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Dallas, Alexander - History

Dallas, Alexander - History

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Cushing, William (1732-1810) Associate Justice of the Supreme Court: William Cushing was born on March 1, 1732, in Scituate, Massachusetts, the son and grandson of superior court judges.. After graduating from Harvard in 1751 and studying law, Cushing became attorney-general of Massachusetts and was appointed judge of probate of Lincoln County, Maine in 1768. In 1772, Cushing was appointed judge of the Massachusetts Superior Court, and chief justice of the same court in 1777. During the Revolutionary War, he served as a patriot officer. In 1780, he was made the first chief justice of Massachusetts under the state constitution. The same year, he was one of the founders of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1786, President Washington nominated Judge Cushing to be Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, but Cushing declined. At the 1788 Massachusetts convention to ratify the US Constitution, Cushing was vice-president. The next year, he accepted an appointment as an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court. On September 13, 1810, Cushing died, in Scituate, Massachusetts, the town of his birth.

We invite you you to experience the nostalgic setting
of a turn-of-the-century home for:

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This elegant historical mansion is located one mile east of the Dallas Arts District. Available to rent for any occasion, the Alexander Mansion can be your home for entertaining.

For weddings, anniversary celebrations, holiday entertaining, or corporate parties, this historic landmark transports your guests to the elegance of the early 20th century.

The Formal Dining Room is the perfect location for a buffet lunch, board meeting, or seated formal dinner.

Call our office at 214.823.4533 or email us at [email protected] for more information and to check the availability of your desired date and time.

About the Alexander Mansion

Originally built in 1904, for the C.H. Alexander family, this dignified home is an exceptionally well-proportioned design of English inspired architecture with neo-classic influence. Acquired in 1930 by the Dallas Woman’s Forum, it was restored and redecorated in 1967. The front columns are constructed of Vermont granite and reach two stories high. The columns support the portal roof while surrounding the roof is a simple entablature. Wide steps lead up to the porch with built-in seats flanking each side. The huge double doors of patterned beveled glass are impressively beautiful.

Dallas cruised on the east coast, participating in exercises and maneuvers from her base at Charleston, SC. She arrived at Philadelphia 12 April 1922 and was placed out of commission there 26 June. Recommissioned 14 April 1925 Dallas served with various destroyer squadrons, acting as flagship for Squadrons 9, 7, and 1. Until 1931 she cruised on the East Coast and the Caribbean, engaging in gunnery exercises, battle torpedo practice, fleet maneuvers and problems participating in joint Army-Navy exercises, training members of the Naval Reserve and serving as experimental ship at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island.

On 9 January 1932 Dallas sailed from Charleston, SC, for the West Coast, arriving at San Diego, 21 March. She operated along the west coast and in the Hawaiian Islands, conducting force practice and tactical exercises and participating in combined fleet exercises.

Dallas sailed from San Diego 9 April 1934 for the Presidential Review of the Fleet in June 1934 at New York City, and tactical exercises on the east coast and in the Caribbean. Returning to San Diego 9 November, Dallas continued to operate in the Pacific until 1938, cruising to Hawaii and Alaska.

Dallas operated in the Canal Zone area between May and November 1938, visiting ports of the Republic of Panama rendering service to Submarine Squadron 3 and making a good-will call at Buenaventura, Colombia. On 17 November she weighed anchor for the east coast arriving at Philadelphia 6 days later. She was again placed out of commission 23 March 1939.

