Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


Jack D. L. Holmes

CUSHING, THOMAS HUMPHREY (1755–1822). Thomas Humphrey Cushing, army officer, was born in 1755 in Massachusetts, where he enlisted as a sergeant in the Sixth Continental Infantry in January 1776. He succeeded Isaac Guion in 1799 as commander of United States troops on the Mississippi and Tombigbee rivers, with headquarters near Natchez. He supervised the construction of American frontier forts in Mississippi Territory, particularly Fort Stoddart. Cushing was commissioned a colonel on September 7, 1805, was named commander of the posts west of the Mississippi the following May, and was ordered by Gen. James Wilkinson to leave for Natchitoches with several cannons and howitzers. He was to prevent Spanish violations of American territory east of the Sabine River during the Neutral Ground dispute. He negotiated with Simón de Herrera in August 1806 but failed to reach any agreement. Hostilities were avoided when Wilkinson arrived and signed the Neutral Ground agreement on November 6, 1806. Cushing was commissioned a brigadier general on July 2, 1812. He was honorably discharged on June 15, 1815, and was appointed collector of customs in New London, Connecticut, on January 16, 1816. He died on October 19, 1822.

Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1903; rpt., Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1965). Jack D. L. Holmes, ed., "Fort Stoddart in 1799: Seven Letters of Captain Bartholomew Schaumburgh," Alabama Historical Quarterly 26 (Fall, Winter 1964). Jack D. L. Holmes, "Showdown on the Sabine: General James Wilkinson vs. Lieutenant-Colonel Simón de Herrera," Louisiana Studies 3 (Spring 1964).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Jack D. L. Holmes, "CUSHING, THOMAS HUMPHREY," accessed August 20, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox