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 »

TERRELL, GEORGE WHITFIELD

Melvin B. Jaschke

TERRELL, GEORGE WHITFIELD (1803–1846). George Whitfield Terrell, early settler, jurist, and diplomat, was born in Nelson County, Kentucky, in 1803, the son of Col. James Terrell. As a youth he moved to Tennessee, where he was admitted to the bar in 1827 and in 1828 was appointed district attorney by Sam Houston, then governor of Tennessee. Terrell was Houston's attorney general when Houston resigned the governorship. He served in the Tennessee legislature from 1829 to 1836 and moved to Mississippi, where he met financial reverses that caused him to move to Texas in 1837. Mirabeau B. Lamar appointed him district attorney of San Augustine County in 1840; he later served as district judge. Terrell was secretary of state of the Republic of Texas under David G. Burnet for a short time in 1841 and in December 1841 was made attorney general of the republic by Sam Houston. From 1842 to 1844 Terrell was Indian commissioner and as such negotiated the Indian treaty at Bird's Fort on September 29, 1843. He was appointed chargé d'affaires to France, Great Britain, and Spain in December 1844 and continued in that capacity under President Anson Jones. Upon his return to Texas in 1845, Terrell was again made Indian commissioner. He was known as an opponent of annexation. He died on May 13, 1846.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Shelby S. Cox, The Supreme Court of the Republic of Texas (Dallas, n.d.). Texas Democrat, May 20, 1846. Telegraph and Texas Register, June 3, 1846. Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).

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.

Citation

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Melvin B. Jaschke, "TERRELL, GEORGE WHITFIELD," accessed August 08, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fte22.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. 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...