top of page

James Cooley Fletcher (1823–1901) was a Presbyterian minister and missionary with strong activities in Brazilian lands

Fletcher was born in Indianapolis, the son of Calvin Fletcher, a banker and one of the first settlers of Indiana. James Cooley Fletcher graduated from Brown University in 1846 and studied theology for two years at the Princeton Theological Seminary under Charles Hodge. His studies were completed in Europe, as he sought to improve his French in order to become a missionary in Haiti. In that period, he married a daughter of César Malan, a minister from Geneva.

He went back to the USA in 1850 when his daughter Julia Constance Fletcher was born. In the next year, he went to Rio de Janeiro (at that time the capital of Brazil) as an agent of both the American Christian Union and American Seamen's Friend Society in a mission that endured until 1854. The American Christian Union worked together with the American Bible Society and the American Tract Society. Both of them also supported Fletcher years later.



In 1855 and 1856, Fletcher was back in Brazil, this time as an agent of the American Sunday School Union. During this trip he traveled more than 5,000 kilometers through Brazil, giving out Bibles. His travels to Brazil added to the experiences of the Methodist minister and missionary Daniel Parish Kidder, became the focus of a book in 1857, Brazil and the Brazilians Portrayed in Historical and Descriptive Sketches,[1] a pioneering depiction of Brazil for the American people, with at least eight editions.

In 1862, Fletcher sailed more than 3,000 kilometers through the Amazon River to collect species for professor Louis Agassiz. This resulted in the Agassiz expedition of 1865. In 1864 and 1865, Fletcher and the liberal Brazilian politician Aureliano Cândido Tavares Bastos convinced the governors of Brazil and the USA to set up a steamboat line between Rio de Janeiro and New York. Influenced by Fletcher, Aureliano and other Brazilian politicians tried and in some cases managed to make many political, social, and eco-nomic reforms in Brazil; they also encouraged European and North, American migrants.

In 1868 and 1869, Fletcher worked as an agent for the American Tract Society. This would be his last journey to Brazil. Thereafter he was nominated consul at Oporto, Portugal, between 1869 and 1873, and was a missionary in Naples, Italy between 1873 and 1877. In 1877, he returned to Indianapolis, where he settled. His daughter stayed in Italy, where she became a prolific writer with the pen name George Fleming.

Fletcher left many important friends in Brazil, including liberal politicians and intellectuals as well as the emperor Dom Pedro II. He worked as a North American diplomatic secretary, and his book left a strong image of Brazil in the USA. In Brazil, he left behind a strong desire for Protestant and Anglo-Saxon values.


Los Angeles Times – April 24, 1901:


Dr. J. C. Fletcher died yesterday morning at his home, No. 173 Bonnie Brae street, in this city.

Death was due to a stroke of paralysis, which he had suffered on Wednesday last, since which time he had been confined to his bed and had been gradually sinking until the end came quietly and peacefully, yesterday morning, at 10 o'clock. The wide circle of friends that he had in this city and many throughout the United States and in other countries, where Dr. Fletcher was well-known, will feel a great personal loss in his death.

James Cooley Fletcher was born in 1823 in Indianapolis, where his father, one of the pioneers of Indiana, was engaged in the practice of law. The family is of sturdy English origin, but since 1630, when Robert Fletcher settled in Massachusetts, it has been loyally American. To New England, it has furnished many eminent professional men and a number of high official positions, among these, two governors of States. It was from among Dr. Fletcher's near relatives that Daniel Webster chose his wife, Grace Fletcher.

Dr. Fletcher graduated from Brown University in 1846, with high honors, and immediately thereafter took up the study of theology at Princeton, and later at Geneva, Switzerland, where he was a pupil of the celebrated theologian Meldobini. His first charge after his return to the United States was the Newburyport (Mass.) Presbyterian Church. During his ministry of more than fifty years, Dr. Fletcher was ever faithful to his calling, and though his cultivated intellect and broad knowledge made him a person much sought for in other fields of action, he remained always a minister of the gospel.

