Brief Biographies from the Jackson/Van Buren Era (H):

Hacket, Catharine Lee Suggs ? - 1845

Wife of James Hacket, a popular singing actress at the time she married him; retired from the state until 1825 when James was ruined in business. She returned to the stage and he followed her.

Source: DAB.

Hacket, James Henry 1800 - 1871:

Highly successful "character actor", mostly of comic roles. He was born into an aristocratic New York family, spent a year Columbia at 15, engaged in business, married Catharine Lee Sugg, a noted New York "singing actress", and failed in business in 1825.

At this time, his wife returned to acting, and he went onto the stage as well. His first successes were not in acting proper, but in "character impersonations". Over time, his acting skills enabled him to play, with great success, roles like Falstaff, Rip Van Winkle, Col. Nimrod Wildfire of James K. Paulding's Lion of the West (patterned after Davy Crockett).

Source: DAB.

Hall, Basil, 1788 -1844:

British naval officer, and travel writer, especially of Travels in North America (1829), which incited indignation in the U.S. just a few years prior to Frances Trollope's bombshell. Hall was, in fact, encouraging to Mrs. Trollope, and helpful in getting her book published.

Hall, James, 1793 - 1868:

After service in the army in the War of 1812, and for 3 years afterwards, he lived in Illinois; initially in Shawneetown; in Vandalia from 1828-33. He spent the rest of his life in Cincinnati.

Edited the Illinois Intelligencer from 1829-32; in 1830, established the Illinois Monthly Magazine, which he continued in Cincinnati as the Western Monthly Magazine.

Source: DAB.

Halleck, Fitz-Greene (1790 - 1867):

One of the best-known early American poets. Son of a Tory and friend of Major Andre. In 1811 he movedfrom his home town of Guilford, CT, to New York, and for 18 years worked for Jacob Barker, a banker.

Source: Dictionary of American Biography.

Hamilton, Alexander 1755 - 1804:

(actual year of birth uncertain - could be 1757)

Hamilton, James A. (???):

Hamilton, a son of Alexander Hamilton, became a close political associate of Martin Van Buren. He approached Van Buren as did many "high minded Federalists", during the War of 1812. The "high minded Federalists" were those who wanted to support the war effort, while many, perhaps most, Federalists hated the war and, in some cases went so far as to advocate seccession from the U.S.

Hamilton was frequently of service to Van Buren and Andrew Jackson.

Hamilton, James Jr. (1786 - 1857):

Member of U.S. Congress 1822-29, and a member of the Jackson Anti-Adams group.

As governor of SC from 1829-1832, he advocated nullification of the tariff, and presided over the Nullification Conference in 1832. Appointed Brigadier General commanding SC Troops. He stepped down from the governorship so that a man of more moderate reputation would be running the state when the nullification conflict reached its crisis, complete with military threats by Andrew Jackson.

No relation, so far as I know, with Alexander Hamilton.

Hammond, Elisha 1774 - 1829

Father of James Henry Hammond. Born in New Bedford, MA, he was living by building stone walls in 1795, at age 21, when he began to educate himself. He graduated Dartmouth in 1802, and went south to seek his fortune, where he became a schoolmaster at Mount Bethel, a Methodist academy in the Newberry district of SC. In 1805, he was appointed Professor of languages in the first term of South Carolina College in Columbia. He left Columbia soon after his marriage (of 7/06), and returned to Mount Bethel. In 1815(?) he returned to employment by S.C. College, this time as steward (food supplier, etc.), and persued other entrepreneurial schemes that were fairly successful.

He pushed his oldest son, James Henry, hard, regarding him as a genius.

Silhouette of E.H., p 25, Faust.

Source: Faust, Hammond, mostly pp 9-39.

Hammond, James Henry 1807 - 1864:

Served as Gov. of SC and as U.S. Senate, and a vehement proponent of southern secession.