With the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Dallas was recommissioned 26 September 1939 and assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, serving as flagship for Destroyer Squadron 41 and, during World War II, Squadron 30. She patrolled the Atlantic coast and conducted training exercises until 7 July 1941 when she got underway for Argentia, Newfoundland, arriving 4 days later. Between 11 July 1941 and 10 March 1942 she patrolled between Argentia and Halifax and escorted convoys to Reykjavik, Iceland, and Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

From 1 April 1942 to 3 October, Dallas escorted coastal shipping from New York and Norfolk to Florida, Texas, Cuba, Bermuda, and ports in the Caribbean. On 25 October she cleared Norfolk to rendezvous with TF 34 bound for the invasion landings on North Africa. Dallas was to carry a US Army Raider battalion, and land them up the narrow, shallow, obstructed river to take a strategic airport near Port Lyautey, French Morocco. On 10 November she began her run up the Oued Sebou under the masterful guidance of René Malavergne, a civilian pilot who was to be the first foreign civilian to receive the Navy Cross. Under fire by cannon and small arms during the entire run, she plowed her way through mud and shallow water, narrowly missing the many sunken ships and other obstructions, and sliced through a cable crossing the river, to land her troops safely just off the airport. Her brilliant success in completing this mission with its many unexpected complications won her the Presidential Unit Citation. On 16 November she departed the African coast for Boston, arriving 26 November.

Dallas had convoy duty between Norfolk, New York and New London, making one voyage to Gibraltar from 3 March to 14 April 1943, until 9 May when she departed Norfolk for Oran, Algeria, arriving 23 May. She patrolled off the North African coast, then on 9 July joined TF 81 for screening duty during the invasion of Scoglitti, Sicily, from 10 to 12 July. She returned to convoy and patrol duties until 7 September when she joined the escort for a convoy bound for the invasion of the Italian mainland. Dallas screened the transport group during the landings at Salerno 9 September, and joined a south-bound convoy 2 days later, rescuing two downed British airmen on her way to Oran. She escorted reinforcements to Salerno, then served on escort and patrol in the Mediterranean until 11 December when she got underway for the east coast, arriving, at Philadelphia on Christmas Eve.

Following a thorough overhaul at Charleston, SC, Dallas escorted two convoys to North Africa between 23 February and 9 June 1944. On the second voyage the escorts came under attack by enemy torpedo planes on 11 May but successfully defended the convoy Dallas accounted for at least one plane, and damaging others. She served on the east coast on various training and convoy assignments until 7 June 1945 when she reported to Philadelphia. Her name was changed to Alexander Dallas 31 March to avoid confusion with the cruiser Dallas then under construction. Alexander Dallas was decommissioned 28 July 1946 and sold for scrap 30 November 1946.

Past & Present: The Alexander Mansion

Their stately mansion was built in 1904 for a cost of $125,000, which would be well over $3 million in today’s dollars.

Designed by Sanguinett & Staats of Fort Worth, the mansion featured seven fireplaces, oak and mahogany wood paneling throughout and a unique Tiffany-inspired stained-glass window depicting a grapevine motif. The front columns were crafted from marble in Italy and shipped to Dallas, but required a specially built carriage to carry them, complete with a team of 20 horses to pull each pillar.

Alexander was a self-made man, unknown to the Dallas business community before he pulled off one of the largest deals ever made with the city. He sold 27 miles of track and equipment to launch the Dallas Consolidated Electric Street Railway, which brought streetcars to the city at the turn of the century and earned him a $500,000 paycheck, according to Electrical World (vol. 31), a series about the history of electrical engineering.

It was somewhat ironic that he made his fortune in electrical transportation before the city had an established power company. When he built his mansion, a generator was included in the design to power the property.

In 1930 the Dallas Woman’s Forum took over the home as its headquarters and has been tending the mansion ever since. Currently, the forum is fundraising to bring in the $200,000 needed to properly fix the roof, which is littered with leaks that threaten the historic home’s stability. — Emily Charrier

Controversial ‘Defund Police’ Activist’s History with Dallas City Hall

Despite protests for action, Dominique Alexander has already had a seat at the table of city hall politics.

A controversial leftist activist involved in this year’s protests-turned-riots in Dallas also supports the move to raid $7 million from the police overtime budget. For years, he has had a seat at the table of Dallas city politics, including the hiring of Police Chief Renee Hall.

