Biography and History

The Roosevelt and Russell families became acquainted in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, where both had homes. Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican politician, was the twenty-sixth president of the United States. Alexander G. Russell and his son Gordon M. Russell were both Presbyterian pastors, Alexander Russell in Oyster Bay and Gordon Russell in Merchantville, New Jersey.

Reverend Alexander G. Russell was born on October 6, 1845 in Nova Scotia, Canada. Russell received his A.B. from Dalhousie College in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1873. He married Eliza Hoxie Norris on August 1, 1876 and they had three sons: Henry N., Gordon M., and Alexander, all of whom attended Princeton University. Russell served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, where he was known as an eloquent speaker and an energetic charitable worker. He was also a friend of former President Roosevelt, who sometimes attended his services. Russell died in 1911.

Reverend Gordon MacGregor Russell was born on April 30, 1880 to the Reverend Alexander G. Russell and Eliza Hoxie Russell. He grew up as a neighbor of Theodore Roosevelt and tutored his children for a short time. Russell gradated from Princeton University in 1901 and received his A.M. degree, also from Princeton, in 1902. He taught at various schools for a time, and then in 1905 entered the Princeton Theological Seminary, graduating in 1908 with a B.D. Russell next studied at the University of Berlin, Germany from 1908 to 1909 with a traveling fellowship from the Princeton Theological Seminary. From 1909 to 1914, Russell served as assistant pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Cranford, New Jersey, and was also in charge of a small church in nearby Garwood. He then served as assistant pastor at the Bethlehem Church in Philadelphia from 1914 to 1917. Russell joined the Y.M.C.A. during World War I, serving British and then American troops from 1917 to 1919. Once he returned to the United States, Russell became pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Merchantville, New Jersey, where he remained until his death in 1933.

Source: From the finding aid for MC114

  • Julien Welsch Russell Papers. 1884-1930 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C0507

    Consists of personal papers of Julien Welsch Russell, a graduate of the Class of 1895 of the Long Island College Hospital.

  • Theodore Roosevelt Family Letters to the Russell Family. 1881-1925 (inclusive).

    Call Number: MC114

    The Roosevelt and Russell families became acquainted in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, where both had homes. Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican politician, was the twenty-sixth president of the United States. Alexander G. Russell and his son Gordon M. Russell were both Presbyterian pastors, Alexander Russell in Oyster Bay and Gordon Russell in Merchantville, New Jersey. The majority of the Theodore Roosevelt Family Letters to the Russell Family collection consists of personal letters written by Theodore Roosevelt and members of his family to Gordon M. Russell.