In 1851 Dr. Fletcher went to Brazil as a chaplain and missionary of the American and Foreign Christian Union and American Seaman's Friend Society. He traveled 3000 miles during 1855-56 through Brazil as agent of the American Sunday-school Union, and again in 1862 he went up the Amazon 2000 miles. Upon this voyage he made a collection of specimens in natural history for Professor Agassiz, the result being so encouraging that Agassiz, three years later, entered upon an exploration of the Amazon. During his stay there he became an intimate friend of the Emperor, Dom Pedro, and gained such a broad and accurate knowledge of the country and its people that he was appointed by President Lincoln United States charge d'affaires at Rio de Janeiro.

In 1864-65 Dr. Fletcher was sent by the government as a special envoy to induce the Brazilian government to join in establishing a line of steamships between New York and Rio de Janeiro, in which mission he had complete success. He remained in Brazil during 1868-69 as an agent of the American Tract Society and at the same time contributed many valuable articles to American periodicals on the country and its people. At the same time, he was doing valuable missionary work among the sailors of that seaport, his linguistic abilities enabling him to preach the gospel to men of many nationalities.

His next important work as a diplomat was in Portugal where he was sent under President Grant's administration as United States consul to Oporto. Here he rendered distinguished services and gained the confidence of the administration to such an extent that when the minister at Lisbon was obliged to leave his post, Dr. Fletcher received orders from Washington to go there and take the position. In 1873 Dr. Fletcher left Portugal for Naples and resided there until 1877, during which time he was engaged in missionary work and was also occupied in archaeological research in the buried cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Few better articles on Naples may be read than that written by him for the Encyclopedia Britannica.

While in Brazil and in Europe, Dr. Fletcher was a correspondent of several periodicals, the most important among which were the American Register, the New York Advertiser, and the Evangelist. In addition to newspaper and magazine correspondence, which was voluminous and covered a wide range of subjects, Dr. Fletcher was the author of "Brazil and the Brazilians," published by Harper Bros., which is a recognized authority on the history of the South American republic.

In 1898 the degree of LL.D. was conferred upon Dr. Fletcher by his alma mater, Brown University, in recognition of his distinguished services in the fields of intellectual endeavor.

For the last six years, up to the time of death, Dr. Fletcher had been president of the Los Angeles School of Art and Design. While in Los Angeles, where he had resided for the past ten years, he had been actively engaged in the ministry, but for the last two or three years had confined his attention, especially to the little mission church at La Crescenta, where he was greatly loved, being an especial favorite of the children.

Dr. Fletcher was a man of great learning and possessed a mind remarkable for its breadth and grasp on all subjects. His memory was wonderful, stored with facts of men and events of all times and countries to such an extent that he was an authority on historical matters, especially those of the last fifty years, in which he had figured so conspicuously. He enjoyed the intimate acquaintance of the great men of the last fifty years, among the Longfellow, Whittier, Emerson, Lowell, Bryant, and Gladstone. It may be said that hardly could the name of a great man of the past half-century be mentioned whom he did not know.

He leaves a widow, a son, Elmond R. Fletcher, who is a retired officer of the United States army, living at Hampton, Va., and a daughter, Julia Constance Fletcher, who lives in London. The latter is the author of the well-known novels "Kismet" and "Andromeda," "The Head of Medusa," and others, besides some successful plays, a book of travels, etc.

The funeral will be at Immanuel Presbyterian Church at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon.

