rhe Military ad Diplomatic
services of Akra'leder Ce Graid for
the Republic of raeas, 1836-1837
F the minor characters who in unbroken procession have
streamed across the stage of Texas history none, perhaps,
is more enigmatic than Alexander Le Grand.1 Friend
and confidant of Albert Pike, Joel R. Poinsett, and David G.
Burnet, this frontier adventurer was not a stranger to the Texas-
Mexican scene when he proffered his services to the young re-
public in the summer of 1836. Born in Maryland2 of well-to-do
parents of French descent about 18oo, he grew to manhood in
that state. In the words of a contemporary:
... Alexander's education was such as ample means could give, and
one of the most gifted intellects in America could receive. His per-
sonal appearance was so striking, that when walking the streets of
his native city at the promenading hour, all the romantic young
ladies would pause to mark this embodiment of their beau ideal of
In the smallness of his hands and feet, the brilliancy of his eye,
and the elegance and ease of his address, he was the peer of the
renowned Aaron Burr. He made the law his profession, and gradu-
ated with great distinction, bidding fair with his remarkable powers
of eloquence, and his superior abilities, to become one of the foremost
men of the country.3
iThe name is variously spelled as Legrand, Legrande, LeGrand, and Le Grande.
His characteristic signature was A. Le Grand, occasionally varied to Alex. Le Grand.
2He may have been born in Baltimore. On November 15, 1826, at the time U. S.
Minister Joel R. Poinsett was issuing a passport for his departure from Mexico
City, Le Grand indicated he had been born in Maryland. Diplomatic Despatches,
Mexico, Vol. 3, May 7, 1827-April 23, 1828, Dept. of State Records Section, National
8William Waldo, "Recollections of a Septuagenarian," Glimpses of the Past
(Missouri Historical Society), V, Nos. 4-6, p. 88. Waldo probably received his infor-
mation about Le Grand from Albert Pike who spent the winter of 1831 or 1832
as Le Grand's companion in Santa Fe. See ibid., go-91. Other, more romantic,
accounts of Le Grand's origin are summarized in Rupert N. Richardson, The
Comanche Barrier to South Plains Settlement (Glendale, 1933), 93, n. 170.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/. Accessed May 20, 2013.