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PLASTER, THOMAS PHINEY

PLASTER, THOMAS PHINEY (1804–1861). Thomas Phiney Plaster, soldier and planter, was born in North Carolina on June 26, 1804. He moved from Giles County, Tennessee, in 1835 with his wife, Dollie B. (Samuel), and established a plantation near the site of present Bedias in Montgomery (now Grimes) County, Texas. From March 1 until April 1, 1836, he served as a lieutenant in Capt. L. B. Franks's ranger company on the northern frontier. On April 2 he enlisted in Lt. Col. James C. Neill's so-called "Artillery Corps" and was elected second sergeant. At the battle of San Jacinto Plaster manned one of the "Twin Sistersqv."

He was tried by court-martial for a now unknown offense and sentenced by Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Rusk to be reprimanded before the entire army on parade on the evening of June 27, 1836, and dismissed from service. He rejoined the army on July 5, however, as a private in Capt. George Washington Poe's First Artillery Battalion, and by August 1 had been promoted to quartermaster of the First Cavalry Regiment of the First Brigade, Army of the Republic of Texas. From then until November 22, 1836, he was stationed at Camp Johnson, on the Lavaca River.

Thereafter he returned to his plantation, where by 1840 he owned 2,952 acres. By 1850 his Grimes County real estate had increased in value to $1,400. By 1860 it was worth $11,000, and that year he reported $6,000 in personal property. His wife died in 1857, at age forty-nine, in giving birth to their ninth child, named Dollie after her mother.

Plaster served for several years as postmaster at Bedias, and after annexation he was elected to the First Legislature of the state of Texas. He died of pneumonia in Austin on March 27, 1861, and is buried in the State Cemetery. At the time of his death he was doorkeeper of the Texas House of Representatives.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

E. L. Blair, Early History of Grimes County (Austin, 1930). Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Founders and Patriots of the Republic of Texas (Austin, 1963-). Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). Frontier Times, June 1939. John H. Jenkins, ed., The Papers of the Texas Revolution, 1835–1836 (10 vols., Austin: Presidial Press, 1973). Texas State Gazette, March 30, 1861.

Thomas W. Cutrer

Citation

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

Thomas W. Cutrer, "PLASTER, THOMAS PHINEY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpl02), accessed August 30, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.