HAMMETT, SAMUEL ADAMS
HAMMETT, SAMUEL ADAMS (1816–1865). Samuel Adams Hammett, humorist, son of Augustus J. and Mary (Wright) Hammett, was born at Jewett City, Connecticut, on February 4, 1816. His parents moved to New York City, where his father operated a wholesale grocery. After a good public-school education Hammett became a member of the first class of the University of the City of New York, but in the summer of 1834 he withdrew from the university to devote himself to his father's business. Late in 1835 he moved to Texas, where he remained until 1848, working as a surveyor and peddler in and around Montgomery and as part owner of a wholesale produce and flour firm in Houston and Galveston. Upon his return to New York City he went into business and began writing both serious and humorous magazine articles about Texas. In 1853 he published these articles and others as A Stray Yankee in Texas. Two years later he issued a second volume, The Wonderful Adventures of Captain Priest, a collection of sketches and humorous tales with a down-east background. In his third book, Piney Woods Tavern, or Sam Slick in Texas (1858), which was published in Peterson's Illustrated Uniform Edition of Humorous American Works, he returned with obvious delight to the Texas scene. Meanwhile, he had moved from New York to Brooklyn.
In his day Hammett was extremely popular as a humorist and teller of Texas tall tales, a fact well illustrated by the inclusion of one-half of Stray Yankee in Die Illustrierte Familien Biblioteck, a sixteen-volume anthology of representative world authors published in Dresden and Leipzig. Like other books of their genre, Stray Yankee and Piney Woods Tavern are full of horseplay, frontier dialect, and amusing anecdotes based largely on personal experience, but they also contain a wealth of factual details on Texas life during the republic. Hammett wrote under the pseudonym of Phillip Paxton, sometimes signing his articles "P. P." The author confessed to having borrowed the sobriquet "Sam Slick" from Thomas C. Haliburton. Hammett died in Brooklyn on December 24, 1865.
Dictionary of American Biography. Telegraph and Texas Register, May 20, 1846.
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, W. Stanley Hoole, "Hammett, Samuel Adams," accessed February 13, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fha42.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
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