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LAWRENCE, JOHN WILLIAM BLOUNT

LAWRENCE, JOHN WILLIAM BLOUNT (1815–1909). John William Blount Lawrence, lawyer and soldier, the son of Peter Payne and Ann Blount Lawrence, was born in Edenton, North Carolina, on August 8, 1815. He served as a cabin boy on a ship bound for the West Indies and at fifteen worked in a mercantile establishment. In 1837 he moved with members of his family to Mariama, Florida, where he lost his fortune speculating in cotton. In June 1841 he left on a visit to Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi and in October arrived in Houston, Texas. In March 1842, at the time of the Rafael Vásquez invasion, he joined a company of volunteers from Milam County and marched to Columbus. He subsequently studied law, was admitted to the bar, and left the state, serving for a time before 1844 as a deputy clerk at an Alabama county court. He came back to Texas in time to vote for annexation in 1845 and practiced law in Matagorda until 1847, when he moved to Houston and entered the employ of land agent Jacob de Cordova. Lawrence was later engaged by James Morgan to investigate land titles. Lawrence married Mrs. Louisa J. Tryon, the widow of William Milton Tryon, of Houston in 1857; they had one child. During the Civil War in 1862 he twice ran the federal blockade en route to British Honduras, and in 1864 he was captain of a company of Harris County home guards. Later, he supplied commissaries for Texas troops across the state line in Louisiana. In 1866 Lawrence was commissioned assistant assessor of internal revenue for Harris County but resigned when the "Iron Clad" oath (see RECONSTRUCTION) was required, and resumed his land business. He died in Houston in March 1909.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

William S. Speer and John H. Brown, eds., Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: United States Biographical Publishing, 1881; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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

"LAWRENCE, JOHN WILLIAM BLOUNT," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fla55), accessed February 09, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.