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Descendents of James H Pierce NH.
William Greenbury Russell 
Gold miner extroidaire and Founder of Cherry Creek and Golden
gold mines. Founder of Denver Colorado
Son of Elizabeth Pierce 

William Green Russell 1818-1887. Carte De Visite or card of the visit. This rare photograph was captured by Reed & McKenney photographers in Central City, Colorado Territory, produced between 1862-1870.

William Green Russell Brothers Carte De Visite Central City Colorado Reed & McKenney Photographer



In 1848, a group of Cherokee on their way to California over the Cherokee Trail discovered gold in a stream bed in the South Platte basin. The Cherokee did not stop to work the stream beds, but they reported the information to other members of their tribe upon returning to Oklahoma. The information remained unused for the following decade, however, until it reached William Green Russell, a Georgian who had worked the California gold fields in the 1850s. Russell was married to a Cherokee woman, and through his connections to the tribe, he heard about the reported gold in the Pikes Peak region of the western Kansas Territory. In 1858, upon returning from California, Russel organized a party to the area, setting off with his two brothers and six companions in February 1858. They rendezvoused with Cherokee tribe members along the Arkansas River in present-day Oklahoma and continued westward along the Santa Fe Trail. Others joined the party along the way until the number reached 104.Upon reaching Bent's Fort, they turned to the northwest, reaching the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platton May 23. The site of their initial explorations is in present-day Confluence Park in Denver. They began prospecting in the river beds, exploring Cherry Creek and nearby Ralston Creek, but without success. After twenty days, a number of them decided to return home, leaving the Russell brothers and ten other men behind. In the first week of July 1858, they finally discovered "good diggings" at the mouth of Little Dry Creek on the South Platte, panning out several hundred dollars of gold dust from a small pocket, the first significant gold discovery in the region. The site of the discovery is in the present-day Denver suburb of Englewood, just northwest of the junction of U.S. Highway 285 and U.S. Highway 85.
When word got back east, the Colorado Gold Rush was on; Pikes Peak or Bust! was the slogan. By 1859, large numbers of prospective miners and settlers had come up the Kansas River valley to the Denver area. At first, there was only the slight showing in Cherry Creek and the South Platte River, but soon paying quantities of gold were discovered at Idaho Springs and Central City. By 1860, Central City had a population of 60,000 people and Denver and Golden were substantial towns serving the mines.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_Gold_Rush"

Green Russell and Gold
by Elma Dill Russell Spencer
University of Texas Press
Austin [TX] and London

[page 5]

. . . The Russell family was not native to Georgia. They came from South Carolina in 1822, when Green was only two years old and his sister, Martha Anne, but three. His father, James, was of British descent, that on Anthony Russell, who came to America during Revolutionary times. in the family it was said that Anthony came as a surgeon in the British Navy, but sympathizing with the American cause, took        [page 6]       
up residence on the eastern seaboard. About the time James was old enough to start out for himself, gold was discovered in North Carolina. A nugget weighing seventeen pounds was found in Cabarrus County in 1799 on the Reed plantation, the first gold discovered anywhere in the United States. Four years later another chunk weighing twenty eight pounds was picked up in the same location. Production soon spread to other areas but was heaviest in Burke and Rutherford Counties. The gold ore was transported with difficulty to the Philadelphia mint, and with the arrival of gold went rumors of its discovery.

James Russell, young and adventuresome, followed the wake of the rumors. Leaving Pennsylvania, he went south and west into the unsettled foothills. Travel was difficult and slow, and James looked for gold in the rugged country as he went along. He did not discover any new outcroppings, but he did gain experience in the proven fields.Then with a true prospector's zeal and ever hopeful he pushed on farther and farther, never content until the next ravine was crossed, the next hillside reached. Gold traceable in the western range of North Carolina lured him across the state, and finally into Pickens District, South Carolina.

