Brush, Elkanah (1796–unknown)

By: Thomas W. Cutrer

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: January 22, 2020

Elkanah Brush, soldier and legislator of the Republic of Texas, was born in New York and moved to the Power and Hewetson colony at Refugio, Texas, in October 1834. He and his two sons, Gilbert Russell and Bradford, received headrights. On November 28, 1835, Brush was appointed by the General Council at San Felipe de Austin as a commissioner to organize the Refugio militia. He was a member of Ira J. Westover's party that joined George M. Collinsworth's command in the capture of Goliad in October 1835, and periodically between October 10, 1835, and January 16, 1836, he served under Capt. Philip Dimmitt in the Goliad garrison and on the Lipantitlán Expedition. On December 20, 1835, Brush signed the Goliad Declaration of Independence, and on July 1, 1836, he enlisted as a private in Capt. Louis P. Cooke's company of Col. Edwin Morehouse's First Regiment, First Brigade, Army of the Republic of Texas. He was mustered out on September 30. For his military service Brush received a bounty warrant for 1,280 acres, which he sold to Robert Peebles.

Brush was elected to the House of Representatives of the First Congress of the Republic of Texas and fought a closely contested election for the Second. He was the apparent victor and was present at Houston at its first session, on September 25, 1837. But on October 2 William E. Walker of Victoria claimed the seat. Brush protested on the following day, and a recount showed that Walker had won by two votes. Walker was disqualified on October 7, however, as he was neither a citizen nor a resident. A special election was then called, and James Power was chosen to fill the vacant seat. In January 1839 Brush, his wife, Sarah, and their four-year-old daughter were farming near Bray's Bayou between Houston and Richmond in Fort Bend County, and in July 1841 Brush's name was published in the Austin Texas Sentinel as a tax delinquent in Fort Bend County. He owed one dollar. He continued to reside in Fort Bend County, where he owned $2,216 worth of real estate, until at least 1850.

John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).

Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

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

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Brush, Elkanah,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 18, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 22, 2020