John E. Hamm

John E. Hamm

John E. Hamm, M.D. (31 May 1776 in Kent Co., near Dover, Delaware-22 March 1864 Zanesville, Muskingum Co., Ohio) was an American US Army colonel, doctor and politician, diplomat and industrialist.


Early life

His father and grandfather were both members of the Kent Co. Delaware Committee of Observation and Inspection during the American Revolution.

He moved to Ohio in 1808, at the end of the 10 years required for his administration of his father's estate.

Medical and military career

John Hamm earned his medical degree from Medical College of Philadelphia (which, after being know under various names, eventually became part of the University of Pennsylvania).

He went on to practice medicine in both Dover Delaware and Philadelphia.

During the War of 1812 he held the rank of Colonel and was in charge of the hospital that treated the wounded from the Battle of Lake Erie. He was in charge of the Army Hospital at Detroit. In 1813 he was appointed Regular Surgeon of 27th Regiment US Infantry under Gen. William Henry Harrison. He was also at the Battle of the Thames.

He practiced and taught medicine in Zanesville, Ohio and Chillicothe, Ohio, and operated a pharmacy in Zanesville Ohio.

When the State Capital was in Zanesville he became a member of the first Board for the Examination of Physicians and Surgeons in the State of Ohio.

A Democratic or Democratic-Republican politician

Both his father (John Hamm Sr.) who was a political adherent of Caesar Rodney and his maternal grandfather Immanuel Stout were involved in politics and government. His uncle Jacob Stout was a 1 term governor of Delaware.

He first became involved in Ohio politics when the state capital was at Chillicothe, and moved with it when the capital changed to Zanesville, then moved back to Chillicothe when the state capital returned there.

In October 1812 he was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives.

In 1815 he was Mayor of Zanesville.

He was a member of the Ohio Senate from October 1827 until May 1831, when he resigned to become US Charge de Affairs to Chile.

In 1836 he was the Jeffersonian Candidate for Congress from the Zanesville area.

He appears to have been a member of the Van Horne faction of the Democratic-Republican Party. He later was head of his own faction in Ohio politics. His grandson Peter Graham "Bud" Black was the head of a faction of the Ohio Republican Party until 1948.

Marshall of Ohio

Following his service in the War of 1812 (while the conflict was still active), he was appointed Marshall of Ohio on 30 Dec 1813 under Pres. Madison. His first task was to march the prisoners taken during the Battle of Lake Erie to Camp Bull (near Chillicothe, Ohio). As part of this job he was in charge of the taking of the US 1820 Census in the State of Ohio. He served as Marshall of Ohio for 8 years.

Diplomatic career

He was appointed Minister to Chile under President Andrew Jackson.

He negotiated the first US trade treaty with Chile, under which our representative to that country was elevated to the rank of Ambassador.

Pioneer Ohio industrialist

In 1815 he and his father in law, Gen. Isaac Van Horne, founded the White Glass Company of Zanesville, Ohio.

This type of company was notoriously difficult to maintain as an enterprise, however White Glass Co. existed well into (and in some form well beyond) the 1820s through several owners and under several names.

The White Glass Company is perhaps best known for producing (now highly collectible) Bottles.


  • Y Bridge City "The Story of Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio". Norris F. Schneider, The World Publishing Co., 1950.
  • Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: 1956
  • Index of US Marshals 1789-1960. Virgil D. White, Waynesboro Tenn: National Historical Publishing Co., 1988.
  • Hamm and Allied Families. Joseph M. Brumbley Sr., Wilmington DE: 1981, 380 pp.
Ohio House of Representatives
New district Representative from Muskingum County
Served alongside: Stephen C. Smith
Succeeded by
Joseph K. McCune
Stephen C. Smith

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