Robert P. Alexander was the son of U.S. Congressman Mark Alexander (1792-1883) and his wife, Sally Park (Turner) Alexander (1811-1889), and brother of Mark Turner Alexander. Congressman Alexander was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1815-1819, and from 1845-1846, and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1819-1833. He declined renomination in 1832. He served as a representative in the Virginia State constitutional convention of 1829-1830. At the end of his life, he and his wife moved to Scotland Neck, North Carolina, to live near their daughter Rebecca (Alexander) Smith. (Biographical Directory)
Robert first “attended the Randolph Macon Preparatory Department and College, but took no degree.” (Caknipe) He then attended the University of Virginia in session 33 (1856-1857). He studied Chemistry, Medicine, and Anatomy & Surgery among other scientific subjects. At some point, Robert must have attended medical school, but I have not been able to find out where.
Three sons of the Congressman—James T. Alexander, Robert Park Alexander, and Mark Turner Alexander—served in the Civil War. “Robert enlisted in Company F, 14th Virginia Infantry, and was appointed a captain on November 30, 1861. On May 5, 1862, he retired, but on May 5, 1862, he enlisted into Company A, 3rd Virginia Cavalry, and was detailed to the Signal Corps… The Signal Corps was the code name of the spy detachment…” (Caknipe)
As far as is known, Dr. Alexander never married. After the war, he practiced medicine in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and in the early 1890s moved to Scotland Neck, NC. He died there and was buried there in the Trinity Episcopal Church cemetery, near his mother and father.
- Alexander, Mark tombstone, Trinity Episcopal Church Cemetery, Scotland Neck, NC. Findagrave.com https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8586874/mark-alexander
- “Alexander, Mark” in Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=A000099
- Alexander, Sally Park Turner tombstone, Trinity Episcopal Church Cemetery, Scotland Neck, NC. Findagrave.com https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/29859274/sally-park-alexander
- Caknipe, John, Jr. Randolph Macon College in the Early Years: Making Preachers, Teachers and Confederate Officers, 1830-1868. Jefferson, NC, McFarland, 2015, p. 98-99.
- “Dr. Robert P. Alexander [obituary].” Richmond Times Dispatch, 13 February 1908, p.2.
- “Capt. R. P. Alexander [obituary].” Confederate Veteran, v.16 (1908), p.359.
- “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MC5K-8LG : accessed 8 April 2016), Mark Alexander, Flat Creek, Mecklenburg, Virginia, United States; citing enumeration district ED 147, sheet 204D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 1378; FHL microfilm 1,255,378.
- University of Virginia Matriculation Books, 1825-1904, Accession #RG-14/4/2.041, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.