Tumlinson, Peter (1802–1882)

By: Samuel H. Tumlinson

Type: Biography

Published: July 1, 1995

Updated: January 23, 2019

Peter Tumlinson, early settler and soldier in the Texas Revolution, son of John Jackson Tumlinson and Elizabeth (Plemmons) Tumlinson, was born in Lincoln County, North Carolina in 1802. His parents left their home in North Carolina and after several years of wandering settled on the Petite Jean River thirty-five miles south of the site of present Fort Smith, Arkansas. The community became known as Tumlinson Township. When Stephen F. Austin began accepting settlers in his first colony, Peter traveled to Texas with his parents but soon returned to Arkansas, where several Tumlinson families still lived. There he married Tinnie Tidwell; two children were born to this marriage. Tumlinson returned to Texas with his new family in 1830. He was active in the areas now known as Lamar, Red River, Shelby, Grimes, and Montgomery counties. Not long after his return to Texas Peter's wife died. In 1835 he married a widow, Harriet West McIvail, who had one daughter; this couple had seven children. During the Texas Revolution Tumlinson served with a company of cavalry from San Augustine. In 1845–46 he carried the mail in this area. By 1852 he had resettled in Atascosa County on 480 acres on Gallinas Creek. He was frequently away from his property defending his community from raids by Indians and Mexicans. This service covered a great area along the Nueces River and as far south as the Rio Grande. He and his company of rangers engaged Juan N. Cortina and his followers in the lower Rio Grande valley. In 1876 Tumlinson moved to Carrizo Springs, where he died in 1882. Harriet died there in 1897. Both are buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, Carrizo Springs. They were Baptists, and Tumlinson was a Mason.

Dan E. Kilgore, A Ranger Legacy: 150 Years of Service to Texas (Austin: Madrona, 1973). Samuel H. Tumlinson, Tumlinson, A Genealogy (Eagle Bay, British Columbia, 198?).

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

Samuel H. Tumlinson, “Tumlinson, Peter,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 29, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/tumlinson-peter.

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July 1, 1995
January 23, 2019