James Arvin was a selectman at the time that Noyes Academy was hauled from its foundation. He said later, “Of all the Isms that ever were introduced into Canaan, Abolitionism has done the most mischief. It has arrayed brother against brother in the same church, neighbor against neighbor, and engendered more strife and contention than anything else combined. I am gratified to know that we have put it down so that it will be perfectly harmless for one year.”
James Arvin was elected as a Canaan Selectman in 1835 and 1836. In 1837 and 1838 he was elected to be Canaan's representative in the New Hampshire House. When Canaan Union Academy was organized for white students only in September 1839, James Arvin was on the executive committee of the corporation.
- History of Canaan, N. H., William A. Wallace, p289
- History of Canaan, N. H., William A. Wallace, p299