Albert Aldrich Nelson was born on May 15, 1814 in Milford, Massachusetts. As a young man he went to sea, and among these papers is the typescript of his diary of his adventures on a whaling voyage in the Pacific Ocean (1833-1838). He came to Texas in 1838, staying first with Aldrich relatives in Crockett then settling in Nacogdoches where he became first the Nacogdoches Land District Surveyor and later the County Surveyor (ca. 1841-1850). He also served as an alderman and mayor of Nacogdoches. During the Civil War he served as Paymaster in the Confederate Navy and under Gen. H. H. Sibley in New Mexico, where he was wounded at Glorieta. He spent part of the war languishing in a Federal Prison, but ended it with an important post in Richmond. Following the war he returned to Nacogdoches and was an active participant in the Texas Veterans Association. He died on September 25, 1892.