Trouble was again brewing with the British, and when war brokeout James enlisted in the South Carolina militia at Abbeville. This was in 1813. Five years later, in December 1818, he married Elizabeth Pierce, of a Virginia and South Carolina family. The ceremony was simple,performed by Justice of the Peace Barrett Freeman, in Edgefield District, her brother Reuben and her sister Nancy serving as witnesses. The young Russells then lived in Pickens District a few years,but when Hall County, Georgia, was opened up they moved there with their two small children.This had been Cherokee country until July, 1817, when it was ceded by treaty with the Indians to the state of Georgia. The following year Hall County was created out of it. Few white people inhabited this untamed territory, but by 1821 a small village named Gainesville was incorporated there. It was on a beautiful spot long known to the Indians, where two trails converged, one from the north, the other following the water divide that ran east and west, Numerous clear springs made it a good camping site for the Indians, and after the
[page 7] Cherokees were pushed west of the Chattahoochee it attracted white settlers. Usually people moving to new country looked for good water, limber, and land for crops, and this place seemed promising. Little did the newcomers dream that the hills beyond would yield up rich gold ore-or perhaps James Russell did. Anyway he settled his family northwest of Gainesville in the hills, not far from the Cherokee line. There the Russells' third child, Mary, was born in 1823, a year after they moved into Hall County. Three sons were to follow: John Riley, born in 1826; Joseph Oliver, in 1828, the same fateful year when gold was discovered in the vicinity; and Levi Jasper, in 1831. Elizabeth Russell, liking family names for her children; had called her first son, a very red little baby, Greeneberry-inappropriate as it seemed. Green never liked the name and managed in time to live it down, but to his mother the appellation, William Greenberry Russell, had distinction and meaning. She hoped he would add luster to it.

Background material for "Cherokee Gold" was furnished primarily by E. Merton's Coulter's Auraria, Marion L. Starkey's The Cherokee Nation, and Andrew W. Cain's History of Lumpkin County for the First Hundred Years,
1832-1932. . .

***Try your local library and ask if they can get these books on inter-library loan for you.

from dormans book page 10
dorman thomas arlington texas
do not copy or reproduce this without permission

Generation No. 2
2. ELIZABETH M.2 PIERCE (JAMES H.1) was born 1793 in ,Edgefield Dist., SC, and died 1855 in Savannah Plantation, Lumpkin Co., GA. She married JAMES R. RUSSELL December 1818 in ,Edgefield Dist., SC, son of RICHARD RUSSELL and MARGARET BLACK. He was born Abt. 1790 in PA, and died 1835 in Leathers Ford, Lumpkin Co., GA. Notes for ELIZABETH M. PIERCE:
Elizabeth Pierce married James Russell in Edgefield District, South Carolina. The ceremony wa s performed by Justice of the Peace Barrett Freeman. Witnesses were her sister Nancy and bro ther Reuben. Elizabeth lived with her eldest son, Green, on the 500-acre Sanannah Plantation , Lumpkin Co., GA, which he purchased from Silas Palmour in 1852 with gold extracted from fie lds of California. Upon her death in April, 1855, she was buried in a little hillside cemete ry on the plantation, almost within sight of the house.<2> Elizabeth also had brothers named John, a farmer who had a farm near Gainesville, Hall Count y and Levi, who was  a millright and cabinet maker who lived in Cass County, GA, near Carters ville. She also had a cousin named Rube
Conner. She was thought by her descendants to hav e been descended from Virginia and North Carolina families.<37> Her brother, Reuben Harriso n Pierce, in the 1880 Pope County, AR census, gave the birthplace of his parents as NH and NC . Her brother, Levi, in the 1880 Bartow (formerly Cass) County, GA Census, gave the birthplac e of both his parents as NC. It is believed that John did not survive to 1880.  The 1820 South Carolina Census of Edgefield District enumerated James R. Russel (p.117), wit h 2 males under 10; 1 male 26 to 45; 1 female under 10; and 1 female 16 to 26.<20> If Elizab eth and James married Dec. 1818, it hardly seems possible that they would have had three chil dren by the time the 1820 census was taken. Moreover,
the Elizabeth Russell who attended sch ool in the 575th military district 1828 and 1829 is never discussed as a  member of the Elizab eth and James Russell family unit. It is believed that William Green Russell was born in 1819 and Martha Anne Russell was born in 1820. Who the other male under under the age of ten wa s is unknown. Evidence seems to indicate that he may have been Elizabeth's brother, Reuben H . Pierce, age 12. John would be  13 and Levi 10.
The Russell children attended school in Capt. Dorsey's 575th Militia District. Elizabeth (wh o can't be confirmed as a daughter of Elizabeth and James) was listed in 1828,1829 (twice, on ce at 14), 1830 (14), and 1831. Green was listed in 1825, 1828, 1829 (twice-age 12), 1830 (13 ), 1831 (13), 1832, and 1833 (15). Martha Ann was listed in 1829 (twice-age 10), 1830 (10), 1 831 (11), 1832, and 1833 (13). Mary Ann (Polly)was listed in 1829 (once-age 8),  1830 (8), 183 1 (9), 1832, and 1833 (11).<35> Although some discrepancies exist, this confirms the relative ages of the older children.

