U.S. Minister and Congressman Jonathan Russell (February 27, 1771 – February 17, 1832) was born in Providence and graduated in 1791 from Brown University.
After several years in the mercantile business, he was appointed by President James Madison as American diplomatic chargé d’affairs in Paris in 1811 and then the chargé in London, a position he held when the War of 1812 began. Russell was one of the five American commissioners who negotiated the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the conflict; he did so while also serving as U.S. minister to Sweden from 1814 to 1818.
Upon his return to America he settled in Mendon, Massachusetts, and secured election to Congress in 1821. Despite serving only one term, Russell was selected the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs based upon his European experiences. He died in Milton, Massachusetts and was interred there in the family plot on his estate.
– (Dr.) Patrick T. Conley