James Brooks (November 10, 1810 – April 30, 1873) was a U.S. Representative from New York during the latter half of the American Civil War. He was born on November 10, 1810, in Portland, Maine. As a student, he attended public schools and then the academy at Monmouth, Maine. By the age of 16, he was teaching school, in Lewiston, Maine. He graduated from Waterville College (now Colby College) in 1831. While studying law, Brooks also worked as an editor for the Portland Advertiser. After graduation, he worked as the Advertiser's Washington correspondent. He served as a member of the Maine House of Representatives in 1835 and lost a Congressional election in 1836. After losing, he moved to New York City and founded the New York Daily Express, where he was editor-in-chief for the rest of his life. He was a member of the New York State Assembly (New York Co., 16th D.) in 1848. He was elected, as a Whig, to the Thirty-first and Thirty-second Congresses (March 4, 1849 - March 3, 1853). He lost a race for re-election in 1852 and resumed his editorial pursuits. Brooks was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-eighth Congress (March 4, 1863-March 3, 1865).