The 1830 Georgia Census of Hall County enumerated James Russel (p.99), with 1 male under 5 ; 2 males 5-10; 1 male 10-15; 1 male 40-50; 2 females under 5; 1 female 5-10; 2 females 10-15 ; and 1 female 30-40. Also enumerated were James Russel (p.103), with 2 males under 5; 1mal e 10-15; 1 male 30-40; 2 females 5-10; and 1  female 30-40. The latter is presumed to be th e Elizabeth and James Russell family. Listed in order were John Pierce, John Conner and Jame s Russell.<27>

Burial: Savannah Plantation, Lumpkin Co., GA
James's father, Anthony, came to America from England during the American Revolution. Anthon y is said to have been a surgeon in the British Navy who was sympathetic with the American ca use. He met and married Margaret Black in Charleston, SC, and settled in Pennsylvania. The y had a son, James, and two daughters who lived in North Carolina. One of the daughters, who se name was Eubanks, was said to have moved to Mississippi.  Anthony and Margaret were said t o have lived and died in Virginia.<37> About the time James was old enough to make his own way, gold was discovered in Cabarrus Coun ty, North Carolina and minted at the Philadelphia Mint. James followed the rumors of discove ry while gaining experience in prospecting and mining in proven fields. Gold in traceable am ounts led him into what was to become Pickens County, South Carolina, created in 1825 out of Pendleton District, which was created in 1798 out of the 96 District. One of James' neighbors in the Pickens area in 1794 was John Stowers, with whom he was to become reaccquainted i n 1830 when Stowers again became a neighbor in Hall County, GA.<37a> James' son, Green and J ohn's son, Thomas became life-long friends.
In 1813 after war broke out with the British, he enlisted in the South Carolina Militia at Ab beville, SC. In 1817, the Cherokees were pushed west of the Chatahoochie River and its tribu tary the Chestatee, and Hall County, GA was formed. In 1818, James married Elizabeth Pierce in Edgefield District, SC. The Russell family move d on to the Pickens area before migrating to Hall County. In 1819 and 1820 the first two chi ldren, William Greeneberry and Martha Anne
were born. According to the 1820 Census, however, the James R. Russell family was still living in Edgefield District, SC. In 1822, James moved his young family to the hills northwest of Gainesville, the county seat , on the Chestatee  River,which formed the boundary with the Cherokee. There the remainder o f his children were born. In 1828, gold was discovered on Cherokee lands. Disregarding the r ights of ownership of the Cherokee, miners began arriving and the town of Auraria was founded . Later the town of Dahlonega was established abouut five miles
away, which became the site of a mint. On 3 Dec., 1832, Lumpkin County was formed out of Hall, Habersham and Cherokee Counties. Dahl onega became the County Seat. James taught his children to read and write and to "do sums. " Perhaps more importantly, he
taught his oldest son, Green, the rudiments of surveying, pro specting and mining and, from the age of about 12, Green accompanied him on his mining trips . James died in 1835, leaving Green, at the age of 15, the principal wage-earner of the hous ehold. <2>

FOOTNOTE:37*From typewritten notes found in a Russell Family History folder filed in the Gene alogy room of the Chestatee Regional Library, Gainesville, Hall County, GA, author unknown.
FOOTNOTE:37a*"Dawson County Heritage, 1857-1996," Dawson County Historical and Genealogical S ociety, 1997.

