Everett, Edward (1818–1903)

By: Kevin R. Young

Type: Biography

Published: August 1, 1995

Edward Everett, artist and draftsman, was born in London, England, on March 13, 1818, the second son of Charles and Elizabeth Boyle Everett. His father was an American buyer and exporter. In 1840 the Everett family moved to the United States and settled in Ouincy, Illinois, where his father operated a dry good, hardware, and grocery store. Edward was listed in 1841 as a machinist and engineer. In March 1843 he joined Capt. James D. Morgan's "Quincy Riflemen" Company and saw limited service in the 1845 Mormon War. Following a search patrol of Nauvoo, Everett wrote about and drew its Mormon temple. The company was disbanded in May 1846 but was quickly reorganized in June for service in the Mexican War. On June 18 the company was mustered into the service of the United States as Company "A," First Illinois Volunteers, at a rendezvous held at Alton, Illinois. Everett served as the company clerk at the rank of sergeant. On July 30 the company arrived at Port Lavaca and marched as escort to a train of wagons bound for San Antonio. On the 22nd, the company arrived ahead of the main brigade at San Antonio, where it camped on the Alameda (now Commerce Street). Upon the arrival of the brigade on the 24th, the company was transferred to Camp Crockett at the headwaters of the San Antonio River. By special order of Col. John Hardin, Everett and two lieutenants were assigned to collect information respecting the history and customs of the area. Everett proceeded to make ink sketches of the Alamo and San José Mission. On September 11 Everett was on duty as sergeant of the provost. In the course of breaking up a disturbance, he was wounded just above the right knee by a pistol shot fired by a Texan named Hardy. While recuperating from his wound, the young soldier did numerous sketches of the San Antonio area and drew maps of the Texas frontier. His watercolors of the missions in San Antonio currently hang in the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth. Everett, owing to his wound, was offered a clerkship in the office of the assistant quartermaster, Capt. James Harvey Ralston. He assisted Ralston in his plans to turn the ruins of the Alamo chapel and barracks into a depot for the United States Army's Quartermaster's Department. Everett's plan of the Alamo and estimates for placing the buildings into serviceable condition were forwarded to the Quartermaster General Thomas S. Jesup. Following the approval of the project, Everett helped supervise the remodeling of the Alamo "Long Barracks." The chapel, at this time, was merely cleared out of debris and retained as a historical relic. When Ralston was relieved of his duties in November 1848, Everett traveled with him to Washington, D.C. to turn over the account books to the quartermaster general. While in Washington, D.C., Everett did temporary work for the Topographlcal Engineers Department. This included the drawings of the Alamo and missions of San Antonio for Col. George W. Hughes's report on General Wool's expedition of January 20, 1849. Where Everett received his artistic training is not known. His landscape sketches resemble those produced by the Hudson River School artists. Despite definite artistic ability, Everett identified himself as a "mechanical engineer." Later in life, he wrote a lengthy review of his military career, including his travels to and in Texas. The manuscript was titled "A Narrative of Military Experience in Several Capacities;" it was published in 1906 by the Illinois State Historical Society. After his discharge, Everett lived three years in Washington, D.C., before returning to Illinois. On October 7, 1857, he married Mary A. Billings. During the Civil War Everett served as an assistant quartermaster general at the rank of major to the State of Illinois. Everett later moved to Sing Sing, New York, before making his home at Roxbury, near Boston, Massachusetts. He died on July 24, 1903, and is buried in Boston's Forest Hills Cemetery.

Richard E. Ahlborn, The San Antonio Missions: Edward Everett and the American Occupation, 1847 (Fort Worth: Amon Carter Museum, 1985). George W. Hughes, Memoir Descriptive of the March of a Division of the United States Army, under the Command of Brigadier General John E. Wool, from San Antonio de Bexar, in Texas, to Saltillo, in Mexico (Sen. Exec. Doc. 32, 31st Cong., 1st sess., 1850).


  • Peoples
  • English
  • Visual Arts
  • Painting
  • Printmaking

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

Kevin R. Young, “Everett, Edward,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 01, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/everett-edward.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 1, 1995