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Thomas J. Pilgrim - 1804-1877

Thomas Jefferson Pilgrim was born in Connecticut but got to Texas as soon as he could.

He and a group of sixty men arrived at Matagorda, Texas in 1828. Pilgrim was a close friend of Stephen F. Austin. He spoke Spanish which few of the “Old Three Hundred” did. He established in 1829 an all-boys school in San Felipe de Austin. Considered the first school in Texas. During the Revolution for Texas Independence Pilgrim helped capture a Mexican ship near the Port of Matagorda. On August 12, 1840, he participated in the Battle of Plum Creek near Lockhart, Texas. He lived the last thirty years of his life in Gonzales, Texas. Where he helped organize the Baptist Church and served thirty years as a deacon. He served as county treasurer and a justice of the peace for Gonzales County. Pilgrim married Sarah Jane Bennett. They had thirteen children, seven survived. The Thomas J. Pilgrim Academy in the Houston Independent School District is named for him. The town of Pilgrim and a lake in Gonzales are on his original

Mexican Land Grant. or

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