Biography of John Hays Hammond


Hammond, John Hays. Mining engineer. Born in San Francisco, March 31, 1855. Graduate of Sheffield Scientific School, Yale, Ph.D.; 1876 (A.M., Yale); mining course at Royal School of Mines, Freiburg, Baden. Special expert of United States Geological Survey, 1880, examining California gold fields and later in Mexico; afterward, consulting engineer of Union Iron Works, San Francisco, and Central & Southern Pacific railways. Examined properties in all parts of the world. Became consulting engineer for Barnato Bros., 1893, and later for Cecil Rhodes, of whom he became a strong supporter. Consulting engineer of Consolidated Gold Fields of South Africa, British South Africa company, and the Randountein Estates Gold Mining Company. Was one of four leaders in reform movement in the Transvaal, 1895-96. After Jameson Raid (with which he was not in sympathy), was arrested and sentenced to death. Sentence was afterward commuted to 15 years' imprisonment, and later was released on payment of a fine of $125,000. Went to London and became interested in many large mining companies. Returned to the United States and traveled extensively, examining mines in United States and Mexico. Appointed by President Taft special ambassador to coronation of King George V.