Dominique Alexander is the leader of the Next Generation Action Network, founded six years ago with the mission to “lobby for social change and equality for all regardless of race, religion, gender, sex, or age.” NGAN is also a member of the leftist Dallas Police Oversight Coalition, which pushed last year for more power and funding for the city’s ineffective Citizen’s Police Review Board.

While the far left has been pushing for city council to raid $200 million from the Dallas police department (to spend on other government projects, not give back to the taxpayers), the city council is currently heading toward a much smaller raid of $7 million from the police overtime budget, instead. This $7 million raid was proposed by Councilmember Adam Bazaldua, and Alexander publicly praised him for it.

“The anger that pervades Dominique is a sickness,” said Jeff Hood, a Dallas pastor and partner with Alexander, after an accuser filed charges with the police last year. “It has to be addressed and dealt with.” Hood argued Alexander should be given an opportunity to be rehabilitated.

In July 2016, after five Dallas police officers were ambushed and killed at the end of a “Black Lives Matter” rally Alexander organized, he refused when then-Chief of Police David Brown asked him to stop demonstrations out of respect for the fallen officers.

“I think the problem here is the Chief of Police [Renee Hall] gave him credibility,” Mata told Texas Scorecard. “Other organizations within city leadership gave him credibility without actually seeing … is he doing something positive? And is he an individual that will keep his word? … We have found out time and time again: he is not an individual that you can trust.”

Texas Scorecard sent inquiries to every member of Dallas City Council regarding the nature of their relationship with Alexander and what each of them discussed with him in regards to the city budget and police department since Floyd’s death.

“I have had no communication with Mr. Alexander in several years,” Councilmember Jennifer Gates wrote. “I have had no discussions with him regarding this budget, the police department, or the tragic death of Mr. Floyd.”

Councilmembers Cara Mendelsohn and Chad West both said they have never spoken with Alexander.

No other member of council has replied. An open records request sent to city hall resulted in no records found of communications between Bazaldua and Alexander.

“He is not an individual that when he gives his word, he sticks to his word,” Mata said. “He doesn’t care about endangering the public nor police officers. There’s a reason why Chief Brown never gave him the time of day.”

The city council is scheduled to adopt the budget and tax rate on September 23. Concerned voters may contact the Dallas City Council and Mayor Johnson.

John Neely Bryan, looking for a good trading post to serve Native Americans and settlers, first surveyed the Dallas area in 1839. [1] Bryan, who shared Sam Houston's insight into the wisdom of Native American customs, must have realized that Caddo trails he came across intersected at one of the few natural fords for hundreds of kilometers along the wide Trinity floodplain. At what became known as "Bryan's Bluff", the river, which was an impassable barrier of mud and water between late fall and early spring, narrowed like an hourglass where it crossed a ridge of Austin chalk, providing a hard rock ford that became the natural north–south route between Republic of Texas settlements and those of the expanding United States. [2] Bryan also knew that the planned Preston Trail was to run near the ford — the north–south route and the ford at Bryan's Bluff became more important when the United States annexed Texas in 1845.

After Bryan surveyed the area, he returned home to Arkansas. While there, a treaty was signed removing all Native Americans from Northern Texas. When he returned in November 1841, half of his customers, the Native Americans, were gone. He decided that instead of creating a trading post, he would create a permanent settlement, which he founded the same month. About 22 miles (35 km) to the northwest of his settlement was a community called Bird's Fort — Bryan invited the settlers there to live in Dallas at his proposed city. John Beeman arrived in April 1842 and he planted the first corn. Other families soon followed suit, including members of the Peter's Colony settlement nearby. [1]

John Neely Bryan was originally almost everything to Dallas: He was the postmaster, a storeowner, a ferry operator (he operated a ferry where Commerce Street crosses the Trinity River today), and his home served as the courthouse. In 1843, the first doctor arrived in Dallas in 1845, the first lawyer made his home there. In 1845, the first election was held in Dallas over Texas' annexation into the United States. Of the 32 citizens eligible to vote, 29 voted for annexation and 3 voted against it. [1]

