Thomas Jefferson Rusk papers
Scope and Contents
The Thomas Jefferson Rusk Papers consist of correspondence, broadsides, decrees, proceedings, agreements, military orders, resolutions, speeches, and reports. The papers document the life of Rusk as a participant in the Texas Revolution, Chief Justice of the first Texas Supreme Court, major general in army campaigns against the Native Americans, president of the Convention of 1845, and one of Texas' first two U.S. Senators. Included are many important historical figures and key events from the Texas Revolution and the Republic of Texas, as well as the Mexican War, the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, the U.S. Postal Service, and the transcontinental railroad. Also included is Rusk's official report from the Battle of San Jacinto (1836).
- Creation: 1824 - 1859
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This collection is open for research.
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There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.
Born on December 5, 1803, in South Carolina, Thomas Jefferson Rusk was trained as a lawyer and practiced in Georgia before losing a considerable fortune in a speculative mining venture. In hopes of tracking down the men who swindled him, Rusk followed them to Texas. Despite failing to recover his money, he decided to stay in Texas and settle in David Burnet's colony. He became increasingly involved in the movement to resist Mexican rule and thus joined the efforts in Gonzalez and San Antonio de Bexar.
Rusk relinquished his army post prior to the siege of the Alamo and became a key player in both the Texas Declaration of Independence and the revised Texas Constitution. The interim government chose Rusk as the new Secretary of War in 1836, and he fought with Sam Houston to defeat Santa Anna's Mexican army at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. Subsequently he commanded Texas forces as Santa Anna's men were pushed back across the Rio Grande. In the late 1830s Rusk commanded the Texas militia as it fought to suppress the tribes of the Cherokee, Kickapoo, and Caddo, including the climactic Battle of Neches when most of the Texas Cherokees were pushed into Oklahoma
Returning to law, Rusk was elected Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court in 1838 and subsequently he headed the bar of the Republic of Texas and formed a renowned law firm with partner J. Pinckney Henderson.
A strong proponent of Texas annexation by the United States, Rusk served as President of the Convention of 1845. He was reunited with his old revolutionary cohort Sam Houston when the two men were elected to serve as the first U.S. Senators from the new state of Texas in 1846. His senate career included support of the Mexican War, Texas' territorial rights, new services and rates for the U.S. Postal Service, and efforts to extend a transcontinental rail line through Texas. In 1856 Rusk lost his beloved wife Mary and began to suffer from a tumor; he committed suicide on July 29, 1857.
5.5 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Papers document the life of Thomas Jefferson Rusk as a participant in the Texas Revolution, Chief Justice of the first Texas Supreme Court, major general in army campaigns against the Native Americans, president of the Convention of 1845, and one of Texas' first two U.S. Senators.
Sam Houston Letters in the Thomas Jefferson Rusk Papers<
- Lamar, Mirabeau B. (Mirabeau Buonaparte), 1798-1859 (Person)
- Bowles, John, approximately 1756-1839 (Person)
- Cleveland, Benjamin (Person)
- Rusk, David, -1877 (Person)
- Rusk, Mary Cleveland, -1856 (Person)
- Neighbors, Robert Simpson, 1815-1859 (Person)
- Rusk, Thomas J. (Thomas Jefferson), 1803-1857 (Person)
- Kaufman, David S. (David Spangler), 1813-1851 (Person)
- Burleson, Edward, 1798-1851 (Person)
- Santa Anna, Antonio López de 1794-1876 (Person)
- Henderson, James Pinckney, 1808-1858 (Person)
- Houston, Sam, 1793-1863. (Person)
- Starr, James Harper, 1809-1890 (Person)
- Austin, Stephen F. (Stephen Fuller), 1793-1836 (Person)
- Burnet, David G. (David Gouverneur), 1788-1870 (Person)
- Brush, W. Proviso (Wilmot Proviso) (Person)
- Thomas Jefferson Rusk Papers, 1824-1859
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