pioneer in American medicine who received her qualification as a doctor from the University of Zurich in 1871 and was subsequently appointed resident physician of the New England Hospital for Women and Children in 1872. The hospital, now known as the Dimock Community Health Center, was renamed in her honor after her tragic drowning in 1875. Dimock was traveling to Europe for pleasure and profession when she died in the shipwreck of the SS Schiller off the coast of the Scilly Isles. She is also remembered for becoming the first woman member of the North Carolina Medical Society.
Eli Whitney Blake, Sr. was an American inventor, best known for his mortise lock and stone-crushing machine, the latter of which earned him a place into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Archibald Stevens Alexander was an American lawyer, civil servant, and Democratic politician. He served as Under Secretary of the United States Army in the Truman Administration and as New Jersey State Treasurer.
Charles Tracy Barney was the president of the Knickerbocker Trust Company, the collapse of which shortly before Barney's death sparked the Panic of 1907.
Ashbel Holmes Barney was an American banker and expressman who served as president of Wells Fargo & Company in 1869-1870.
Henry Farnam Dimock was a lawyer in New York City who was closely associated with the Whitney family business interests.
Henry Melville Whitney was an American industrialist, the founder of the West End Street Railway Company of Boston, Massachusetts, and later the Dominion Coal Company Ltd. and the Dominion Iron and Steel Company Ltd. of Sydney, Nova Scotia. He was also president of the Metropolitan Steamship Company, long an important transportation link between Boston and New York City.
The Metropolitan Steamship Company was for 75 years one of the chief transportation links between New York City and Boston, Massachusetts. It was closely associated with the Whitney family until its acquisition by Charles W. Morse in 1906. Even after being merged into Eastern Steamship Lines, it was maintained as a distinct service, the Metropolitan Line, until 1941.
Robert Shaw Oliver was an American soldier and businessman.
Timothy Dimock was an American physician and politician who was the father or prominent lawyer and businessman Henry F. Dimock.
Flora Payne Whitney was an American socialite and philanthropist, originally from Cleveland, Ohio who moved to New York City and married into the Whitney family. She was the daughter of Henry B. Payne, a U.S. Senator, and the wife of William Collins Whitney, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy.
Gardiner Greene Howland was a prominent American businessman who was a founding partner in the merchant firm of Howland & Aspinwall and a co-founder of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company.
Parkhurst Whitney was an American soldier, businessman, and early settler of Niagara Falls, New York who owned the prominent Cataract House.
Col. Archibald Stevens Alexander was a lawyer, Democratic politician, and military aide to Woodrow Wilson from New Jersey.
Samuel Shaw Howland was a prominent American businessman who was a founding partner in the merchant firm of Howland & Aspinwall and an incorporator of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company.