In 1844, John Neely Bryan convinced J. P. Dumas to survey and lay out a 0.5 square mile (1.3 km 2 ) section of blocks and streets near what later became downtown Dallas. [1] The establishment was named Dallas, and though it has been largely assumed that it was named after George Mifflin Dallas, who became vice president the following March, there are problems with this theory. George M. Dallas lived in Philadelphia and never traveled very far west of the city, and Bryan had never traveled very far east of Memphis. It is doubtful that the two ever met, and there are at least seven other candidates:

  • Named after George M. Dallas's brother Alexander James Dallas, a U.S. Navy commodore who was stationed in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Named after George's and Alexander's father, Alexander James Dallas, who was the United States Secretary of the Treasury around the end of the War of 1812
  • Named in a town-naming contest in 1842
  • Named after a friend of founder John Neely Bryan. His son later stated that Bryan claimed to have named the town "after my friend Dallas" (a person whose identity is not certain). John Neely Bryan later died in a psychiatric ward, so his "friend" may not have been a real person.
  • Named after Joseph Dallas, who settled near Dallas in 1843 [2]
  • Named after "Dallas", the modern version of the Scottish Gaelic word "Dalais" which means 'valley of water'
  • Named after the Scottish village of Dallas, in Moray, after which a number of places worldwide are named.

Dallas County was established in 1846 and the city of Dallas was set as the temporary county seat. In 1850, Dallas became the permanent seat over Cedar Springs and Hord's Ridge (Oak Cliff), both of which now lie within the city's limits.


Alexander Harwood, born in Franklin, Tennessee in 1820, came to Dallas County twenty-four years later and lived until July 31, 1885. He died on the same day that General Grant ended his long bout with cancer, an event that crowded almost all other news off the pages of the local press, including the demise of Alexander Harwood. But Harwood left an indelible mark on the life of Dallas and on the mem­ory of its people during the forty-one years of his residence in the city and county. A major street extending from deep South Dallas across the business district and north to Ross and McKinney avenues had long borne his name.

Harwood Marker at Pioneer Cemetery

He accompanied his parents, Alexander Maury and Nancy G. (Barksdale) Harwood, as members of the Peters Colony. They settled first some fifteen miles southeast of the town of Dallas at what soon became known as Harwood Springs. This today is the town of Kleberg on the Southern Pacific line between Dallas, Kaufman, Athens, Jacksonville, and Beaumont. The parents had another son, Nathaniel B., who brought his wife and family with him to Dallas County. They had one son, William Alexander, who later moved to Dimmitt County, Texas.

Harwood served Dallas in a variety of ways, but none more effi­ciently than as clerk of the county court of Dallas County, to which office he was elected in 1850 and reelected for each succeeding two ­year term through 1854. In 1873 He was elected for two years as clerk of both the county and district courts of Dallas County. Under the new state constitution of 1876 he was reelected in 1878, and again by a tremendous majority in 1880, making in all twelve years for which the people placed him in that responsible position. In 1866 when the people were called upon to elect delegates to a constitutional convention under the reconstruction proclamation issued by President Johnson, Harwood was elected from Dallas County. On the proposal in 1845 to annex Texas to the United States, the vote in Dallas County was twenty-nine in favor and three opposed. Harwood, along with Roderick A. Rawlins and John C. McCoy, the latter the founder of the Dallas Bar, cast the three negative votes. All three at the time were following the political stand taken by Henry Clay of Kentucky, founder of the Whig party, which was unalterably opposed to the admission of Texas into the Union.

When the Civil War drew near, Harwood recalled his vote against annexation and announced his support of secession. Upon the forma­tion of the Confederate government, Judge John H. Reagan, an old friend, called Harwood from the plow handles in Texas to assist in organizing the postal branch of the new government, first at Mont­gomery, then at Richmond. On March 1, 1862, Harwood returned to Texas and entered the military service as a captain in the 19th Texas Cavalry, serving until the end of the war.

