James M. Safford (1822–1907) was an American geologist, chemist and university professor.
James Merrill Safford was born in 1822. He received an M.D. and a PhD. He was trained as a chemist at Yale University.
He taught at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee from 1848 to 1873. He served as a Professor of Mineralogy, Botany, and Economical Geology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee from 1875 to 1900. He was a Presbyterian, and often started his lessons with a prayer.
He served on the Tennessee Board of Health. Additionally, he acted as a chemist for the Tennessee Bureau of Agriculture in the 1870s and 1880s.
He published fifty-four books, reports, and maps.
He died in 1907.