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 Hannah Jumper

Hannah Jumper

Death 1865 (aged 83–84)
Burial Rockport, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 9693812 · View Source
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July 8,1856 is an important date in the history of Rockport, Mass. On that summer morning,200 wives, mothers, daughters and assorted supporters gathered in Dock Square to take part in an event that would have repercussions to this very day.
Brandishing hatchets, led by Hannah Jumper, they began their raid. In the words of Ebenezer Pool,an eyewitness."...On finding any keg,jug, or cask having spiritous liquor in it...with their hatchets broke or otherwise destroyed it..." Who was Hannah Jumper? How did so many law abiding homemakers find the courage to follow her?
Hannah Jumper, a tall, redheaded,31 year old seamstress, left her family's farm in Joppa and came to Rockport in 1812. Her talent with a needle and thread, along with her abilities to grow herbs and make medicinal brews from them, helped her to build a pleasant life in the small fishing community. Thus established, Hannah began to form lasting friendships with many of the women who would later join her in the rebellion against "demon rum."
Fishing is the mainstay of Rockport. However, the weather only permitted this activity for nine months of the year. Instead of finding other employment during their enforced three month "vacation", the men idled away their time and consumed enormous amounts of liquor.
Year after year, the economic deprivation caused by those periods of inactivity was worsened by the money spent on the spirits. The women of the town grew increasingly frustrated and their patience wore thin. Hannah Jumper not only shared their feeling and their concerns,but she also became very outspoken on the subject.
Finally, in 1856 with the rise of the temperance movement and the early rumblings of women's rights being heard, the women of Rockport met secretly to plot their historic raid. Only three men were considered trustworthy enough to be taken into their confidence.
On the morning of July 8,1856 women from every corner of Rockport rallied around Hannah and five other women who had assumed leadership roles. Even at age 75, Hannah Jumper was a formidable figure!
Secreting their weapons beneath lacy shawls, the protestors set out to destroy every drop of alcohol in places they had marked(under cover of darkness) with a smalll white cross. Howls of outrage and threats of recriminations followed the progress of the "hatchet gang."
Five hours later the weary but victorious women ended their revolt and went home to fix supper for their families.
One disgruntled target of the raid,Jim Brown, took the matter to court. The verdict, in favor of the women, was appealed time and time again. In the end, the original verdict was upheld and Brown was ordered to pay the court costs of $346.25 to the defendants.

Rockport is no longer a dry town as of 2005

  • Created by: Denise
  • Added: 23 Oct 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9693812
  • Frank J. Leskovitz
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Hannah Jumper (1781–1865), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9693812, citing Old First Parish Burying Ground, Rockport, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Denise (contributor 46555662) .