| Alexander Fulton
(Businessman and planter who founded Alexandria, Louisiana)
|Born|| Unknown |
Washington, Pennsylvania, USA
|Died|| 1818 |
|Spouse|| Mary Henrietta Wells Fulton|
Alexander Fulton (date of birth unknown; died 1818) was a merchant, planter, and local politician originally from Washington near Pittsburgh in western Pennsylvania, who in 1805 founded the city of Alexandria, Louisiana, which he named for himself.
Fulton came to Alexandria, the seat of government for Rapides Parish and the largest city in Central Louisiana, about 1785 in partnership with land speculator William Miller. Fulton, who held a land grant from the government of Spain, purchased merchandise and built the first store in Rapides Parish and located it beside the Red River. On May 4, 1805, he was appointed coroner of Rapides Parish by then the first territorial governor, William C. C. Claiborne (c. 1773-1817). He became the postmaster during the Jefferson administration in 1807. In 1805, he laid out the townsite of Alexandria in collaboration with a business partner, Thomas Harris Maddox.
In 1793, Fulton married the 15-year-old Mary Henrietta Wells, daughter of Samuel Levi Wells, I, and the former Dorcas Huie. Alexander and Mary Fulton had six children: Samuel, Eliza, William, Benjamin, Marcus, and Courtney Ann Fulton. Mary Wells Fulton was the aunt of later Louisiana Governor James Madison Wells (1808-1899), who was born near Alexandria in 1808. Governor Wells was a son of Samuel Levi Wells, II.
Fulton died in 1818 and is believed to have been interred at Rapides Cemetery in Pineville, the smaller city on the eastern side of the Red River. There is no grave marker, so the exact burial site is not known. His year of death is known because existing records which show that his estate went through probate in January 1819.
Fulton is honored by the naming of Fulton Street and the Fulton Street Bridge, which links Louisiana Highway 28 across the Red River between Alexandria and Pineville. The founder is further recognized by the naming of the 7-story, 83,000 square foot complex, the Alexander Fulton Hotel and Convention Center, located at 701 Fourth Street in the riverfront district. The complex, formerly a Holiday Inn, is near the historic Bentley Hotel, founded in 1907 by a timber magnate, Joseph Bentley.
- Fulton, Alexander. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography: Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on June 1, 2020.
- The Louisiana Historical Association uses these sources for its brief biographical sketch of Alexander Fulton: George Mason Graham Stafford, The Wells Family and Allied Families (1969; reprint ed., 1976); George Mason Graham Stafford, Three Pioneer Families of Rapides Parish (1946); Clarence Edwin Carter, comp. and ed., The Territorial Papers of the United States, IX (1940).
- Paul F. Stahls, Jr.. Louisiana Riverfronts: Alexandria-Pineville. myneworleans.com. Retrieved on June 1, 2020.
- Louisiana Reports: Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Louisiana. Google Books (1845). Retrieved on June 1, 2020.