Had a law practice in Columbia starting in late 1820s. 1/29/30 - established the Southern Times, a pro-nullification newspaper; ran for delegate to the Nullification Convention. Elected a Colonel during the nullification excitement. Elected to Congress 1834. Failed in run for gov. in 1840; made General of Militia 1841; was elected gov. 1842 and served 2 terms. Would have run for Senator in 1846 but for a threat by a relative to disclose some strange activities he was supposed to have had with his nieces. Elected to Senate 1857, and served until he resigned on Lincoln's election. Supported the Confederacy although he was a strong critic of Jefferson Davis.

Son of Elisha Hammond.

Harrison, William Henry 1773 - 1841:

Elected president of the U.S. in the famous or infamous "Log Cabin and Hard Cider", or "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too".

He served one month, from March 4, 1841 - April 4, 1841.

Harrison was a hero of the western part of the War of 1812, defeating Tecumseh in the battle of Tippecanoe. From 1816-19 he was a congressman from Ohio, and from 1825-8, served in the Senate.

Haswell, Charles Haynes 1809 - 1907:

Became one of the foremost engineers in the nation, at age 28, designing and superintending construction of the first steam engines used in the American navy. He remained with the navy, producing many innovations, until 1852.

He was best known for writing the Mechanic's and Engineer's Pocket Book, known as the "Engineer's Bible", first published in 1842 and republished until 1913, which sold 146,000 copies.

The author of Reminiscences of an Octogenarian (New York 1815-60) lived to be 10 days short of 98 years old.

(Source: DAB)

Haughton, James (Irish abolitionist)? - ?:

Irish Unitarian grain merchant and anti-slavery activist in Dublin, and a regular correspondent of Garrison's Liberator. Supported Repeal (of the Act of Union), and founded the Hibernian Anti-Slavery Society.

Source: p9, Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel 1804 - 1864 :

Born in Salem, Mass. Attended Bowdoin 1821-5. Wrote a poor first novel, Fanshaw, in 1828, and from then through 1836, published occasional works in the New England Magazine and the Token. Twice Told Tales, in 1837, brought him fame.

Stayed a year or part of a year at Brook Farm starting 1841. Married Sophia Peabody of Salem in July 1842. Then lived in the "Old Manse" in Concord, MA

Due to financial pressure, he returned to Salem as surveyor of the port from 1845-49 under the democratic Polk regime.

Dates of major novels: Scarlet Letter (1850), The House of the Seven Gables (1851), The Blithedale romance (1852).

Hayne, Robert Young (Nov. 10, 1791 - Sep. 24, 1839):

Best known for a famous "debate" in congress with Daniel Webster, in which he was considered by many to have been the loser, and his part is scarcely remembered, while many history books quote part of Webster's speech.

Served as Attorney General of SC from 1818-1822, and, as a militia officer, was responsible for stopping the Denmark Vessey Revolt, a well-organized slave rebellion that was to have occurred in Charleston, SC.

Served in the Senate from 1823-1832. "Elected as a Tariff-for-Revenue Democrat" says the Biog Dir of ... Congress. This probably implies his rejection of the tariff for any kind of protection of manufacture, which was especially odious to the South.

Resigned the Senate to serve briefly as Governor of SC in late 1832.

Healy, George Peter Alexander 1813 - 1894:

Painter, especially or portraits. Son of an Irish sea captain, who had as his first patron the wife of Harrison Gray Otis. [Source: Ency. Am. Art].

His paintings are on the cover of Thomas, Lincoln, and Newland, Doctors

Hedge, Frederic Henry (1805-1890):

An active member of the Transcendental circle of Boston and Cambridge, though he was a minister in Maine during the Transcendentalist heyday.

Like many of the Transcendentalists, he was educated at Harvard(???) to be a Unitarian minister. Unlike many, including Emerson himself, Hedge remained a Unitarian minister - In Bangor Maine (1835-50) and Brookline, Mass (1857-72).

Fluent in European languages, he was among the first to introduce the German philosophies, especially that of Kant, which so influenced the Transcendentalists. What was sometimes called the "Transcendentalist Club" was also sometimes called the "Hedge Club" because it tended to meet whenever he was in town.

