Randolph B. Campbell

VAN NESS, GEORGE F. X. (1822–1855). George F. X. Van Ness, lawyer and member of the Texan Santa Fe expedition, son of Cornelius P. and Rhoda (Savage) Van Ness, was born in Virginia in 1822. In 1838 he joined his brother Cornelius Van Ness at San Antonio, Texas, where he practiced law. In 1841 he was appointed by President Mirabeau B. Lamar as a member of the commission to represent the Texas government on the Texan Santa Fe expedition. He was captured on the expedition and held in Perote Prison until February 3, 1842. He was back in San Antonio at the time of the Adrián Woll expedition on September 11, 1842, and was again captured by the Mexicans. Van Ness was in prison in Saltillo on January 30, 1843, when Thomas Jefferson Green and other prisoners of the Mier expedition arrived there. He was ordered released in November 1843, but was not finally liberated until April 1844. In 1849 he was a notary public in Bexar County, and in 1851 he was postmaster at Fort Duncan. At some point, he married Marie Isabel Leal and fathered one son, Antonio. He died at Eagle Pass, Texas, in 1855.


Ford Dixon, "Cayton Erhard's Reminiscences of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition, 1841," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 66 (April 1963). Thomas Falconer, Letters and Notes on the Texan Santa Fe Expedition, 1841-1842 (New York: Dauber & Pine Bookshops, 1930). Thomas J. Green, Journal of the Texian Expedition Against Mier (New York: Harper, 1845; rpt., Austin: Steck, 1935). George Wilkins Kendall, Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition (2 vols., New York: Harper, 1844; rpts. Austin: Steck, 1935; n.p.: Readex, 1966). Noel M. Loomis, The Texan-Santa Fé Pioneers (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1958). Joseph Milton Nance, trans. and ed., "Brigadier General Adrian Woll's Report of His Expedition into Texas in 1842," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 58 (April 1955). Texas State Gazette, August 25, 1849; March 15, 1851.1841," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 66 (April 1963). 

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:

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, Randolph B. Campbell, "VAN NESS, GEORGE F. X.," accessed February 21, 2020,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on October 29, 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...