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Friday, November 21, 2008

General Philemon Thomas - Baton Rouge, Louisiana



Over on my other blog, The Educated Genealogist, I had written a couple of posts about my 5th great grandfather Richard Thomas here and here.

In this blog, I will introduce you to his younger brother General Philemon Thomas. Philemon was born 2 February 1763 in Orange County, North Carolina to Richard Thomas and Frances Hawkins.

Served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War (most notably the Battle of Guilford), the the United States Army during the War of 1812 and commanded the forces that captured the Spanish fort at Baton Rouge in 1810. Later in life, Thomas served in both the Kentucky State and Louisiana State legislatures and was twice elected to the U.S. Congress representing Louisiana's 2nd District in the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1831 to 1835.

Philemon died 18 November 1847 and was first buried at the Old Baton Rouge Post Cemetery of the Arsenal Grounds. In 1886, the US Army Corps of engineers removed a levee and he was re-interred in the National Cemetery at Baton Rouge.

The inscription on his stone reads:

TO THE MEMORY OF GEN'L. PHILEMON THOMAS
WHO WAS BORN IN ORANGE COUNTY, VA.
FEBY. 9TH, 1763
AND DIED
IN BATON ROUGE, LA.
NOV. 18TH 1847
THIS TABLET ERECTED BY HIS CHILDREN
HE WAS A SOLDIER OF '76' AND OF '14', A MEMBER
OF THE CONVENTION THAT FRAMED THE CONSTITUTION
OF KENTUCKY AND A MEMBER OF HER LEGISLATURE
HE REMOVED TO LOUISIANA IN 1806
COMMANDED THE FORCES WHICH CAPTURED THE
SPANISH FORT AT BATON ROUGE IN 1810. SERVED
MANY YEARS IN THE LEGISLATURE OF LOUISIANA.
AND WAS TWICE ELECTED TO THE CONGRESS OF THE
U.S. THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER, HE WAS CALLED
A PATRIOT AND A GOOD CITIZEN - WE KNOW HIM
TO BE A KIND FATHER AND A FIRM CHRISTIAN.
"SIC TIBI IN TERRA LEVIS"




Of course, being the curious kind of Rabbit I am, I looked up the Latin. It translates pretty close to "May the earth rest lightly on you".

4 comments:

Historical Baton Rouge said...

I posted about the man dude! No I am just kidding about the dude part.

My blog address is historialbatonrouge@cox.net

Here's the post
http://historicalbatonrouge.blogspot.com/2008/05/general-philemon-thomas-legislator-and.html

Mazile said...

As you are probably aware, Louisiana is now celebrating the Bicentennial of the West Florida Revolution, of which Philemon Thomas was such an important part.

The State Commission planning the celebrations and commemorations is looking high and low for any and all descendants of General Thomas.

Could you help us find them? Please contact me at mksentell@aol.com if you can help.

Thanks,
Mary Sentell

Mazile said...

As you are probably aware, Louisiana is now marking the Bicentennial of the West Florida Revolution, of which Philemon Thomas was such an important part.

The State Commission which is planning the celebrations and commemorations has been looking high and low for any and all descendants of Gen. Thomas. Would you be able to put us in touch with some of them?

Thanks for your help,
Mary Sentell

FranksPlace2 said...

Philemon Thomas was a great American hero. He was born in 1763 in Orange, Virginia. He ran away from home to fight in the Revolutionary War. In 1783 he settled in Kentucky where he was married first to Mary Craig and then to Fanny Hawkins. He served in the Kentucky legislature.

In 1805 he moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1810 he led the force which overcame the Spanish to form the West Florida Republic. (The 200th anniversary of the republic is being celebrated this year.) He helped Andrew Jackson during the 1812 Battle of New Orleans. Later he served in the Louisiana legislature and in the U.S. House of representatives.

He died in 1847 in East Baton Rouge Parish.