Harwood’s first marriage was to Belle Daniels, elder sister of Capt. L. Smith’s wife and a sister of Mrs. Frank Daniels, who lived on a farm in the north part of Dallas County between the city and the farm place of W. Caruth and his brother. After his first wife’s death Harwood married Sarah Peak, daughter of Capt. Jefferson Peak, who had recently moved to Dallas from Warsaw, Kentucky, and had been a captain in Col. Humphrey Marshall’s regiment of Kentucky cavalry in the battle of Buena Vista during the Mexican War. Captain and his wife had two children: Ripley B. Harwood, later a stock raiser in Stephens County, Texas, and Juliet A. Harwood, later the wife of Prof. James J. Collins of Austin.

Harwood spent most of his first winter of 1845-46 in Texas making a thorough exploration of every principal branch or tributary of the Trinity River he was an indomitable advocate of making the river navigable from Dallas to the Gulf. He was a moving spirit in the organization of the Dallas County Pioneers Association and signed the organization resolution dated July 13, 1875.

U.S. Department of the Treasury

When Alexander Dallas (1759 - 1817) was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by President Madison in 1814, he was faced with a bankrupt Treasury depleted by the War of 1812 and with an unstable currency situation caused by the proliferation of commercial banks and their worthless bank notes not backed by specie. In a report to Congress in 1814, Dallas advocated permanent annual revenue to be raised by internal taxes, in addition to the external revenue already derived from Customs duties. He also advised the creation of the Second Bank of the United States to supply financial resources to an embarrassed Treasury and regulate bank note circulation.

Sec. Alexander J. Dallas
Freeman Thorp
Oil on canvas
63 x 53 1/2 x 5 1/16"

The revenue measures elaborated in this report mark the beginning of a conflict between advocates of internal revenue and those of solely external revenue. This conflict continued until the imposition of the income tax in 1913. Excise taxes, established in 1813 as a temporary wartime measure, continued to be collected until 1817. In addition, Congress enacted a high external tariff in 1816 to help pay the war debt. Dallas succeeded in his efforts to establish the Second Bank of the United States, which was chartered by Congress in 1816. He retired that year after the new Bank had been organized.

Military Beginnings to a Distinguished Career

Bache entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point at 15 and graduated first in the class of 1825 without receiving a single demerit. He taught mechanical engineering at West Point following graduation and then served as an engineer during construction on Fort Adams at Newport, Rhode Island. During his Army years, Bache made many lifelong friends including Colonel Joseph Totten, who later became head of the Corps of Engineers, and Jefferson Davis, who served in many high political offices prior to becoming President of the Confederacy.

Bache, Alexander Dallas

Bache was a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin and related to leading families of of Philadelphia, facts not insignificant in his future career. After graduating from West Point at the head of his class in 1825, he served for two years in the Corps of Engineers before accepting a professorship of natural philosophy and chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, a position he held until his resignation in 1836 to organize Girard College. Upon returning from a two-year sojourn in Europe (1836–1838), where he studied primary and secondary education, Bache wrote a report on his findings for Girard College that exerted considerable influence on the development of education in the United States, by proposing adoption, in American high schools, of features from the German Gymnasium and the French lycée (1839). He put his views into practice by organizing Central High School of Philadelphia. In 1842 Bache returned to the University of Pennsylvania, but left for Washington at the end of 1843 to succeed F.R. Hassler as head of the Coast Survey, a position he held for the rest of his life.

In Philadelphia, Bache’s scientific career followed many of the conventional paths for that period. He dabbled in chemical analysis and experimented on the effects of color on the radiation and absorption of heat. Like many of his contemporaries, he tried his hand at electromagnetism and astronomy, but with no particular success, his dispute with Denison Olmsted on meteoric showers being a notably poor showing. He was, however, outstanding in assuming leading roles in the affairs of both the American Philosophical Society and the Franklin Institute.

