Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Virginia… (Charleston, SC: William R. Babcock, 1852), 463.
RUSSELL was formed in 1786, from Washington county, and named from Gen. Wm. Russell. Its mean length is 40, mean breadth 34 miles. It is drained by branches of the Sandy, and by the Clinch River; the latter runs through its eastern portion. The principal portion of the population is included between Clinch mountain and a distance of 15 miles from its base. The northern, and a greater portion of its territory, is so mountainous, sterile, and difficult of access, that its inhabitants are few and far between. There are some rich sections of land in Russell; and its mineral wealth — coal, iron ore, marble, &c. — is considerable. About 100,000 pounds of maple sugar are annually produced in the county. Pop. in 1840, whites 7,152, slaves 700, free colored 26; total, 7,878.