Rhodes, James Ford (1848-1927), a United States historian. His seven-volume History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 (1893-1906) runs through the Civil War and closes with the end of the Reconstruction period in the South in 1877. Rhodes was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He studied for a year each at two universities, then traveled abroad. Returning, he joined the family coal-mining business. He trained himself as a historian and retired from business at 37 to devote the rest of his life to writing.