James Cooley Fletcher


BIRTH 15 APR 1823 • Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana, USA

DEATH 23 APRIL 1901 • Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA

Married: 1st:  28 Aug 1850 • Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

Henrietta Violet Malan


BIRTH 7 MARCH 1825 • Eaux-Vives, Geneva, Suisse

DEATH 1917 • Venice, Italy

Daughter of Cesar Henri Abraham Malan and Salome Georgette Jeanne Schonberger


Find AGrave:

Henrietta Malan

LADY LAYARD'S JOURNAL: 6 August 1907 - Ca' Capello, VeniceMrs. Benson wife of an American artist & mother of Miss Fletcher, the writer was buried today & Canon Ragg returned from the Cadore to conduct the funeral. I had never known the lady & though she had lived here many years she had not gone at first into society & of later years had been in very bad health. When young she had left Mr. Fletcher with Mr. Benson & taken her young daughter with her. She afterward married Mr. Benson but the mischief to her & her girl was irreparable. Many years after Miss Fletcher was engaged to marry Lord Wentworth who threw her over & blighted her life. She is now an elderly woman-very stout & with hair dyed golden. I have only seen her once i.e. the evening I gave a party a little while ago for the Bishop of Gibraltar to which she came with Mr. Benson.

Herietta married 2nd:

Eugene Benson


BIRTH 1 NOV 1830 • Hyde Park, Dutchess, New York, USA

DEATH FEB 1908 • Venice, Italy

Find A Grave:

Eugene Benson

DEATH: Morning Post 29 February 1908, Page 8

The death is announced from Venice of Mr. Eugene Benson, the artist,

of New York. Mr. Benson had resided in Venice since 1888.


James married 2nd

Fredricka Jane Smith


BIRTH 5 SEP 1825 • Porto, Entre Minho Edou, Portugal

DEATH 12 SEP 1895 • Los Angeles, California, USA

Daughter of Theophilus Joles Smith and Jane Baker

James married 3rd:  2 Jan 1897 • Alameda, Alameda, California, USA

Elizabeth Murton Curryer


BIRTH 17 MAR 1845 • Wilton, Taunton Deane Borough, Somerset, England

DEATH 22 AUG 1903 • Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA

Los Angeles Times - August 24, 1903

DEATH OF MRS. E. M. FLETCHER The death of Mrs. Elizabeth M. Fletcher occurred at her late home, No. 173 South Bonnie Brae street, Saturday. She was the widow of the late Dr. J. C. Fletcher, author, lecturer, and extensive traveler, formerly in the United States consular service, and a prominent divine in the Presbyterian church. Dr. Fletcher's death occurred in this city over a year ago. The funeral services over the remains of Mrs. Fletcher will be held at the residence this afternoon at 3 o'clock, and several of the city ministers will take part in the service. Mrs. Fletcher was a native of Wilton, Somersetshire, Eng. She had resided in America since 1877, at first at Indianapolis, later in Florida, and during the past ten years in California. Her parents are both interred in the old "Lorna Doone" Church at Watchet, Somersetshire. She leaves two sisters, one a resident at Bristol, Eng., and the other at Cambridge City, Ind.