At the latter he directed a significant investigation of the explosion of steam boilers for the federal government (Journal of the Franklin Institute, 17 , 1836). Not only was this notable for experimental virtuosity it was also one of the first deliberate uses of science by the government for the solution of a practical problem. It also established a pattern for Bache’s subsequent career and a precedent for the later development of federal policy toward science and technology.

Increasingly during the Philadelphia period, Bache became involved in studies of the physics of the earth, particularly terrestrial magnetism and meteorology, After returning from Europe, where he had made observations of declination and inclination for comparison with American readings, he attempted to establish an American system that would fit into Sir Edward Sabine’s world network of magnetic observatories. All that resulted, however, was an observatory at Girard College, the first of its kind in the United States. Perhaps the most interesting work in this vein was Bache’s unsuccessful attempt with Humphrey Lloyd to determine longitude by simultaneous magnetic observations (Proceedings, Royal Irish Academy, I, 1839)

When Bache assumed direction of the Coast Survey, it was a small, insecurely established body with high scientific standards. In less than two decades it became entrenched, the largest employer of physical scientists in the United States, and active in many scientific fields. First-order triangulation was expanded along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts. Under Bache’s direction, Sears Walker and W.C. Bond developed the use of telegraphy in the determination of longitude. Bache and the Survey supported astronomical research, including study of the solar eclipses of 26 May 1854 and 18 July 1860. Survey vessels amassed the most extensive series of observations of the Gulf Stream up to that time. Continuing and broadening Hassler’s tidal observations, Bache became embroiled in a dispute with Whewell in 1851, when the Survey’s findings deviated from the latter’s theory. Using deflections on tide staffs on the Pacific Coast, Bache studied waves from an earthquake in Japan (American Journal of Science, 21 , 1855), work that foreshadowed the Survey’s later work in seismology. Bache also succeeded Hassler as head of the Office of Weights and Measures, the predecessor of the National Bureau of Standards. During all this time, while he was successfully administering a large research program, Bache was able to spend several months in the field with a survey party and to continue doing his own investigations.

Bache is clearly one of the founders of the scientific community in the United States. His administration of the Coast Survey established a model for largescale scientific organization that was followed either implicitly or explicitly by later groups. Bache and his close friend Joseph Henry established many of the patterns of interaction of science and the federal government. Perhaps most significant of all was the way pure science, in Bache’s scheme of things, became the necessary antecedent and companion of applied science, rather than purely a philosophical endeavor. Around him gathered a small, changing group of followers, the Lazzaroni, or scientific beggars. Bache clearly had their admiration, but what they specifically wanted is hazy in many respects. The group included nonscientists some of the scientists, such as Dana and Henry, alter split with Bache. The Lazzaroni wanted to form a true professional scientific community to reform higher education so that more young people would be interested in science, and to find administrative means of increasing governmental support of science. It was Bache’s misfortune that his warm admirers in Cambridge-including Louis Agassiz, B.A. Gould, and Benjamin Peirce-lacked his diplomatic talents, thus embroiling the Lazzaroni “program” in irrelevant personal squabbles.

The culmination of Bache’s influence and of the outlook he represented came during the Civil War. Because of his knowledge of the coasts, in 1861 he served with the informal Commission on Conference planning the naval campaign against the Confederacy. As vice-president of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, Bache became involved in a notable medical and welfare program. A member of the Permanent Commission in 1863–1864, Bache advised the navy on technical matters. Linked to the Permanent Commission was the formation of the National Academy of Sciences in 1863, with Bache as its first president. The Academy was teh concrete culmination of the attitudes he enunciated in his 1851 presidential address to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Bache was incapacited by a stroke early in the summer of 1864. After Bache’s death, Henry kept the Academy alive largely because his friend had left his estate to it. The Bache Fund was a small but important source of support for research in the United States before 1900. The Michelson-Morley experiment, for example, was conducted with its aid.

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