James Hays McLendon
Revolutionary Battles
Map of some of the Revolutionary Battles. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Grand Lodge Logo
Grand Lodge of Texas Logo. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

GOLIGHTLY, THOMAS JEFFERSON (?–1840). Thomas Jefferson Golightly, a participant in the Texas Revolution and native of Mississippi, served as an orderly sergeant under Capt. Thomas J. Rusk in the Texas army from October 4, 1835, to January 4, 1836; he took part in the siege of Bexar. Subsequently he returned to Mississippi, where he joined a volunteer cavalry company under John A. Quitman and returned to Texas. The corps reached San Jacinto on April 23, 1836, too late for the battle. Early the next month the company helped cover the westerly retreat of the Mexican forces. Some of the troops decided to stay in Texas and elected William Strickland captain and Golightly first lieutenant. In June Golightly aided in burying the victims of the Goliad Massacre. He was honorably discharged at Victoria on July 12, 1836, and later received a bounty and a donation certificate for his services during the revolution.

On August 13, 1836, Golightly and five of his comrades arrived in Natchez, Mississippi. In the summer of 1837 he was in Houston and, with James Izod and Reuben Ross, served as a land agent for Felix Huston. As one of seven candidates for Congress from Harrisburg in 1838, Golightly received only twelve votes out of about 700. In 1838 he was a charter member and first vice president of the Houston Jockey Club. He also was senior deacon of Holland Masonic Lodge No. 1 and was a charter member of the first Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Texas, organized at Houston on July 25, 1838. He died in July 1840.


James David Carter, Masonry in Texas: Background, History and Influence to 1846 (Waco: Grand Lodge of Texas, 1955). J. F. H Claiborne, Life and Correspondence of John A. Quitman (2 vols., New York: Harper, 1860). Houston Morning Star, July 25, 1840. Louis Wiltz Kemp Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. James H. McLendon, "John A. Quitman in the Texas Revolution," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 52 (October 1948). Telegraph and Texas Register, May 30, July 16, 1838. Houston Wade, Dictionary with Identifying Records of Those Master Masons Who Participated in the Texas Revolution (Houston, 1935).

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

Handbook of Texas Online, James Hays McLendon, "GOLIGHTLY, THOMAS JEFFERSON," accessed February 18, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fgo05.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on February 21, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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