He wrote several books and translated many others from German, helping to popularize the German writers in America.

Hedge, Levi (1766-1844):

Father of Frederick Hedge, the Transcendentalist.

Professor of logic and metaphysics at Harvard 1810-27, and of natural religion, moral philosophy and civil polity 1827-32.

Henry, Patrick 1736 - 1799:

Virginia lawyer, considered by many a great orator.

Henry, Robert 1792 - 1856:

From 1818 until nearly the end of his life, he was a professor and/or administrator at South Carolina College. At the college, he pparently had an important influence on the political thinking of James Henry Hammond.

Born in Charleston, SC to Peter Henry, a Scotts-born successful merchant in Jamaica. He had just married and moved to Charleston, and was finishing up business in Jamaica, when his ship was captured by French privateers and, due to harsh treatment, he died.

Meanwhile Robert was born, and his widowed mother opened a dry-goods store for their support. Despite this difficulty, she was able to take her son back to Britain in 1803, where he got an excellent education, graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 1814.

After travel, and a period back in Charleston SC as a minister to the Calvinistic Church of French Protestants, Presbyterian, he began his career at South Carolina College, in Columbia, SC. There he lectured in logic and moral philosophy, metaphysics, belle-lettres at various times. He was briefly acting president at the retirement of Thomas Cooper, and later served as president from 1842-45.

(Source: Faust, Hammond, p14-15, and DAB)

Herndon, William Henry 1818 - 1891 :

Abraham Lincoln's junior law partner, whom he took on in 1844. Went to school briefly at Illinois college, under Edward Beecher, son of Lyman Beecher and an abolitionist. Herndon's father is said by some to have withdrawn him in response to student disturbances there over the mob killing of Elijah P. Lovejoy. On December 9, 1844 he was admitted to the bar at Springfield, IL, and immediately went into partnership with Lincoln.

He was passionate, in love with learning, owned a huge library, and was very active with the Springfield Lyceum. He carried on a long correspondence with Theodore Parker. He was helpful to Lincoln, especially as a law researcher. He was also a support to Lincoln in most of his political pursuits. He sometimes overindulged in alcohol, and at other times was active with temperance societies. Mary Lincoln and Herndon mutually despised one another.

In 1889, he published his biography of Lincoln, usually referred to as "Herndon's Lincoln". He believed other biographers had invented a prettified Lincoln, and wanted to show his old friend and hero's earthiness and rough edges, religious skepticism, doubts about his mother's legitimacy, etc.

The verdict of modern historians seems to be, in part, that Herndon is invaluable but not always trustworthy; reliable for what he had personal knowledge of, but apt to believe what he wanted where the evidence was skimpy or ambiguous. The questionable story of Ann Rutledge being the great love of Lincoln's life, and popular notions of Lincoln's rocky courtship of Mary Todd, may have been a result of Herndon's prejudices and speculations around a kernel of truth.

Herschel, Sir William 1738 - 1822:

Originally "Friedrich William". German born English astronomer - built his own telescope; discovered the planet Uranus on 3/13/1781, its existence and location having been worked out based on applying Newton's theory to anomolies in the motions of the known planets. He made many other important discoveries. His son, Sir John Frederick William made further important astronomical discoveries. (Source: Webster's Biog Dict.)

Herschel, Sir John Frederick William 1792 - 1871:

Son of Sir William Herschel, and an important astronomer in his own right, as well as making contributions to many other sciences. (Source: Webster's Biog Dict.) The "Moon Hoax" perpetrated by the NY Sun claimed that, with a very powerful new telescope, he was able to see bat-like intelligent(?) beings on the moon.

Hervieu, Auguste ? - ? :

Accompanied Frances Trollope on her journeys in America, and drew illustrations for her book based on those travels. Painted a picture of Lafayette landing in Cincinnati (which he wasn't around to see), and took it around the country charging people a quarter to see it (a typical practice of the Jacksonian era).

