Jess Hamilton Jackson was a professor in the Department of English at William & Mary, starting in 1929. He received both his A.B. and A.M. degrees at the University of Alabama, near his birthplace of Birmingham Alabama. He briefly taught at a boys' school, but left to work at an underwear mill after marrying, after which he was Principal at Lakeview Elementary School in Birmingham and a "minute man". "Dr. Jackson took the Treasury's offer to be a "Minute Man", famed for givings three minutes speeches to gatherings of all kinds in the interest of selling Liberty Loan Bonds. In one year, throughout six of the southern state, Dr. Jackson sold one and one-quarter million dollar's worth of bonds". In 1919, after leaving that job, he taught English at Harvard University, where he earned another master's degree and a Ph. D. He held positions at the University of Texas, Duke University Summer School and the University of Alabama.
His main scholarly work was in Scandinavian languages, and he has translated everything from Icelandic Sagas to the work of Scandinavian novelist Peter Egge. His hobbies, though, were less esoteric: "In his spare time, Dr. Jackson devotes himself to his main hobby: farming. He and his family have a small place on Jamestown Road where he does his own work, including the running of his new tractor, which he thoroughly enjoys. He has a vegetable garden and raises, among other things, strawberries and corn. He also has some fruit trees. He has some chickens too, and even has a pet one which he calls 'Willie'" .
- February 9, 1944 Flat Hat, "English Department Head Studies, Travels Widely"
- April 10, 1946 Flat Hat, "Norfolk Editors Object To Jackson's Proposal, Professor Advocates Pidgin English For World"
- November 12, 1940 Flat Hat, "Dr. Jess H. Jackson Head Of Department of English Language And Literature, Came to William & Mary in 1929"