James H. Longden

From Kook Science

James H. Longden
Born 3 May 1858(1858-05-03)
Yates City, Knox Co., Illinois
Died 3 October 1934 (76)
Los Angeles, California
Alma mater Chicago College of Law, Lake Forest University (LL.B., 1895)
Spouse(s) Ella Mae Potter (m. 1881); Henrietta F. Tapley Walton (m. 1914)

James Henry Longden (May 3, 1858 - October 3, 1934) was an American lawyer and travelling insurance agent, briefly associated with James Armstrong and his diploma mill racket in Chicago, Illinois prior to his relocation to California, where he became involved in certain Spiritualist establishments, including the National Independent Temple of Spiritual Science and National Independent Spiritualist Association. Longden was infamously employed as an attorney by Norman Lee Freeman and numerous other North Carolinians pressing claims against the Mark Hopkins estate, claims that were first filed in the California courts over forty-five years after Hopkins had passed away.

As a California attorney, Longden called himself Judge Longden, claiming he was a former judge on the United States Circuit Court of Appeals at Illinois;[1] however, there are no judicial records that support such claims.

Press Coverage

Garden City Law School at Chicago, Illinois (1897)

Incorporated in March 1897, Longden's school was exposed by the Chicago Tribune as a diploma mill that was selling diplomas for $20, using local lawyers' names without their permission, in September 1897; it was shuttered by Longden shortly thereafter.

The Traveling Agent Game in California (1909-'11)

Spiritualist Affiliations and Incorporations (1913-'17)


  1. "Bulk of $300,000,000 Estate May Come To North Carolina", News and Observer (Raleigh, NC): 13, 16 July 1926,, "Norman Lee Freeman, of High Point, himself one of the claimants and representing 126 claimants in North Carolina, made a trip to California about a year and a half ago, looked into the situation thoroughly and retained Judge Longden, who had previously been a judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in Illinois, as attorney for the heirs, of the bulk of them, in this State."