While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


William E. Bard

FLEESON, ISAAC NEVILLE (1815–1848). Isaac Neville Fleeson, journalist, was born in 1815 at Woodville, Mississippi, and learned the printer's trade at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He worked on various newspapers until April 1842, when he joined Capt. Jack R. Everett's Company B of the Mobile Greys for six months' service on the Texas frontier. Fleeson was elected second corporal of the company, and his brother W. B. was elected fourth corporal. Fleeson was discharged on October 2, 1842.

From January 1 until April 2, 1846, he was associated with the Corpus Christi Gazette, a newspaper founded by Samuel Bangs to promote the interests of the United States army in the area. When Maj. Gen. Zachary Taylor moved his troops into Mexico after the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, Fleeson accompanied the army to Matamoros, where, on June 1, 1846, in partnership with Hugh McLeod and William G. Dryden, he began publication of the Republic of the Rio Grande, a semiweekly bilingual newspaper that strongly advocated the separation of the states of northern Mexico from the mother country. The paper's outspoken editorial policy led to its demise, and when McLeod and then Dryden dropped out of the project, Fleeson reorganized the paper as the American Flag. John H. Peoples and later John R. Palmer, printers who had come to Mexico with a Louisiana infantry company that mustered out at Matamoros, became his partners. The Flag, one of the longest running and most important of the war papers, continued under Fleeson and Palmer until the end of the Mexican War.

Fleeson died of tuberculosis on July 26, 1848, and was buried at Fort Brown. The Flag was removed to Brownsville on October 9, 1848, and in 1849 was purchased by Edwin B. Scarborough, who ran it for ten years. In 1850 Scarborough incurred much official displeasure when he used the Flag to advocate a separate territorial government for the so-called "Nueces Strip" between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande. See also REPUBLIC OF THE RIO GRANDE.


Frederick Charles Chabot, Texas Expeditions of 1842 (San Antonio: Artes Gráficas, 1942). Joseph Milton Nance, Attack and Counterattack: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1842 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964). Marilyn M. Sibley, Lone Stars and State Gazettes: Texas Newspapers before the Civil War (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983). Justin H. Smith, "La República de Río Grande," American Historical Review 25 (July 1920). Lota M. Spell, "Anglo-Saxon Press in Mexico, 1846–1848," American Historical Review 38 (October 1932).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, William E. Bard, "FLEESON, ISAAC NEVILLE," accessed July 11, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffl07.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on October 3, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...