HAMMEKEN, GEORGE LOUIS
HAMMEKEN, GEORGE LOUIS (?–1881). George Louis Hammeken, early businessman, government official, and historian, probably a native of New York, moved to Mexico around 1831. In 1833 he met Stephen F. Austin, who advised him to settle in Texas. He arrived as the representative of Manning and Marshall, agents for the British banking firm of Barings, in October 1835. When the Texas Revolution curtailed his activities, he went to New Orleans and Mexico City but returned to Texas in December 1836. At Brazoria in 1837 he translated Vicente Filisola's Evacuation of Texas. With a number of others, he petitioned the Texas Congress on May 5, 1837, for a charter to build a railroad from Galveston Bay to the Brazos River. Hammeken later became president of that road, the Brazos and Galveston, and a landowner at Austinia, the town planned as the principal office of the company. He was appointed secretary to Barnard E. Beeqv, Texas agent in Mexico, on March 12, 1839, and continued as secretary to Bee's successor, James Webb, in April 1841. In 1839 he wrote to President Mirabeau B. Lamar suggesting a peace commission with Mexico.
In the early 1840s Hammeken and Andrews, commission merchants, erected a cotton press, wharf, and warehouse at the short-lived community of San Luis on San Luis Island, and Hammeken interested Philadelphia businessmen and foreign investors in the project. Believing that planters along the Brazos River needed better port facilities, he converted the plan for a railroad to a plan for a canal from the river to San Luis, but after 1843 both projects were abandoned. By 1845 Hammeken was in New Orleans, showing signs of illness that some attributed to his financial difficulties.
He married Adelaide Matilda Mexía, daughter of Mexican general José Antonio Mexía, by April 1848. The couple had two children and apparently moved back and forth between New Orleans and Mexico City, where Hammeken was instrumental in the development of several major industries, including the construction of the first train in that area. Later in life, Hammeken, along with his brother-in-law Enrique Guillermo Antonio Mexía, managed the vast Central Texas land holdings of the Mexía family. He died in Mexico City on January 22, 1881. Hammeken's "Recollections of Stephen F. Austin" was published as an article in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly in April 1917.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Herbert H. Lang, "Hammeken, George Louis," accessed May 27, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fha41.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles