BLACKSHEAR, THOMAS EDWARD (1809–1867). Thomas Edward Blackshear, planter, soldier, and politician, was born in Montgomery County, Georgia,
on August 18, 1809, the son of Edward and Emily (Mitchell) Blackshear. During the 1820s he moved with his parents to the vicinity of Thomasville in Thomas County, Georgia, then on the southwestern Georgia frontier.
He graduated from the University of Georgia at Athens in 1828 and married Thomas County native Emily Goodwyn Raines (1814–1866) on December 8, 1831; they became the parents of nine children.
As a planter of some means and scion of a distinguished Georgia family, Blackshear became a civic leader in the Thomasville area and served in the Georgia House of Representatives during the 1830s and in the Senate during the 1840s.
He took time out from his political career to participate in the Creek campaign of 1836, serving as colonel of the Sixty-ninth Regiment, Second Brigade, Georgia Militia. He remained in the service during subsequent Indian wars and eventually attained the rank of major general. On January 9, 1839, he was appointed secretary of the board of directors of the Brunswick and Florida Railway Company, of which he was a stockholder.