The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917

Recollections of Stephen F. Austin 369
RECOLLECTIONS OF STEPHEN F. AUSTIN1
GEORGE L. HAMIMEKEN2
San Luis, February 28th 1844
Dear Guy,
In answer to yours of the 8th inst., respecting what I know
of your uncle, I am sorry to say, that after much reflection on
the subject, I can afford you but little information of the kind
you desire--such as it is, I communicate-but if led to. speak
too much of myself, you must rather attribute that to a wish to
1This article is printed substantially as written, with slight changes in
punctuation.
2I have been able to find but little concerning George Louis Hammeken;
that little indicates that he was a man of some importance in business and
public affairs. He was, perhaps, a native of New York; went to Mexico
about 1831, and there made the acquaintance of Stephen F. Austin about
the middle of the year 1833. He came to Texas in October, 1835, as the
agent of English bankers to place loans with some planters; the revolution
interfered with these plans. He does not appear to have participated in
the revolution, for early in January, 1836, he was in New Orleans, and
about the end of February he was in the City of Mexico. By June he
was once more in New Orleans, again met Austin there, and accompanied
him to Texas. He soon proceeded to New York, returning to Texas by
December. It is probable that he became a resident about this time. In
1837 he translated Filisola's Defense. On January 2, 1839, he addressed
a letter to President Lamar, expressing the opinion that conditions in
Mexico were favorable to peace, and requesting to be appointed one of the
commissioners, or secretary to the commissioners, to negotiate with Mexico.
He was appointed secretary to Barnard E. Bee, Texan agent to Mexico,
March 12, 1839. Since Bee could not speak Spanish and was entirely un-
familiar with the people and customs of Mexico, the position of secretary
involved much responsibility. Bee's mission did not succeed, and when
James Webb was sent to make another effort to open negotiations, Ham-
meken was appointed his secretary, April, 1841. I have been unable to
ascertain what Hammeken's business was up to 1840. Tn that year Andrews
& IHammeken are engaged as commission merchants at San Luis. In the
winter of that year they erected a cotton press capable of compressing
seventy-five bales of cotton in twelve hours. They possessed large ware-
houses and an excellent wharf. Hammeken, too, was president of the
Brazos and Galveston Railroad Company, with such well known Texans as
David G. Burnet, Lorenzo Zavala, Asa Brigham, and Moses Austin Bryan
among the stockholders. Within less than a year after writing the rem-
iniscences here printed he was overwhelmed by misfortune. In a letter
of January 7, 1845, Guy M. Bryan said, "Mr. Hammekin has been for some
time crazed; he is now in N Orleans. I think his difficulties here, in
finances, etc., brought it upon him. I regret this extremely for he was a
noble generous kind-hearted man."--E. W. W.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101070/. Accessed September 20, 2014.