Richard Fox Brenham, physician and member of the Texan Santa Fe expedition and the Mier expedition, was born to Robert and Mary M. (Fox) Brenham about 1810 in Woodford County, Kentucky. He attended Transylvania College, then moved to Texas before the revolution. He served in the Texas army from June 15 to September 15, 1836, and received a 320-acre tract in Cooke County for his services. He may have never taken possession of this land, however. He lived part of the time between the revolution and 1841 in Austin, where he practiced medicine. In 1841 President Mirabeau B. Lamar selected Brenham to serve as one of the civil commissioners of the Texan Santa Fe expedition, which sought to bring the city of Santa Fe and at least a portion of the trade along the Santa Fe Trail under the control of the Republic of Texas. Upon the failure of this mission in September and October 1841 Brenham and his fellow "Santa Fe Pioneers" were arrested by Mexican authorities and imprisoned in Mexico City. Brenham was released in April 1842 and returned to Austin, where he joined the Somervell expedition against Mexico. When William Somervell ordered his volunteers to disband and return to Texas despite their success in capturing Laredo, Texas, and Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Brenham joined with others who were unwilling to return home and set out on the Mier expedition. On December 26, 1842, Brenham took part in a rebellion and escape attempt at Salado, on the route from Matamoros toward Mexico City. Though many of the Texans temporarily escaped, Brenham was killed in the fighting, on February 11, 1843. In 1844 the town of Brenham in Washington County was named in his honor.
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Mrs. R. E. Pennington, History of Brenham and Washington County (Houston, 1915).
Health and Medicine
Physicians and Surgeons
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Kaye A. Walker,
“Brenham, Richard Fox,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 25, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
November 1, 1994
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