Reading Outside of the Lines
Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam wrote in 1913: "Another death during the past year particularly to be noted was that of James Quay Howard. Born in 1836, Mr. Howard had had a varied experience before coming to the Library, having been successively principal of an academy, a lawyer, United States consul at St. Johns, New Brunswick, editor of the Ohio State Journal, and an official in the Customs Service at New York, where in 1880 he became appraiser. For two years he served as a special agent of the United States Census. Entering the Library in 1894, first in the copyright work, he was in 1897 assigned to the charge of the 'Congressional Reference library,' which position he held at the time of his death, with his headquarters in the Representatives' Reading Room. Mr. Howard was of serious and scholarly mind, and his studies were coterminous with his long career. His contributions to public journals were numerous, and a campaign life of Lincoln which he wrote has been termed the first signed biography of Lincoln ever published. Mr. Howard also wrote a campaign biography of Rutherford B. Hayes, and he was the author of a History of the Louisiana Purchase."