The General Philemon Thomas Chapter of Baton Rouge, LA is a member of the Louisiana Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. The chapter's 100 members support Scouting and JROTC and work to perpetuate the ideals of the war for independence.
Initially organized in 1946 as the “Baton Rouge Chapter,” it was active until 1955 and reorganized in 1963. At the suggestion of Dr. J. Sherburne Anderson, past chapter genealogist, the name of the chapter was changed to honor one of Baton Rouge’s Revolutionary War heroes, General Philemon Thomas.
General Philemon Thomas (February 9, 1763, Orange County, Virginia – November 18, 1847, Baton Rouge, Louisiana) was a member of the U. S. House of Representatives representing the state of Louisiana. He served two terms as a Democrat (1831-1835).
Philemon was born in Virginia. He served in the American forces during Revolutionary War and later moved to Kentucky. He was a member of Kentucky's Constitutional Convention and served in the state House and state Senate. In 1806 he moved to Louisiana. He commanded troops who on 1810 September 23 captured the Spanish fort in at Baton Rouge, commencing the West Florida Rebellion of 1810. A few days later the West Florida Assembly, meeting at Saint Francisville, commissioned General Philemon Thomas to march the West Florida Army across the newly proclaimed Republic.
According to Southeastern Louisiana University history professor Sam Hyde: "Residents of the western Florida Parishes proved largely supportive of the revolt, ...while the majority of the population in the eastern region of the Florida Parishes opposed the insurrection. Thomas’s army violently suppressed opponents of the revolt, leaving a bitter legacy in the Tangipahoa and Tchefuncte River regions."
Philemon Thomas served in the War of 1812 and later served two terms in Congress. He died in Baton Rouge and is interred there in the Baton Rouge National Cemetery.(1)
The oil on canvas of General Philemon Thomas, above, was painted by George Peter Alexander Healy, c. 1845.(2)