University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Eleazer Louis Ripley Wheelock Papers, 1814-1935

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Wheelock, Eleazer Louis Ripley
Title: Eleazer Louis Ripley Wheelock Papers
Dates: 1814-1935
Abstract: Eleazer Louis Ripley Wheelock was a military officer and Texas settler. He helped establish both the Roberston and Mercer Colonies, and served as an officer in the Texas Revolutionary Army.
Accession No.: 1912, 1913, 1925, 1931, 1935
Extent: 14 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Eleazer Louis Ripley Wheelock (1793-1847) served in the United States Army, seeing combat in the War of 1812. Following the war, he became a successful businessman, and ,in 1818, married Mary Pricket of St. Clair County, Georgia, with whom he had five children: George Ripley, Anneta Woodward, William Billman, David Pricket, and Thomas Ford. In 1832, Wheelock returned to military service to fight in the Black Hawk War, during which he rose to the rank of colonel.

Throughout the 1820s, Wheelock had been making surveying trips to Texas, and in 1833, moved to Independence, Texas. He joined Sterling C. Robertson’s Colony, acting as assistant surveyor. By 1834, he had laid out the town of Wheelock, which was named three years later for Wheelock, Vermont, which had been named for Eleazer Wheelock, the founder of Dartmouth College and Wheelock’s grandfather.

Wheelock’s military service earned him an officer’s commission in the Texas Revolutionary Army, where he organized and captained a company of Texas Rangers. In the Republic of Texas, he served as land commissioner, advised or led all the expeditions against the Indians from Robertson and Milam counties, and served President Anson Jones as Indian commissioner, defending Indian rights even after his son-in-law was killed during an Indian raid.

Shortly before Texas joined the United States, Wheelock surveyed new townships in Mercer Colony (later Mercer’s County), during which time Indians captured him multiple times. He expanded his business interests to include mining and traveled to Washington, D.C., to gather support for the venture with the North Western Mining Company.

William H. Wheelock, a relative of Eleazer Wheelock, served as sheriff of Robertson County (formed from Robertson’s Colony) in 1852 and justice of the peace in 1856. During the Civil War, he was an officer in the Confederate Army.


Eleazer Louis Ripley Wheelock Papers, 1814-1935, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Wheelock, Eleazar Louis Ripley," (accessed August 4, 2010).

Scope and Contents

Letters, a certificate, financial papers, receipts, legal documents, a muster roll, a commission, a field book and plat maps comprise the Eleazer Louis Ripley Wheelock Papers, 1814-1935. The collection relates to conditions in the Robertson’s Colony, Texas, the formation and management of frontier Texas military units, and the founding and surveying of Mercer’s Colony and the town of Wheelock. The collection also concerns Wheelock’s planned venture with the North Western Mining Company, the personal affairs of William H. and David Wheelock, and the Wheelock family genealogy.


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Adams, B.F.
Armstrong, John G.
Beach, W.C.
Coaly, Wright
Hillman, F.E.H.
Jones, Anson, 1798-1858
Kellog, T.W.
Mercer, Charles Fenton, 1778-1858
Millard, Henry, 1807-1844
Miller, W.D. (Washington D.), 1814-1866
Parker, Matthew
Pharis, David
Prickett, George W.
Spellers, James L.
Tillson, Robert
Underwood, James L.
Wheelock, David
Wheelock, Eleazer Louis Ripley, 1793-1847 -- Archives
Wheelock, William H.
Whitton, Elisha H.
Williams, William H.
Subjects (Organizations)
North Western Mining Company.
Colonization -- Texas -- History.
Industries -- Texas -- History.
Military planning -- Texas -- History.
Mercer Colony (Tex.) -- History -- Sources.
Robertson Colony -- History -- Sources.
Texas -- History -- Sources.

Related Material

Texas Rangers Papers, 1835-1940

Separated Material

Some material has been separated to the Newspaper Collection.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Eleazer Louis Ripley Wheelock Papers, 1814-1935, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.

Detailed Description of the Papers



2H359 David Wheelock papers, 1854-1879
Letters and documents, 1838-1846
2H360 Letters and documents, 1838-1846
2H361 Letters and documents, 1838-1846
Undated and miscellaneous material