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James Kendall Hosmer (born in Northfield, Massachusetts, 29 January 1834; died 11 May 1927) was a United States educator, historian and writer. Hosmer was the son of Unitarian clergyman George Washington Hosmer. He graduated from Harvard in 1855. He then studied theology, and became pastor for a Unitarian congregation in Deerfield, Massachusetts, in 1860. During the American Civil War, he served in the 52nd Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers. After the war, he felt himself unsuited for the ministry, and decided to seek other occupations. He was professor at Antioch College 1866-1872. From 1872 to 1874, he occupied the chair of English and German literature in the University of Missouri, and in 1874 was elected to a similar professorship in Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.