Capt. Edmund Livingston Fletcher


BIRTH 1 JUNE 1851 • New York County, New York, USA

DEATH 20 SEP 1925 • Charlottesville, Albemarle, Virginia, USA


Josephine R "Josie" Kinnear


BIRTH JUN 1855 • Little Rock, Pulaski, Arkansas, USA

DEATH 31 MAY 1922 • Albemarle County, Virginia, USA

Daughter of James A Kinnear and Sara Cecilia Hughes




Daily Press

Newport News, Virginia

22 Sep 1925, Tue  •  Page 6



Mary Geraldine Fletcher


BIRTH 25 SEP 1880 • Pagosa Springs, Archuleta, Colorado, USA



Ralph Kinnear Fletcher


BIRTH 16 SEP 1884 • Ft Stanton, New

Mexico, USA

DEATH 19 APR 1970 • Baltimore,

Baltimore City, Maryland, USA

Married:  17 May 1918 • Norfolk,

Virginia, USA

Eva Bowden


BIRTH 4 MAY 1880 • Norfolk, Virginia,


DEATH 4 JUN 1975 • Baltimore County,

Maryland, USA

Daughter of Hon. George Edwin

Bowden and Ellen Mary Evangeline

'Eva' Jones


The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore, Maryland

20 Apr 1970, Mon  •  Page 9


Ellen Bowden Fletcher


BIRTH 30 SEP 1920 • Ft Riley, Kansas City, Jackson,

Missouri, USA

DEATH 5 FEB 2016 • Norfolk, Norfolk City, Virginia, USA



Beatrix Josephine Fletcher


BIRTH 1 MAR 1889 • Fayetteville, Washington, Arkansas, USA

DEATH 27 MAR 1960 • Jacksonville, Duval, Florida, USA

Married 1ST:  10 Sep 1908 • Old Point Comfort, Virginia, USA

John Fredrick William Lotzia Jr


BIRTH 11 AUG 1884 • Suffolk, Suffolk City, Virginia, USA

DEATH 15 OCT 1918 • Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia, USA

Son of John Frederick William Lotzia Sr. and Eudora C. Jones




John Frederick Lotzia III


BIRTH 24 JUL 1909 • Suffolk, Suffolk City, Virginia, USA

DEATH 25 MAY 1911 • Suffolk, Suffolk City, Virginia, USA

Died Young


Edmond Fletcher Lotzia


BIRTH 04 FEB 1911 • Suffolk, Virginia, USA

DEATH 23 JUN 1983 • Jacksonville, Duval, Florida, USA

Married:  10 Jun 1935 • Norfolk, Virginia, USA

Elouise May Hoyle


BIRTH 22 MAY 1918 • New Bern, Craven, North Carolina,


DEATH 31 MAY 1991 • Jacksonville, Duval, Florida, USA

Daughter of Herbert Vandiron Hoell and Carrie Blanche




Edmond Fletcher Lotzia Jr.


BIRTH 23 JAN 1936 • Norfolk, Virginia, USA

DEATH 07 APR 2001 • Orange Park, Clay, Florida, USA


Van Hoyle Lotzia


BIRTH 28 DEC 1937 • Long Beach, Los Angeles, California, USA

DEATH 27 MAY 2014 • Castleberry, Florida, USA


Trina Agatha Lotzia


BIRTH 24 NOV 1954 • Jacksonville, Duval, Florida, USA

DEATH 25 FEB 2020 • Jacksonville, Duval, Florida, USA


Helen Josephine Lotzia


BIRTH 28 FEB 1914 • Charlottesville, Albemarle Virginia, USA

DEATH 17 MAR 1995 • Lacey, Thurston, Washington, USA

Married:  22 Jul 1941 • Baltimore County, Maryland, USA

Frederick D. VanRheeden


BIRTH 07 FEB 1916 • Villa Grove, Illinoise, USA

DEATH 13 JUN 1999 • Lacey, Thurston, Washington, USA


Francis Kinnear Lotzia


BIRTH JUL 1917 • Suffolk, Virginia, USA

DEATH 1989 • Jamestown, Mercer, Pennsylvania, USA


Edmund Livingston Fletcher Jr.


BIRTH 1 MAY 1895 • Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia, USA

DEATH 23 MAY 1956 • Chattanooga, Hamilton, Tennessee, USA

Married:  Sep 1921 Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Nora Ann Gerhardt


BIRTH 23 OCT 1892 • Altoona, Blair, Pennsylvania

DEATH JUL 1988 • Chattanooga, Hamilton, Tennessee, USA

Daughter of Frederick "Fred" C Gerhardt and Sarah Ida Brennecke


Altoona Tribune

Altoona, Pennsylvania

05 Sep 1921, Mon  •  Page 4


Altoona Tribune

Altoona, Pennsylvania

25 May 1956, Fri  •  Page 16


Beatrix married 2nd:

Emil Buttkammer


BIRTH ABT 1846 • Germany


Beatrix married 3rd: 21 Nov 1927 • Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia, USA

Rufus Andrew Green


BIRTH 16 DEC 1889 • Mathews County, Virginia, USA

DEATH 28 DEC 1937 • Norfolk, Norfolk City, Virginia, USA

Son of John William Green and Emma Susan Treakle



Louisa Ann Green


BIRTH 28 JUN 1928 • Louisa, Virginia

DEATH 22 DEC 2003 • Dover, Kent, Delaware, USA



Dale Oliver Frazier

Edmund F. Lotzia with his half-sister Louisa Green

Louisa A. Frazier, 75 (half-sister of John and Kinnear Lotzia),

Bacon Ave. Dover, passed away Mon-day, December 22, 2003, at

KGH Bay Health Dover.

