James R. Gilmore was a wealthy merchant and, under the name of Edmund Kirke, a well-known publicist of mildly emancipationist views. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, September 10, 1823. Entering business at a early age, Gilmore made annual business trips to the south, and at the age of twenty-five became the head of a new cotton and shipping firm in New York City, from which he retired before the beginning of the Civil War. In the early years of the War, he published several novels, containing realistic portrayals of Southern life and feeling, under the pen name Edmund Kirke. He also wrote numerous war-song and ballads.