Hill, Isaac April 6, 1788 - March 22, 1851 :

Born in West Cambridge; apprenticed to a printer in Amherst, NH; moved to Concord in 1809; purchased and for 20 years edited the NH Patriot, active in state politics in the 1820s. A strong Jackson supporter, he was rewarded with office, for which the Senate refused to confirm him. The joke was on the Senate when he was sent to serve in that body from 1831-36. Governor of NH from 1836-39; U.S. subtreasurer at Boston in 1840,41; returned to newspaper publishing 1840-47.


Hodge, Charles 1797 - 1878:

Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary from 1822, and initiated the Princeton Review, in 1825, which attacked the New School "heresies". (source: Auto...Beecher, II, p96)

Holbrook, Josiah 1788 - 1854:

Born in Derby, CT. After graduating Yale in 1810, he started a private school in his hometown. Between 1813-17 he frequently went over to Yale to hear Benjamin Silliman speak on scientific subjects.

In 1826, he published seminal article promoting what came to be known as the American Lyceum, and in 1826, in Millbury, MA, he started "Millbury Lyceum No. 1, Branch of the American Lyceum".

Holmes, Oliver Wendell 1809 - 1894:

Poet, essayist, and physician of Boston.

Hone, Phillip 1780 - 1851:

A highly successful businessman who served as mayor of New York for one year (elected 1825). Moved in high circles and kept a diary which has served as a wonderful historical resource.

Hopkins, Samuel 1720 - 1803:

Congregationalist minister and theologian of "disinterested belevolence". Also a very early opponent of slavery. Pastor at Great Barrington, MA 1743-69, where he came under the influecne of Jonathan Edwards -- then ministering to the indians 10 miles north in Stockbridge. He was minister to First Church at Newport, RI 1770 - 1803, where he was active in opposing slavery. See photo of his home in Newport on p56, Newport Tour Guide.

Houston, Sam 1793 - 1863


When he was a teenager, his widowed mother moved to claim property of her husband's in mountainous eastern Tennessee near Maryville. He went to a little school, but when his ambitions to learn the classics were discouraged, he quit, so while he had a lifelong love of Pope's Illiad, he had but a couple of years of school.

When his older brothers apprenticed him to a drygoods store, he soon ran away, and showed up at Hiwassee Island, the village of the Cherokee chief Ooleteka. He spent the better part of three years (DAB) among the Cherokee, then briefly taught school before enlisting for the War of 1812.

He served under Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812, and was terribly wounded in the battle of Horseshoe Bend where he had fought ferociously (p42-44). Doctors considered his wounds fatal (p45), but he survived -- it took a couple of years for him to basically recover -- some of his wounds never completely healed (p98).

He remained in the army until March 1, 1818, when he resigned in the face of a slander campaign in which he was being targeted to get at Andrew Jackson. A protege of Jackson, he took up law, practicing in tiny Lebanon TN, between Nashville and Murfreesboro (then the state capitol). He moved to Nashville in October 1819 (p64).

Meanwhile, he advanced in the state militia until in October 1821 he was elected to its highest position, Major General (the position that launched Jackson to fame).

In 1823 he was elected to Congress, and left for Washington in October.

After two terms in Congress, he was, in 1827, elected Gov. of Tennessee (inaugurated 10/1). In 1829, he seemed well on the way to reelection when his marriage to Eliza Allen, in 1/22/29, proved a collosal failure, with hints of scandal, and precipitated the collapse, for the time being, of his brilliant career. What it was about is still a mystery, but the day after the wedding, his wife was heard to say "I wish from the bottom of my heart they would kill him." (p99) Houston mysteriously failed to attend Jackson's inauguration, which he had done so much to bring about. The marriage teetered on the brink for three months, but in April, Eliza left him and never returned despite his letter writing and begging on his knees.

