Alexander Wray Ewing, early Texas doctor, was born in 1809 in Londonderry, Ireland. He studied medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, and at the College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. He moved to Pennsylvania and in 1834 to Texas. He lived briefly at San Felipe and acquired a quarter league now in Fayette County in 1835. He was appointed surgeon general of the Texas army on April 6, 1836, and treated Sam Houston's wound at the battle of San Jacinto. Ewing incurred President David G. Burnet's wrath by accompanying the wounded Houston to Galveston. He was dismissed by Burnet but was soon reinstated. The Texas Congress blocked President Houston's move to keep Ewing as chief medical officer in 1837, and he was succeeded in this post by Ashbel Smith. Ewing moved to Houston, where he became first president of that city's Medical and Surgical Society in 1838. He also was a member of a "committee of arrangements" for the proposed Houston and Brazos Rail Road Company. By 1842 Ewing was again serving in the army. He was married three times within a period of ten years-to Mrs. Susan Henrietta Smiley Reid, who died in 1842, to Elizabeth Tompkins, and to Elizabeth Graham, who died in 1904. Ewing had at least two children, and by 1850 owned real property valued at $6,000. He was a Mason. He died on November 1, 1853.
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Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). Pat Ireland Nixon, The Medical Story of Early Texas, 1528–1853 (Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Lupe Memorial Fund, 1946).
Health and Medicine
Physicians and Surgeons
Republic of Texas
Upper Gulf Coast
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Ewing, Alexander Wray,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
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