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RUSSELL, ALEXANDER [1805-1873]

RUSSELL, ALEXANDER (1805–1873). Alexander Russell, soldier in the Texas Revolution, son of Levi and Sarah (Phips) Russell, was born in South Carolina on May 15, 1805. His parents were natives of Cabarrus County, North Carolina, where they were married in 1797. Russell and his brother, John H., moved to Texas in 1834 from Dade County, Missouri. In March 1835 the ayuntamiento commissioned Captain Russell to take the census and make an assessment of taxable property in the jurisdiction of Columbia. When the call for volunteers was issued at Brazoria, Russell joined the Texas army, on September 28, 1835. He defended Texas at Gonzales and Concepción and was camped with the main part of the army at San Francisco de la Espada Mission, where the force was attacked by Col. Domingo de Ugartechea on October 24, 1835. Russell was discharged by Stephen F. Austin on November 24, 1835, to return home to secure medical aid for injuries and illness. He was appointed adjutant of the regiment about a week before he was discharged at army headquarters near San Antonio. After the victory at San Jacinto and the capture of Antonio López de Santa Anna, the guards who were assigned to watch the Mexican general were charged with drinking on duty. Volunteers were asked to transport Santa Anna aboard the steamer Yellow Stone to Velasco. Those who volunteered were John Adriance, George B. McKinstry, Walter White, and Russell.

When the land offices were reopened, Russell presented his discharge at the capitol in Houston and was issued a bounty warrant for 320 acres. He located the grant in Victoria County in 1838 and received a patent in 1846. He had moved to Texas without his family and applied for a first-class grant in Brazoria, where he lived. In 1839 he surveyed 1,280 acres about nine miles below San Patricio in what is now Nueces County; for this land he received a patent in 1848. In 1839 he and his brother John brought their families to the Fannin County frontier and applied for the augmentation grants they were then eligible to receive as family men. Russell later sold his grant to a land speculator. When Fannin County became dangerous because of the Indian wars, both Russell families sought safety in Missouri and Arkansas. Afterward, in 1850, Russell purchased 250 acres from B. Manlove and settled on the North San Gabriel River, near the Rock House settlement in Williamson County. Both he and John became prominent ranchers. Alexander's 21 brand is registered in Williamson, Burnet, and Bell counties. By 1853 he had moved his family to the frontier in Burnet County and built the first cabin on the Russell Fork of the San Gabriel River. After the Civil War he moved to Salado, where many of the surviving veterans of the Texas Revolution lived. He purchased land on Salado Creek in the Sulphur Springs area, raised horses, and once briefly owned a historic landmark, the Stagecoach Inn at Salado. Russell and his wife, Nancy, were married in 1828 and had four children. He died on April 6, 1873, in Bell County, and is buried in a private cemetery on Salado Creek, now called Dulaney Cemetery. His widow continued to live on Salado Creek until her death in 1885, after she was granted a veteran's widow's pension from January to March of that year.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

John Adriance Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924–28). James A. Creighton, A Narrative History of Brazoria County (Angleton, Texas: Brazoria County Historical Commission, 1975). Darrell Debo, Burnet County History (2 vols., Burnet, Texas: Eakin, 1979). Galveston Daily News, January 9, 1898. Texas Republican, March 28, 1835.

Shirley J. Shumate

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Shirley J. Shumate, "RUSSELL, ALEXANDER [1805-1873]," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fru33), accessed September 30, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.