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Category Archives: republic of texas

Mirabeau B. Lamar

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was the second president of the Republic of Texas. He was born in Georgia in 1798 to John Samuel III and Rebecca Lamar.  One of the youngest of eight children, Lamar was self educated, having been accepted to Princeton University, though he declined.

Early on, he tried to establish himself in several  businesses including becoming a merchant, but he was unsuccessful.  His father helped him to secure a job as secretary to the governor of Georgia, George M. Troup.  He traveled the state speaking on behalf of Gov. Troup.  During this period he met his first wife, Tabatha Burwell Jordan.  Lamar and Tabitha were married in 1826 and two years later, when Troup failed to be reelected, he and Tabitha moved to Columbus, Georgia.  There he established a newspaper called the Columbus Enquirer.  While living in Columbus, Lamar made a successful run for the Georgia Senate and served one term.  His wife Tabitha passed away in 1830, leaving him with one daughter, Rebecca Ann.  Lamar then studied law and was admitted to the Georgia bar three years later.  In 1934, he suffered another personal loss as his brother Lucius committed suicide, after which he came to Texas.

He was personal friends with James W. Fannin and upon learning of the death of Fannin at the hands of the Mexican Army, he decided to stay in Texas and join the Texas Army.  He served under Sam Houston in the events leading up to the Battle of San Jacinto.  He distinguished himself as a soldier and was given command of a cavalry regiment which he led in the Battle of San Jacinto.

He succeeded Thomas Rusk as Secretary of War of the Republic when he was appointed by interim President David G. Burnet.  A few months later, Lamar was appointed Vice President of the Republic by interim President Burnet.  While serving as Vice President under Burnet, Lamar began to promote the establishment of schools in each district. His interest in education led him to follow through and as a result, a number of schools were established.

Houston won the election as the first President of the Republic of Texas in 1836 and served his two year term.  Presidents were limited to one term in succession, and in the next election Lamar was nominated for the post.  He won the election, succeeding Houston and was inaugurated in December 1838.  In his attitude toward war with Mexico, fiscal spending and treatment of the native tribes, Lamar was the polar opposite of Houston.  Lamar favored driving the Comanche and Cherokee tribes from the settled areas, whereas Houston had been more conciliatory towards them.  There was some sentiment within the Republic in favor of annexation of Texas into the United States.  This position was opposed by Lamar who felt that, if anything, Texas should instead expand and take action to become recognized by European countries as well as its long time foe, Mexico.  He also felt that the Republic needed to establish a national bank.

Lamar took steps to gain recognition from Mexico and sent delegations to try and forge an agreement that would stop the continual skirmishes the Mexican Army.  He authorized military action against the Cherokee, culminating in the Battle of the Neches in 1839, which was the last major battle with the tribe.  Houston’s Cherokee friend Chief Bowles was killed, which greatly angered Houston.  Houston and Lamar never reconciled.

Lamar attempted to reestablish the capital from Houston to a place on the Colorado River called Waterloo, now part of Austin.  He promoted the establishment of two universities, but no construction took place during his administration.  His various plans were ambitious, but Texas lacked the financial stability to accomplish everything, spending more money that it could raise with taxes.

In 1841, Lamar authorized the Santa Fe Expedition that ended in defeat.  His term as president ended and he was succeeded by Houston, who became the only president of the Republic to serve two terms.

Lamar then returned to service in the Texas Army, which he did for a number of years.  During this time, he participated in the Mexican-American War.  He lived to see Texas be admitted to the United States in 1845 during Anson Jones’ term as president of the Republic.

In his later years, he married Henrietta Moffitt in 1851.  He successfully ran for the Texas Legislature when he was in his 50s.  He was appointed Minister to Nicaragua in 1857 and served for about two years.  Lamar suffered a heart attack in December, 1859 and passed away the next day at his home in Richmond at the age of 61.

MBLamar

Lamar’s legacy will include his ambitious plans for the Republic in the areas of territorial expansion, education and the creation of a climate for the settlers that was safe from attacks from the native tribes.  He was not able to achieve everything he set out to do, but is recognized for his efforts.

He was survived by his second wife, Henrietta and one daughter, Loretta Evelina.  Lamar is interred in Morton Cemetery in Richmond, near his home.  He was well-read and during his lifetime, he published a number of poems, some of which have previously been printed here in the early days of this blog.  It reveals a literary side of him that is not often discussed.

To a Mexican Girl
My Isabel-dear Isabell
Oh, take the flowers I send thee;
And with the gift, the donor’s prayers,
All blessings to attend thee.
With health , and wealth, and lengthened life,
And many friends around thee,
Oh, be this world a world of flowers,
Without a thorn to wound thee.

