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PILLANS, PALMER JOB (1816–1898). Palmer Job Pillans, surveyor, soldier, and land promoter, son of John Christopher and Elizabeth (Palmer) Pillans, was born on Edisto Island, South Carolina, on January 30, 1816. He attended school in Charleston, graduated from college, and participated in a military expedition against a threatened uprising of Cherokee Indians. In 1837 he transferred to the United States engineers and engaged in a reconnaissance tour of territory between Georgia and the Ohio River. He was commissioned to survey the right-of-way for a railroad from Charleston to Cincinnati but in 1838, before the project was completed, moved to Texas. He was commissioned first lieutenant in the Army of the Republic of Texas and promoted to captain. While stationed at Galveston he married Laura Malvina Roberts. Associated with Charles F. Mercer in a scheme for the colonization of North Texas, Pillans acted as field agent with his residence at Bonham until 1849. He started to California at the time of the gold rush, but his wife's illness caused him to stop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he sojourned until 1853, when he returned to Mobile, Alabama. When he wrote his memoirs, he enjoined his family not to make them public. He died in June 1898.

Army Papers, Texas State Archives, Austin. Charles Adams Gulick, Jr., Harriet Smither, et al., eds., The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (6 vols., Austin: Texas State Library, 1920–27; rpt., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1968). E. W. Winkler, ed., Secret Journals of the Senate, Republic of Texas (Austin, 1911).
William E. Bard

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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, William E. Bard, "Pillans, Palmer Job," accessed November 23, 2017,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.