She was born on June 28, 1928, in Louisa, VA to the late Rufus and Beatrice Fletcher Green.  She was a member of the American Legion Fox Post #2 Dover. and a member of the property managers organization. Louisa served in the US Navy from 1951 to 1953 and was Honorably Discharged. While in the Navy she joined the Boy Scouts of America. She served in many capacities and for many years she served as a cub scout training coordinator, training many leaders in the two-bays-district, Del-Mar-Va Council, Inc. She remained active until her death with over 40 years of service. Louisa also worked with community Police officer Kelli Burns of Dover PD. Her divorced husband was Dale O. Frazier, She is also preceded in death by 2 brothers Kinnear Lotzia & John Lotzia, and a sister Helen Von Rheeden.

She is survived by her Son and his wife, William & Judy Frazier of LaPlata, MD.  Grandson and his wife, Victor & Catherine Frazier of Columbia, MA. great-grandsons, Philip, Steven, Peter Frazier of MD. Friend, Susan & David Farley, Friend, Jane & Paul Roth, Joe & Jennifer Williams.

A Remembrance Memorial Service will be held Friday12/26/2003 01:00 PM at Trader Funeral Home in Dover, DE Burial will be at the convenience of the family.


Julia Constance Fletcher


BIRTH 24 SEP 1853 • Rio de Janeiro, Rio de

Janeiro, Brazil

DEATH 06 JUN 1938 • Venice, Venezia, Veneto, Italy


Julia Constance Fletcher (1853–1938)[1] was an author and playwright who professionally went by the pseudonym of George Fleming.

She was born in Brazil in 1853,[2][3] the daughter of James Cooley Fletcher (1823-1901) and grand-daughter of the banker Calvin Fletcher. Her mother was Henriette Malan, the daughter of a Swiss clergyman.[4] She went to Abbot Academy, in Andover, Massachusetts, and was in the class of 1867.

After her parents' divorce, Julia went to live with her mother in Venice. Henriette had remarried, her second husband being a painter, Eugene Benson. Julia also spent some time in London. One of the sponsors of her early novels was Alfred Sassoon, a junior member of the wealthy Sassoon family and the father of Siegfried Sassoon.


Alfred's infatuation with Julia was the catalyst for his desertion of his wife, Theresa.[6] Julia's other supporters included her grandfather's friend

Henry James, and she also knew Rudyard Kip-lingRobert Browning, and Walter Pater.

Two of her books, Kismet and Mirage, were published as "no-name novels" by Roberts Brothers in Boston.[2] Both books deal with Americans' adventures while traveling abroad, along the Nile and in Syria, respectively. Mirage has been described by Oscar Wilde scholar S. I. Salamensky, as a roman-á-clef fiction in which "a dangerously appealing, if slightly bi- or asexual, figure based on Wilde romantically pursues" a woman who is thought to represent Fletcher.

In 1900 she wrote a translation/adaptation of Edmond Rostand's play Les Romanesques, which she titled The Fantasticks. The 1960 musical of the same name, also based on Les Roman-esques, borrows heavily from Fletcher's version.


Selected works

  • A Nile Novel, or Kismet

  • Mirage (1878)

  • The truth about Clement Ker ... Told by his second cousin, Geoffrey Ker, of London

  • Vestigia

  • Andromeda: A Novel

  • The Head of Medusa (1880)


Buffalo Courier

Buffalo, New York

20 Sep 1903, Sun  •  Page 35

Edmund F. Lotzia with his half-sister Louisa Green

bottom of page