Our families are related.My paternal g-grandmother Susan Nina Aswell Richmond was the sister of James Benjamin. Her father and James' father was Benjamin Werner (BW)Aswell a civil war veteran.Benjamin Werner Aswell's father was Hiram Aswell.
Information on James is fairly easy to find on the net.James was not only a U.S. Representative he was also President of Louisiana Tech (they have a rather large collection of information on James there and I have talked to several people who have sent documents and information that are a part of their collection).James is also credited with reorganizing the Louisiana Public School System.He was very highly regarded and appears to have been effective as a politician and educator.
Hiram had a brother Solomon Aswell and they both married sisters.Hiram married Mary Sanders and Solomon married Tamar Sanders.The Sanders family has been heavily researched and there is a ton of information on that family (try Ancestry.com or Google.com for starters).The Aswell brothers on the other hand are more difficult.The name Aswell does not appear to have existed prior to their arrival and it has been suggested the brothers were on the run and created the name to avoid being found...some have even heard the brothers were from France and came over during the Revolution, the time period does match.There is nothing to back any of this up however.
The Aswell/Sanders family bible is believed to be in the hands of the old Sanders family.The last anyone heard the bible was in Shrievport LA but that was decades ago and it may have been lost.CW aswell (the oldest living Aswell that I am aware of) provided much of this information and he has told me he has a tin type of BW Aswell.I have had a couple of local family members working on getting a copy of that tin type before something happens and the photo is lost.
My most important find so far is the personal bible of Susan Nina Aswell.She lists her family (including your James)as well as my g-grandfather and their children. The bible is currently in the posession of my sister awaiting transfer to me...however the events of sept 11 has made us reconsider mailing it due to its value to the family.My sister is planning to hand deliver it on a trip out over the next few months along with photos and newspaper clippings that belonged to Nina Aswell.
There is far more information than I could include here so feel free to e-mail me directly and I will help you with watever I can.