Burial: Leathers Ford, Lumpkin Co., GA
6. i. WILLIAM GREENEBERRY (GREEN)3 RUSSELL, b. 1818, ,Edgefield Co., SC; d. August 24, 1877, Briartown, Haskell Co.,
7. ii. MARTHA ANNE RUSSELL, b. 1820, ,Edgefield Co., SC.
8. iii. MARY ANN (POLLY) RUSSELL, b. 1823, Gainesville, Hall Co., GA.
9. iv. JOHN RILEY RUSSELL, b. December 24, 1825, ,Hall Co., GA; d. September 25, 1899, Goingsnake Dist., Indian Terr.
10. v. JOSEPH OLIVER RUSSELL, b. 1828, Gainesville, Hall Co., GA; d. 1906, ,,TX.
11. vi. DR. LEVI JASPER RUSSELL, b. February 17, 1831, Gainesville, Hall Co., GA; d. March 23, 1906, Temple, Bell Co.,

William Greenberry “Green”3 RUSSELL, (Elizabeth M.2 PIERCE, James H.1) was born in
1818 in Edgefield County, SC, and on 25 May 1845 in Lumpkin County, GA, married Susan
“Sukie” WILLIS, daughter of William Pickens WILLIS and Mary Jane “Polly” DOUGHERTY,
who was born 27 Jan 1827 in Hall County, GA. William Greenberry “Green” died on 24 Aug
1877 in Briartown, Haskell County, OK and was buried in Briartown Cemetery. Susan “Sukie”
died on 7 Jul 1893 in Savannah Plantation, Dawson County, GA and was buried in Savannah
Plantation, Dawson County, GA. Green was in school in the 575th District, Hall
County, GA in 1825 and 1829-1834. Susan may have acquired her nickname from her greatgrandmother who was reported to have been Sookie Daniels, said to have been married to James Dougherty. Sr.1 Green had many friends among the Cherokee. In 1838 when they were dispossessed and sent on the "trail of tears" to Indian Territory, now State of Oklahoma, he was among the young men  serving in the Georgia state militia sent along to guard them. He was listed as a private in Capt.

Dorsey's Company among troops from Hall and Forsyth counties in the Cherokee Removal of
18381. He was described as tall and well built, whose blond hair and blue-eyed good looks were
enhanced by high coloring, and set off by a certain fastidiousness in dress and manner. By the time he was thirty, he had matured and grown a reddish gold beard parted in the middle, usually plaited and tucked into his shirt front.

Late in 1848, when the Georgia miners learned that gold was discovered in California, Green led a
group including his brother, John, some of his wife Susan's family and a number of neighbors
through the Cherokee Nation lands, up the Rocky Mountain front to Laramie and on the California
trail. Green and John returned home in 1850 by way of San Francisco, the Isthmus of Panama and
New Orleans. He again left for California the summer of that year with his two younger brothers,
Oliver and Levi, and several of their neighbors over the same route.
After two successful years, the brothers returned through the Isthmus to Key West, Florida then
overland to Georgia. Each had amassed a sizeable fortune. Green purchased the 500-acre Big
Savannah Plantation near Hightower from Silas Palmour for ten thousand dollars. Green moved
onto the plantation his wife and family; his mother, Elizabeth; brothers Oliver and Levi; and sister,
Due to the shaky financial situation resulting from the Money Panic of 1857, Green, Oliver and two
cousins, R J and James H. Pierce, and Green's friend Sam Bates, set out in the spring of 1857 to
acquire a farm in Kansas Territory. They found suitable land near Westmoreland, Pottawatomie
County, Kansas Territory, which Green purchased from James Darnell, who had homesteaded the
adjoining farm on Rock Creek. The farm had been homesteaded the year before by Greenbury
Hall, but recently sold to Mr Darnell. The Pierce cousins were left in charge for the winter while the others returned to Georgia2 . Meanwhile, Green learned of the discovery of small amounts of gold by Cherokee friends seven years before just as Green had done, and he and John Beck, a half-breed Baptist preacher living in The Nation, agreed to form a party to explore the Rockies. In the spring of 1858, Green, Oliver and Dr. Levi Russell and six other Georgia miners met the Pierce cousins at Green's farm on Rock Creek, then proceeded with others who joined the party to rendezvous with the Cherokee. The  two parties met on June 2 and arrived at Ralston Creek at the eastern front of the Rockies about  the sixteenth. The combined party numbered 104, including thirty Cherokee. Pickings initially were meager and by July 3, most were discouraged, afraid of hostile Indians and left. Thirteen stayed, including the Russell brothers and their Pierce cousins.

