The son of John and Elizabeth Patterson Hanna of Philadelphia County, James Hanna was born on February 2, 1806, Philadelphia. He was expelled at conclusion of the Buckshot War for polling violations in October 1838. A Whig attorney, Hanna was sworn, seated, and voted during the Senate Speaker election, thus is considered a legitimate state Senator. He was replaced by the distinguished Charles Brown of Philadelphia. James served as a 1st Lt. in the Philadelphia Grays, 1848-1849; moved his family to Eureka, California, via Panama (portage, not canal) in 1856; and died in Eureka, Humboldt County, California on November 6, 1888. His wife was Clarissa Sydney Wilson, the granddaughter of Betsy Ross.