One theory, hinted at by Da Bruhl, is that his wife could not cope with Houston's repulsive wounds, and treated him coldly, and it is clear from his own apologies and explanations that, towards the end, he questioned her love, and possibly even fidelity, to him. Whatever the cause, he was suddenly reviled, and burned in effigy in many places.

On April 16, Houston resigned as governor (p102), and on the 23rd, (p103) boarded a steamboat down the Cumberland to the Ohio and Mississippi. The trip was interrupted by two armed members of his wife's family boarding the boat and demanding that he either "return and prove his rumored libel of Eliza or sign a paper denying it (p104). He refused, but offered to "put a notice in the papers that if 'any wretch ever dares to utter a word against the purity of Mrs. Houston I will come back and write the libel in his heart's blood.'"

(Source: Da Bruhl, Sword of San Jacinto.)

HOWARD, Benjamin Chew, 1791-1872

HOWARD, Benjamin Chew, (son of John Eager Howard), a Representative from Maryland; born at “Belvedere,” near Baltimore, Md., November 5, 1791; pursued classical studies, and was graduated from Princeton College in 1809; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Baltimore; served in the War of 1812; was promoted to command of the Fifth Regiment, subsequently becoming brigadier general, and continued for many years prominently identified with the State military organization; member of the city council of Baltimore in 1820; member of the State house of delegates in 1824; elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Congresses (March 4, 1829-March 3, 1833); declined the mission to Russia tendered by President Van Buren; commissioned by President Jackson in 1835, with Richard Rush, of Philadelphia, as peace emissary of the National Government in the controversy over the boundary line between Ohio and Michigan; elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-fourth Congress and reelected as a Democrat to the Twenty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1835-March 3, 1839); chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs (Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Congresses); reporter of the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States 1843-1862; member of the peace conference of 1861, held in Washington, D.C., in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor of Maryland in 1861; died in Baltimore, Md., March 6, 1872; interment in Greenmount Cemetery.

Source: Biog. Dir of Congress, which sites DAB.

Hudson, Erasmus Darwin:

One of the founders of the Northampton Association of Education and Industry.

(Source: The Communitarian Moment)

Huger, Daniel Elliot 1779 - 1854:

South Carolina unionist (who stood against the nullifiers); also jurist and U.S. Senator 1843-5. The paternalist context of his conservativism was expressed in the nullification crisis when he was asked what his constituents though of a certain measure: "Think! They will think nothing about it -- They expect me to think for them here." (Source:  Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, p241, and DAB)

Hughes, John Joseph 1797 - 1864:

Irish-born coadjutor bishop (1838), and archbishop(1850) of New York. Laid the cornerstone of St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1858.

"The most influential leader in America of the Irish". Blasted Daniel O'Connell for calling on Irish-Americans to protest slavery (Source: Ignatiev, How the Irish..., p12). A militant defender of Catholicism.

Hume, William

Presbyterian minister who preached at funeral of Andrew Jackson's wife Rachel and the (unhappy) marriage of Sam Houston and Eliza Allen.

HUNT, Jonathan, 1787-1832

Representative from Vermont; born in Vernon, Windham County, Vt., August 12, 1787; was graduated from Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., in 1807; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Brattleboro, Vt., in 1812; first president of the Old Brattleboro Bank in 1821; member of the State house of representatives in 1811, 1816, 1817, and 1824; elected to the Twentieth, Twenty-first, and Twenty-second Congresses, and served from March 4, 1827, until his death in Washington, D.C., May 15, 1832; interment in Brattleboro, Vt.

Source: Biog. Dir. of Am. Congress.

Hutchinson, Anne, 1591 - 1643:

Proponent of some anti-Calvinist doctrines. She was banished from Massachusetts Bay for her heresy. She removed to Rhode Island, and later to (what is now) Pelham Bay, NY, where she and most of her household were killed by Indians.

Source: DAB.

Hutchinson, Thomas, 1711 - 1780:

Merchant, historian of Massachusetts Bay, and next-to-last royal governor of Massachusetts. He was also the great-great-grandson of Anne Hutchinson.

Source: DAB.