Gold in sufficient quantity was found to justify continued prospecting and news of their find was
spread across the country, setting off the "Pike's Peak Gold Rush." Green and Oliver returned to
Georgia in October with about five hundred dollars worth of gold dust to organize new forces and
to purchase supplies. The gold, minted at Dahlonega, was believed to have been the first minted
from Colorado. Levi was left to organize the establishment of winter camp at the mouth of Cherry
Creek at its confluence with the South Platte River. This first settlement was named, "Auraria,"
after the Georgia mining town from whence they came. Soon after, a rival town was established
across Cherry Creek which was named, "Denver," after the territorial governor. Later, in 1860, the two towns were combined under the name, Denver
Green and Oliver started out from Atlanta on March 20, 1859, with a sizeable party, that when
they left Kansas City, numbered 170. In May, before the arrival of Green and Oliver at Auraria, a
rich outcropping of gold-bearing quartz was uncovered by John H. Gregory on Clear Creek.
Another discovery was made by George A. Jackson in January, but not made public until late

Green established prospecting operations about three miles south of the Gregory claim, which
became known as Russell Gulch. Green also organized the Fall River Company to supply water to
the mines. He discovered that another group called the Rocky Mountain Company had the same
idea and claimed water rights. The two merged into the Consolidated Ditch Company, with Green
named as president.

Levi and Sam Bates returned to Georgia by the newly established stage coach on September 27,
with Green and R J Pierce following October 6 by boating down the Platte River. Oliver was left
to see after their holdings over the winter months.
In the spring of 1860, Green, accompanied by Levi and other miners totaling 36 men, was
commissioned by the City of Leavenworth, KS to explore and survey a shorter, more direct route
from Leavenworth to Denver by way of Smokey Hill, previously considered the least popular route
because of a shortage of grass and water. Included in this party was their uncle, Reuben Harrison
Pierce and two of his sons, R J and William L. Pierce 1.

William Greenberry Russell
Mining activities through the summer were clouded by an uneasy political climate, and Oliver was
chosen to return to Georgia in October so that one of them would be at home when the presidential  campaign was over. He was not surprised when South Carolina, on December 20, 1860, passed an ordinance of secession and other states, including Georgia, was soon to follow. Oliver hastened his retu rn to Denver in the spring of 1861, and by the time he reached Denver, Fort Sumter had fallen and war was declared.

Colorado Territory was created by Congress on February 28, 1861, with the first legislature
meeting at Denver on September 9, 1861. Major William Gilpin was appointed Governor. He
was not sympathetic to the Confederate cause. The miners from Georgia were surrounded by Unionists and were persecuted and taunted throughout the summer of 1861 until it became difficult to remain in the country. The Russell party disposed of their claims as best they could without arousing suspicion and eighteen, including five of the original Georgia miners: the three Russells, Sam Bates and James H. Pierce, left in the fall of 1862 under the pretense of going on another prospecting tour. They went by way of the mountains, through the San Luis Valley, Fort Garland, Taos and Moro to Las Vegas, thence on the Fort Smith-to-Santa Fe road, and down the Canadian River about 200-300 miles, where on November  4, mistaken for Texas Rangers, they were captured by Comanche Indians in behalf of the Second Colorado Calvary, led by Lt. Shoup.
About four days out of Taos, a man who joined the party there came down with smallpox and
within a few days three more were stricken. In a few days, six of the eighteen were afflicted. Only
five of the group suffered little from it. The others had a hard time and three men and a little girl
died from it.
The party was taken as political prisoners to Fort Union. Over $20,000 in gold dust, horses and
wagons were taken, but all were returned upon their release on February 14, 1863 after pledging
not to take up arms against the Union. All returned to Denver.
Green and Oliver Russell returned to Georgia. James Pierce and Levi Russell went on to Montana
where gold was discovered in 1862. Sam Bates and Martha's husband, William Odom, went into
the mountains and stayed until the fall when they too went to Montana.
Upon returning to Georgia, Green and Oliver formed a volunteer company equipped and financed
by Green, with Green as Captain and Oliver as Lieutenant, and "joined for duty and enrolled" in the
Georgia Calvary August 11, 1863. The work of the company was largely that of conscription
officers, catching deserters and taking care of enlistments, thereby not breaking their pledge not to
take up arms against the Union.

