Thomas Jones Hardeman

Portrait of Thomas Jones Hardeman Headstone Photograph


Thomas Jones Hardeman

Born in Tennessee
January 31, 1788
Died in Bastrop County, Texas
January 11, 1854

His Wife
Eliza De Witt Hardeman

Born Sept. 17, 1809
Died Feb. 8, 1863

Erected by the State of Texas
1936

Back of headstone

Member Second Congress
Republic of Texas;
Chief Justice of Bastrop County
Member of the State Legislature
Most Worshipful Grand Master
of the Grand Masonic Lodge
of Texas, 1850

Hardeman County, Texas was named
in honor of the two brohters,
Bailey and Thomas Jones Hardeman.
Full Name: Thomas Jones Hardeman
Location: Section:Republic Hill, Section 1 (C1)
Row:P  Number:9
Reason for Eligibility: Veteran, War of 1812; Veteran, Republic of Texas; Member, Texas House of Representatives 
Birth Date: January 31, 1788 
Died: January 11, 1854 
Buried: Reinterred June 18, 1937 
 
HARDEMAN, THOMAS JONES (1788-1854). Thomas Jones Hardeman, soldier, pioneer Texas settler, judge, and politician, child of Thomas and Mary (Perkins) Hardeman, was born at Hardeman's Stockade near Nashville, Tennessee, on January 31, 1788. His father represented back-country North Carolina at the convention that ratified the United States Constitution and with his close friend Andrew Jackson was a delegate at the Tennessee State Constitutional Convention. Hardeman moved with his family to Williamson County, Tennessee, in 1803. In 1814 he married Mary Ophelia Polk, the aunt of James K. Polk. Later that year, as a captain, Hardeman fought under General Jackson in the closing campaign of the War of 1812 at New Orleans. He was captured by the British and wounded in the head by a sabre for refusing to divulge military secrets to the enemy.

In 1818 applying his legal training, he helped to settle and organize Hardeman County, Tennessee. His wife died there in 1835. In the same year, accompanied by his brothers Blackstone and Bailey Hardeman, he moved to Texas, where he and his four sons became involved in the move for Texas independence. Hardeman, a devout Episcopalian and an active Mason, served in the Congress of the Republic of Texas from Matagorda County in 1837-39 and spent two terms in the state legislature from Bastrop and Travis counties, from 1847 to 1851. In the 1840s he served both as associate and chief justice of Bastrop County. At his suggestion the capital of Texas was named Austin.

Hardeman's second wife was a widow, Eliza DeWitt Hamilton, daughter of empresario Green DeWitt. Hardeman had five children by his first wife and three by the second. The four sons of his first marriage, Thomas Monroe Hardeman, William Polk Hardeman, Owen Bailey Hardeman, and Leonidas Polk Hardeman, were all venturesome types. They participated in scores of military campaigns of the Texas Revolution, the Mexican War, Indian wars, and the Civil War.

Hardeman died on January 15, 1854, and was buried in Bastrop County. In 1937 his remains were removed to the State Cemetery in Austin. Hardeman County, Texas, was named partly in his honor.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Nicholas P. Hardeman, Wilderness Calling: The Hardeman Family in the American Westward Movement, 1750-1900 (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1977). Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813-1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938-43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).

Nicholas P. Hardeman

"HARDEMAN, THOMAS JONES." The Handbook of Texas Online. [Accessed Thu Feb 27 13:25:56 US/Central 2003].
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