July 5, 2006

Thomas Jefferson Coffey, son of Ambrose

I have previously written about a Thomas Jefferson Coffey, the son of McCaleb and Elizabeth Collett Coffey. This Thomas Jefferson Coffey was the son of Ambrose and Mildred (Millie) Moore Coffey.

Thomas was born Feb. 16, 1805 in Burke Co., NC and died Nov. 1, 1858 in Brazoria Co., TX. He married Malinda Graves, born c1811 in TN, on Jul. 17, 1827 in Hinds Co., MS. They were in Brazoria Co. by 1850 when they appeared in the census.*

I have the children of Thomas and Malinda as: America, Eugenia Elizabeth; Minerva Lavina; Aaron; Ellen; Ambrose; Henry and Rosanna. The only child for whom I have found any descendant information is Aaron. He first married Mary F. and later Mary Summerville Smith. He and Mary Smith were married Mar. 28, 1860 in Galveston Co., TX. He and Mary Smith had at least one child, a daughter named Julia Summerville Coffey, born Dec. 8,. 1864. They likely had more, but I have not yet found them.

I also found the following internet bio on Thomas Jefferson Coffey, but the source was not available.

Thomas Jefferson Coffey received only a common school education, but he rose to wealth and distinction as a lawyer and a politician. He served as a Whig in Mississippi as senator, representing the four counties of Rankin, Leake, Holmes and Smith in the Legislature. He became quite famous because he was the founder of the Mississippi Homestead law while in the Mississippi Legislature. S.S. Prentiss was asked by Judge William L. Sharkey, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the state, who he thought was the smartest man in the legislature. He at once replied: "Thomas Jefferson Coffey of Rankin County" . He ran against Henry L. Foote in a Whig nominating convention for Governor of Mississippi and was defeated by only one vote. Politics running high and being challenged to a duel in which the exchange shots were to be continued until blood was drawn, and not desiring to draw human blood, he took deliberate aim and shot his opponent through the arm and was carried off the field on the shoulders of his friends. At the earnest request of his wife, he retired from the political arena.

He acquired large planting interests and slaves and built a home in Brandon, Mississippi. He also owned lands in Bolivar County, Mississippi, near Prentiss, the then county seat, now caved into the Mississippi River. He owned other Bolivar County land and on this ground is classed as one of the Delta pioneers.

In 1837, Thoms Jefferson Coffey was appointed by President Andrew Jackson and commissioned as General to remove the Indians, the Cherokee and the Choctaws from northern Mississippi to the Indian Territory.

Some other links to Thomas Jefferson are:

- Coffey Family

- Descendants of Francis Graves of Gloucester Co. & Essex Co., VA

- Descendants of Benjamin (s/o John) Coffey

If anyone has additional information on this Thomas Jefferson please contact me.

*1850 Brazoria Co., dwelling/family 191, Thomas J. Coffee, age 44, male, farmer, $15000, born NC; Malinda G., age 39, female, born TN; Aaron Coffee, age 17, male, farmer, born MS; Ellen Coffee, age 15, female, born MS; Ambrose Coffee, age 12, male, born MS; Henry Coffee, age 10, male, born MS; Rosana Coffee, age 7, female, born MS; James Edmondson, age 18, male, born TN; Miles McInnis, age 40, male, overseer, born SC

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