Sweet girl, these flowers are like thyself,
Thy native vales adorning,
In all the lovely lights arrayed
Iris and the morning;

But brighter far than any rose,
That blooms by Bravo’s water,
Is that which decks thy father’s hall
Don Lopez’ smiling daughter.

Too oft, alas! unfeeling man
Is viper in the roses-
And many a tear the maid may shed,
Who on his faith reposes;

But wo betide the ruthless one,
By earth and Heaven rejected,
Who woos and wins so sweet a flower,
To leave its bloom neglected!

Full soon the bright bouquet will fade,
For beauty hath a fleetness;
But when the flowers have lost their hues,
They still retain their sweetness:

So will it be dear maid, with thee,
And all the gentle-hearted-
The power to please will linger still,
When beauty hath departed.

Oh, by-and-by, when I am old,
And thou in all thy glory,
Some gayer bard will sing to thee
His love-inspiring story;

And should he be, as I have been,
Still true to love and duty,
Then be the minstrel’s high reward
The hand and heart of beauty.

–by Mirabeau B. Lamar

© 2017, all rights reserved.

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Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor

Before the Texas Revolution, the official religion of the area was Roman Catholicism according to Spanish law.  Landowners were required to espouse the Roman Catholic faith and many did so in order to obtain title to their land.  However Protestant families moved to the area prior to and following the Texas Revolution.  R. E. B. Baylor, a Baptist, came to Texas in late 1839.  By then, there were already a number of Baptist families in Texas.  After a couple of failed efforts, the Baptist Union Association was formed in the fall of 1840 and included churches from La Grange, Travis and Independence.  Baylor was a circuit judge and was an ordained minister.  By about 1845, there were hundreds of fellow Baptists in the area.  Among other things, the Association had been concerned about education and formed an Education Society of which R. E. B. Baylor was selected to be President.

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Posted by on June 1, 2017 in biography, history, republic of texas, texas

 

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Moses Austin Bryan (1817-1895)

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(Image credit: http://www.tamu.edu)

As we approach the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, we consider Moses Austin Bryan.  He was an eyewitness to some of the key events in Texas history.  Born in Herculaneum, Missouri, he came to Texas with his parents in 1831.  He had first worked for his uncle Stephen Fuller Austin in a store in Austin’s Colony before enlisting in the Texas Army.  After enlistment, he served as a secretary to Stephen F. Austin, was a witness to the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence, fought in the Battle of San Jacinto, interviewed Santa Anna after his capture at San Jacinto (Bryan was the closest Spanish speaking Texas soldier to Sam Houston), served as secretary to the Texas Legation to the United States in 1839,  participated in the Somervell Expedition in 1842 and served as a Confederate officer in the Civil War.

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Posted by on April 20, 2017 in biography, history, republic of texas, texas

 

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Angelina Eberly

Angelina Peyton Eberly is credited with having saved Austin as the capital of Texas by preventing the state archives from being removed to another location.  While her name may not be as familiar as others, her story is one worth knowing.

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Posted by on February 23, 2017 in biography, heroes, history, republic of texas, texas women

 

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When Texas Invaded New Mexico

In 1841, Republic of Texas President Mirabeau B. Lamar had a vision to expand the borders of the young republic further west, perhaps as far as California.  Lamar had won the 1838 presidential election, following Sam Houston, the previous elected president.  Lamar was in various ways the ideological opposite of Houston.  He became the second of four elected presidents in the short life of the Republic and served from 12/10/1838 to 12/3/1841.  At the time, the Texas economy was suffering and Lamar acted on the supposition that he had authority to pursue trade that was currently operating along the Santa Fe Trail.

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Posted by on January 19, 2017 in history, republic of texas, texas

 

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Collin McKinney

Collin McKinney was a early settler in North Texas.  He was born in 1766 in New Jersey to a Scottish couple, Daniel and Mercy McKinney, making him 10 years old at the height of the American Revolution.  Near the end of the war, the family first moved to Virginia and then again on to Kentucky around 1780.

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Ed Burleson

Burleson County is located in East Central Texas and its county seat is Caldwell.  The county is named for General Edward Murray Burleson, who served as Colonel of the First Regiment of Volunteers at the Battle of San Jacinto.  He was born in North Carolina on December 15, 1798 and was still a relatively young man when his father James B. Burleson brought him on to act as Secretary as his father fought in the Creek War under Andrew Jackson.  They both were descended from Ed Burleson’s grandfather Aaron Burleson, who had fought as a Minuteman in the American Revolution.  The family first moved to Virginia, and Ed was elected Lieutenant and later Colonel of the militia.  They later relocated to Tennessee where he served as Colonel of the militia from 1823 to 1830 in Hardeman County, Tennessee.

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