Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History

Lysander Wells Papers

Manuscript Collection: MC017

Collection Summary

Creator: Wells, Lysander, 1812?-1840
Title: Lysander Wells papers
Dates: 1836-1840
(Bulk: 1839-1840)
Abstract: The Lysander Wells Papers consist of letters, legal and financial documents dating from 1836 to 1840, relating to Wells' affairs in Texas.
Identification: MC017
OCLC Record No.: 46953096
Quantity: 1 box (.2 linear feet)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History, La Porte, Texas

Creator Sketch

Lysander Wells was born to Lysander and Clarissa Wells in Middletown, Connecticut circa 1812. His father passed away, leaving the son to support his mother and two sisiters, Adaline Louisa and Adelia Wells. Pursuing opportunities in the West, Wells enlisted as a second lieutenant in Sidney Sherman's company of volunteers December 18, 1835, and proceeded to Texas from Kentucky. During the January 25, 1836, reorganization of the Texas army, Wells was commissioned a major and fought in a position of cavalry command at the Battle of San Jacinto. He was confirmed a lieutenant-colonel by the Texas Senate May 22, 1837. He was made colonel by President Sam Houston in 1838 and received command of the first regiment of cavalry January 30, 1839. In the autumn of 1839, he returned to Connecticut to visit his mother and two sisters, whom he continued to support financially. Wells returned to Texas in January 1840 and resumed command of the First Texas Cavalry. After participating in the Council House fight March 19, 1840, Wells entered into an argument with Captain William D. Redd. The two men fought a duel May 9, 1840. Redd was killed instantly, and Wells died twenty days later.

Scope and Content Note

The Lysander Wells Papers (1836-1840, Bulk: 1839-1840) consist mostly of letters received, but also include a will and probate, a bill of sale in the form of a letter, estimates of the value of his estate and one letter written by Lysander Wells. Correspondence includes letters written by many prominent Texans such as Sidney Sherman, captain of cavalry at Nacogdoches, 1836; William Henry Daingerfield, commissary of purchases of the Army of the Republic of Texas, 1839-1840; John Grant Tod, Commander of the Texas Navy, 1839; Richard G. Dunlap, minister from Texas to the United States, 1839; and John Evans, newspaperman and politician of Galveston, 1839. Letters from Adelia and Adaline Wells report news from Middletown, Connecticut, 1839-1840. Other items of correspondence document Wells' purchase of personal equipment before his return to Texas, 1839. The only document written by Wells is a letter addressed to Deaf Smith in 1837 and returned to Wells because Smith was dead before it could be delivered. Legal documents include the 1840 will and probate of Col. Lysander Wells, surveys of his estate at the time of death and results of the estate auction, including purchasers and prices of his belongings. Many letters include typescript copies which are arranged next to the originals.


Organized into three series; arrangement is alphabetical and chronological.


Restrictions on Access


Terms Governing Use

Open for research by appointment.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the San Jacinto Museum of History. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Jacinto Museum of History as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Index Terms

Daingerfield, William Henry, 1808-1878
Dunlap, Richard G., d. 1841
Evans, John S., d. 1841
Smith, Erastus, 1787-1837
Tod, John Grant, 1808-1877
Wells, Adaline, fl. 1839-1840
Wells, Adelia, fl. 1839-1840
Wells, Lysander, 1812?-1840
Texas. Army
Galveston (Tex.)--Politics and government
Middletown (Conn.)
Texas--History--Republic, 1836-1846

Other Archival Resources

At the time of accession the Lysander Wells papers included a land grant that documents the 1852 transfer of land from San Jacinto veteran Antonio Menchaca to John James. This document, 5380c.55, is now located in the San Jacinto Museum of History Manuscript Collection, MC009. A blue loose leaf binder that contains concise summaries of various items within the Lysander Wells papers is included in the holding record of the collection.

Administrative Information


[Identification of Item], Lysander Wells Papers, MC017, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.


George A. Hill, Jr., 1939.

Processing Information

Processed by Todd Michael Gilliom, 2001.


"Wells, Lysander." The Handbook of Texas Online

Dixon, Sam Houston and Louis Wiltz Kemp. The Heroes of San Jacinto. Houston: Anson Jones Press, 1932.



box folder
23 1 Thomas H. A. S. Addicks 1839
2 N. P. Ames 1839
3 William Henry Daingerfield 1839-1840
4 Richard G. Dunlap 1839
5 Ralph Hubbard 1838-1839
6 Leonard Clay Southmayd 1839-1840
7 J. G. Tod 1839
8 Henry S. Ward 1838
9 Adaline Louisa Wells 1839-1840
10 Adelia Wells 1839-1840
11 General 1836-1839
12 Letter Fragments undated: 1836-1840


box folder
23 13 General 1840


box folder
23 14 Documents within Collection 1836-1837