The war ended officially with the surrender of General Lee on April 9, 1865. In Georgia, Governor
Brown ordered the surrender of troops and military stores on May 3. With cessation of hostilities,
the brothers returned to their families at the plantation. Georgia and the rest of the south was so
impoverished that the restoration of order and prosperity would be long in Coming.
Green decided to permanently move to the Rocky Mountains and the Russell families went their
separate ways. He, his family and a small party left for Colorado May 2, 1870. On October 20,
1870, shortly after their arrival, Green took up land and settled where Apache Creek emptied into
Huerfano River. He worked at Ranching and mining, but returns were not too good and he sold the
ranch in 1875. He then settled some ten miles east of Fort Garland, west of La Veta Pass at a
place that became known after the coming of the railroad as Russell, CO. Today, some buildings,
largely unoccupied, are still present. Green was unsuccessful in collecting money owed him from the Consolidated Ditch interest and other investments and experienced a total financial loss. He sold whatever claims he could or disposed of his property in trades and left with his family for Georgia in October, 1876. He arrived at his brother John's place in Indian Territory in mid-December. During their visit, Green decided to give up his plan to return to Georgia and remain in the Cherokee Nation permanently.  He located a place near Briartown on the Canadian River and settled there in March, 1877. Green  and John's wives, Susan and Frances, were first cousins and as part Cherokee were entitled to take  up or buy lands. Things went as planned and it appeared that Green would find peace and prosper.  It was not to be, however. Malarial fever struck the entire family in June and he became disheartened and wanted to return to Georgia. Green died on August 24, 1877.  After the death of Green, Susan returned to the Russell farm in Dawson County, GA, but chose to  live in a larger house down the road than the one in which she previously lived. Susan and her daughters loved to dance. The living room was once a dance hall where square dances were held, and they would have frequent parties there. She died there in 1893 and was buried in the family  cemetery behind Green's house near Green's mother, Elizabeth and Green and Susan's children,  Thomas (1856-1859) and Benjamin H. (1858-1859); Levi's son, Charlie (1858-1858); and John's  daughter, Frances (1855-1859). The farm had returned to the hands of the Palmour family and  was inherited by a step-son of Silas Palmour named Robert McClure. The cemetery became known as the McClure Cemetery1

William Greenberry Russell
i John Randolph4 RUSSELL was born in 1847 in Lumpkin County,
GA. John Randolph was killed in a mining accident in CO 1874.
ii William Henry RUSSELL was born in 1848 in Lumpkin County, GA.
+ iii Mary Elizabeth RUSSELL was born in 1854.
iv Thomas RUSSELL was born in 1856. Thomas died in 1859.
v Benjamin RUSSELL was born in Oct 1858 in Lumpkin County, GA.
Benjamin died in 1859.
vi Walter Raliegh RUSSELL was born in 1863. Walter Raliegh died on
27 Aug 1894.
+ vii Martha Jane Rosalee “Mattie” RUSSELL was born in 1865.
viii Frances L. RUSSELL was born in 1865, and married William D.
HIGGINS who was born about 1860.
ix Robert Lee RUSSELL was born in 1868, and married Maud M.
BEAVERS who was born about 1876.

ld pierce
800 570 1861
eztone at hotmail dot com

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