Alexander Watkins Terrell: Civil War Soldier, Texas by Lewis L. Gould

By Lewis L. Gould

Alexander Terrell's occupation positioned him on the middle of a few of the main pivotal occasions in 19th- and early twentieth-century background, starting from the Civil battle to Emperor Maximilian's reign over Mexico and an Armenian genocide less than the Ottoman Empire. Alexander Watkins Terrell finally presents the 1st entire biographical portrait of this complicated determine. Born in Virginia in 1827, Terrell moved to Texas in 1852, emerging to the rank of accomplice brigadier common whilst the Civil warfare erupted. Afterwards, he in brief served in Maximilian's military earlier than returning to Texas, the place he used to be elected to 4 phrases within the kingdom Senate and 3 phrases in the home. President Grover Cleveland appointed him minister to the Ottoman Empire, dispatching him to Turkey and the center East for 4 years whereas the problems surrounding the life of Christians in a Muslim empire stoked violent confrontations there. His different accomplishments integrated writing laws that created the Texas Railroad fee and what turned the everlasting collage Fund (the cornerstone of the college of Texas's multibillion-dollar endowment). during this balanced exploration of Terrell's lifestyles, Gould additionally examines Terrell's perspectives on race, the influence of the fees of cowardice within the Civil struggle that dogged him, and his non secular looking out past the demonstrated religions of his time. In his wealthy and sundry existence, Alexander Watkins Terrell skilled features of nineteenth-century Texas and American heritage whose results have endured all the way down to the current day.

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In November 1861 he was announced as “Colonel of the 8th Texas Regiment” for the duration of the war. A week later, however, it turned out that the competition from regiments designed to serve in Texas for only twelve months had stymied recruiting of Terrell’s regiment and one other. 53 While his future military role remained in limbo, Terrell once again addressed his fellow citizens in Austin on January 17, 1862. He and his colleague Thomas J. Devine made speeches. In his remarks Terrell reiterated some of the themes of his July 4 oration.

In 1850 the county had about twenty-five hundred inhabitants, of whom some six hundred were slaves. 1 The Terrells had arrived at a propitious time. Rains were abundant in 1852. Crops were good that year and in the two years that alexander watkins terrell followed. As the South expanded westward, Texas, with its rich cotton lands, attracted new settlers. A local editor described these emigrants as “of the best class—many of them bring a large number of slaves. ” Terrell recalled that the city limits were just north of where the University of Texas now stands.

His relationship with his wife and five young children is less clear. During the period from 1852 to 1863, Terrell acquired slaves and bought property in Austin and Travis County. By 1860 he was comfortable in an economic sense, but his personal circumstances changed when his wife’s death from tuberculosis left him with his children to care for. Still in his early thirties, Alexander Terrell was a strong partisan of the Southern cause. A civil war seemed a remote prospect when Terrell and his family reached Austin on November 2, 1852.

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