John Sherburne Sleeper (1794–1878) was an American sailor, ship master, novelist (who used the pseudonym of Hawser Martingale), journalist and politician.
Sleeper spent 22 years in the merchant marine service shipping out of the port of Boston as a sailor, officer and shipmaster.
Sleeper was the publisher and editor of the Exeter, New Hampshire, News-Letter, editor and proprietor of The Lowell Daily Journal and editor and part proprietor of The Boston Mercantile Journal. later The Boston Journal
Sleeper purchased The Lowell Daily Journal on May 15, 1833 and ran the paper in partnership with H. Hastings Weld, however the partnership lasted only a few months resulting in financial distress for Mr. Weld and Sleeper's moving on to work for the The Boston Mercantile Journal. Sleeper was the editor of The Boston Mercantile Journal, later The Boston Journal from 1834 to 1854.