Dr William Hughes James (1852–76), commonly known as Dr James, was an American citizen, originally from Virginia, USA. He travelled with William Macleay's Chevert Expedition to New Guinea in 1875, assuming dual roles as the ship's surgeon and as a collector / taxidermist. The expedition collected in northern Queensland, the Torres Strait Islands and New Guinea. At the conclusion of the expedition Dr James returned to New Guinea and continued collecting, and while doing so he was murdered by natives. While many of his specimens were never recorded against his name, at least 99 birds, three mammals and some invertebrates were. They are now in the Natural History Museum, Tring, and the Macleay Museum, Univ. of Sydney. Very little has ever been published about Dr James despite his participation in an important and historic international expedition. This paper presents what is known based on published and unpublished sources.
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