RUDOLPH L. BIESELE, Editor
Colonel Jack Hays. By James Kimmins Greer. New York (E. P.
Dutton sc Co., Inc.), 1952. Pp. 428. $6.oo.
The city of Johannesburg, in the Transvaal, South Africa, was
in an uproar on New Year's Day, 1896. A flying column of
"Uitlanders," under the command of Dr. Leander Starr Jameson,
had invaded the Boer republic of the Transvaal and fighting
was going on at the town of Krugersdorp. These invaders were
mostly British, with some Americans, and their purpose was to
overturn the native Boer government which had placed stringent
restrictions on their business activities, mostly in the fields of
prospecting and mining in the great undeveloped diamond and
gold deposits in the republic. Dr. Jameson was captured by
Boer troops and turned over to the British authorities for punish-
ment, but other Uitlanders in the city were arrested for
complicity in the rebellion and tried by the local Boer authorities.
Behind all the uprising was unquestionably the fine hand of
the "Empire-Builder," Cecil Rhodes. Among those arrested in
Johannesburg was the noted American mining engineer, John
Hays Hammond, nephew of Colonel Jack Hays and right-hand
man of Cecil Rhodes. Hammond was convicted and sentenced to
death, but this sentence was later commuted to fifteen years
imprisonment, and finally he was released upon payment of a
It was a far cry from the Transvaal to the plains of Texas and
the Golden Gate of San Francisco, but the same Scotch-Irish,
Tennessee-Texas, pioneer blood ran in the veins of uncle and
nephew, and they must have been much alike. Incidentally, a
son of the great mining engineer, John Hays Hammond, Jr., is
one of the leading inventors and scientists of the country today.
Colonel Jack Hays was a fabulous character in the history of
the Texas frontier, for his actual exploits against the Indians
and Mexicans sound more like a mythical account of the doings
of a Paul Bunyan than-anything a mere human could accomplish;
but it was all true, and a definitive biography of him has been
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/. Accessed March 6, 2015.