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PARROTT, THOMAS F. L.

PARROTT, THOMAS F. L. (ca. 1804–ca. 1839). Thomas F. L. Parrott, physician, Austin colony pioneer, and revolutionist, was born about 1804 and arrived in Texas from South Carolina in November 1831. He received a certificate confirming his acceptance as a colonist in the coast colony (Austin's fourth contract) on February 2, 1832. Quite probably he was a descendant of the Thomas Parrotts (father and son) of Fairfield District, South Carolina, who served as officers in the American Revolution. In the early 1830s Parrott resided in Brazoria, where he practised medicine and was one of four physicians of the municipality appointed by the ayuntamiento to examine the qualifications of persons wishing to practice surgery and physic. In the summer of 1832 Parrott joined the schooner Brazoria near Fort Velasco and served on it during the battle of Velasco (June 26–27). The February 16, 1833, issue of the Constitutional Advocate and Texas Public Advertiser (Brazoria) noted the existence of three cases of cholera in Brazoria, all in one family that had recently arrived from the United States, and carried a card from doctors Parrott and Christopher Greenup Cox expressing their opinion that the disease was not contagious. In early 1833 Parrott was one of fourteen deputies from different parts of the Municipality of Brazoria to participate, by invitation of alcalde Henry Smithqv, in a convention that adopted the civil code of Louisiana until the state laws of Coahuila and Texas could be received and translated; divided the municipality into the precincts of Bolivar, Matagorda, and Santa Anna; and defined the duties of civil officers, adopted a tax schedule, and established regulations concerning municipality records. Parrott's petition for letters of administration for the estate of Daniel W. Anthony, a victim of the cholera epidemic, was granted by Smith on August 16, 1833.

At Brazoria on January 28, 1834, Parrott married Elizabeth E. (Lippincott) Austin, widow of John Austinqv, the marriage bond having been written the same day by William Barret Travis, who represented Parrott in several legal matters. During the same year Parrott became administrator of Austin's estate, former coadministrators having been Mrs. Parrott and Austin's brother, William Tennant Austin. Parrott advertised in the November 1, 1834, issue of the Brazoria Texas Republican that he had for sale 15,000 or 20,000 acres of land and noted that he could be reached at his residence, Oakland Place, "a few miles above Orozimbo."

At a dinner and ball held at the Brazoria tavern of Fitchett and Gill on September 8, 1835, to celebrate Stephen F. Austin's return to Texas after his imprisonment in Mexico, Parrott was one of several in attendance to make a toast. At the siege of Bexar he commanded an artillery company. At a council of officers of James Bowie's command, held on November 2, 1835, below Bexar (San Antonio), Captain Parrott cast one of only two votes favoring an immediate storming of the town and voted against the division immediately uniting with the main army. In a letter to Governor Henry Smith on December 1, Capt. James Walker Fannin praised Parrott for his experience as an artillerist. Parrott was appointed a second major of artillery in the regular army by the General Council on March 10, 1836. He entered the army with that rank on March 22. On the thirtieth, Dr. Anson Jones wrote to his cousin Dr. Ira Jones at Brazoria that should evacuation of the town become necessary, "Dr. Parrott...will be able to advise you" concerning "the best disposition of my property there." Writing from Marion (East Columbia), on April 12, Maj. Edwin Morehouse informed Sam Houston that Dr. Benjamin Harrison and Benjamin Mordecai were sent to him on express from Major Parrott "to be sent to headquarters." At army headquarters on Buffalo Bayou on May 6, Parrott was furloughed by Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Rusk for the remainder of his three-month term of service. For his service Parrott received a bounty warrant for 320 acres from the secretary of war on December 5, 1837. He announced his return to medical practice in the August 16, 1836, Telegraph and Texas Register. At the Parrotts' home on August 26, 1836, Mrs. Parrott "by and with the consent of her husband" sold to Augustus C. and John K. Allen for five thousand dollars the southern half of the lower league of two leagues originally granted to John Austinqv, on which the Allens thereafter laid out the city of Houston. Parrott served on the committee of resolutions at a large meeting held in Houston in May 1838, which called upon Thomas J. Rusk to run for president of the republic.

The Parrotts may have moved to Fort Bend County about the time of its formation in 1837 or may have resided in that part of Brazoria County which became part of Fort Bend County on December 29, 1837. Parrott, who had not received a Mexican land grant, received a certificate for a league and a labor of land from the board of land commissioners of Fort Bend County on June 7, 1838. He died probably in early 1839. Cato W. Parrott, possibly a son from a prior marriage, to whom 1,000 acres had been bequeathed, gave an affidavit with A. C. Dodd before the probate court in December 1839 noting "the birth of a child since the decease of T. F. L. Parrott." At Orozimbo on February 5, 1845, Elizabeth E. Parrott and William Pierpont entered into a marriage contract stating that each was to retain separate property owned at the time of their marriage. They were married the same day, with Presbyterian minister John McCullough officiating.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Mary D. Boddie, Thunder on the Brazos: The Outbreak of the Texas Revolution at Fort Velasco, June 26, 1832 (Angleton, Texas: Brazoria County Historical Museum, 1978). Brazosport Facts, January 21, 1983. Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Thomas L. Miller, Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas, 1835–1888 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967). Pat Ireland Nixon, The Medical Story of Early Texas, 1528–1853 (Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Lupe Memorial Fund, 1946). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (Elizabeth Parrott). Villamae Williams, Stephen F. Austin's Register of Families (Nacogdoches, Texas: Ericson, 1984).

Ronald Howard Livingston

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Ronald Howard Livingston, "PARROTT, THOMAS F. L.," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpa85), accessed April 21, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.