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

By Lewis L. Gould

Alexander Terrell's profession positioned him on the heart of a few of the main pivotal occasions in 19th- and early twentieth-century heritage, starting from the Civil warfare to Emperor Maximilian's reign over Mexico and an Armenian genocide below the Ottoman Empire. Alexander Watkins Terrell eventually offers the 1st whole 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 conflict erupted. Afterwards, he in short served in Maximilian's military prior to returning to Texas, the place he used to be elected to 4 phrases within the nation 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 lifestyles 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 collage of Texas's multibillion-dollar endowment). during this balanced exploration of Terrell's existence, Gould additionally examines Terrell's perspectives on race, the influence of the costs of cowardice within the Civil struggle that dogged him, and his non secular looking out past the confirmed religions of his time. In his wealthy and sundry existence, Alexander Watkins Terrell skilled facets of nineteenth-century Texas and American heritage whose results have persisted all the way down to the current day.

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Extra info for Alexander Watkins Terrell: Civil War Soldier, Texas Lawmaker, American Diplomat

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Two years later he won election as a district judge. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Terrell was a leading politician in Central Texas with ambitions for higher office. But the hostilities with the North disrupted his public career and personal life during the rest of the 1860s. The record of Terrell’s political and legal activities in the 1850s is generally well documented. 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.

Terrell sent some of his loyal officers and men after the missing soldiers and captured some of them. An irritated Terrell told Guy M. ”9 The conversations that Terrell had with officials in Houston about heading up the Cotton Bureau persuaded him that he could not “under existing circumstances accomplish results” that General Smith desired. He believed that Texas had for the preceding two years been “fleeced by speculators, as buzzards would fleece a carcass,” but he had been asked too late to make a difference in the cotton trade and had declined the post.

Terrell spent four months at home in the spring and summer nursing his wife. Governor Sam Houston joined other members of her Baptist 28 The District Judge congregation when she received her last communion. She died on July 16, 1860. Her husband was left with five children, the oldest just ten. 37 Terrell’s personal loss came as Texans faced the sectional crisis that would soon erupt into Civil War. His own views of the approaching conflict are in some dispute. ”38 However, during the secession crisis, Terrell was known as a supporter of leaving the Union, and he delivered at least one speech in favor of the Southern cause.

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