Lamar, Mirabeau Buonaparte, 1798-1859

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1798-08-16
Death 1859-12-19

Biographical notes:

Lamar served as President of Republic of Texas (1838-1841). This journal, in Lamar's own hand, documents his June-October 1835 trip from Columbus, Georgia to Brazoria, Texas. Observations of the climate, political situations, and people encountered during the journey, delving into Lamar's own thoughts on these subjects. Lamar, like other travelers, stopped overnight in private houses and farms, and stayed longer in settled areas such as San Augustine, Nacogdoches, Brazoria, and Velasco.

From the description of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar journal, 1835. (Rice University). WorldCat record id: 28424756

Mirabeau B. Lamar of Georgia (1798-1859), poet, journalist, and politician, first visited Texas in 1835. He traveled from Columbus, Georgia on June 15, 1835 by stagecoach and steamboat as far as Natchitoches, Louisiana, where he acquired a horse and rode into Texas in July 17, 1835, following the Old San Antonio Road. During his four-month sojourn, Lamar made numerous acquaintances and learned much about Texas’ history, colonization, climate, economy, and more. He was particularly intrigued by the political status of Texas, which was on the verge of separating from Mexico, by war if necessary, and establishing herself as an independent republic.

Lamar decided to join in this struggle for independence; he went home briefly to settle his affairs, and returned to Texas just in time to distinguish himself at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, rising from the rank of private to commander-in-chief of the army in a period of four weeks. However, the unruly Texas troops refused to accept him and he retired briefly to civilian life.

In September 1836, in the first national election, Texas elected Lamar Vice-President (1836-1838) and then President of the Republic (1838-1841). His major accomplishments include the early recognition by major European powers of Texas as an independent state, and the establishment of a foresighted system of public education. After his one term as President, Lamar retired from public life, except for service as U.S. Minister to Costa Rica and Nicaragua (1857-1858). He died of a heart attack in 1859.

Exerpted from Mirabeau B. Lamar's Texas Journal, by Nancy Boothe. (Rice University M.A. Thesis in History, 1979) and from "LAMAR, MIRABEAU BUONAPARTE." The Handbook of Texas Online. <http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/LL/fla15.html> [Accessed Tue Sep 7 10:33:55 US/Central 2004 ].

From the guide to the Guide to the Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar journal MS 311., 1835, (Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX)

First President of the Republic of Texas, poet, and historian Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (1798-1859) was born in Georgia. After attending academies near Milledgeville and Eatonton, Georgia, Lamar owned a general store, worked as a secretary for the governor of Georgia, and published the Columbia Enquirer . In 1829, Lamar became a state senator, but during his reelection campaign in 1830 he resigned due to the death of his wife. He unsuccessfully ran for United States Congress in 1832 and 1834. Following his last loss, Lamar sold his interests in the Enquirer and traveled to Texas. He supported Texas independence immediately and, after helping to build a fort, returned to Georgia to settle his affairs. Upon hearing about the Goliad Massacre and the Siege of the Alamo, he returned to Texas in time to join the Texas Army at Groce’s Point. After fighting in the battle of San Jacinto, Lamar became Secretary of War in David G. Burnet’s cabinet. Briefly in May 1836, Lamar became a major general and commander-in-chief of the army, but soon resigned due to the rank and file troops’ disapproval of his appointment.

By September 1836, Lamar was elected vice president of the Republic of Texas in the first statewide election. After spending most of his term in Georgia, publicizing the new republic, he returned in 1837, founded the Philosophical Society of Texas, and began his campaign for President. Lamar won in a landslide the following year, due to the suicides of his opponents. As president from 1838 until 1841, he opposed annexation, issued large amounts of paper money, took a stern stance on Indians, instigated the ill-fated Texan Santa Fe Expedition, and established on paper a public education system endowed by public lands.

A largely unpopular president, Lamar retired to his plantation at Richmond in 1841 to write poetry and collect historical documents. After the death of his daughter Rebecca Ann in 1843, Lamar traveled through the southern U.S. writing poetry. During the period between 1844 and 1857 Lamar became a U. S. Senator, reversed his opinion on annexation, fought in the Mexican War as a lieutenant, became a Texas legislator, remarried, and was appointed a U. S. minister to Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In 1859, Lamar died of a heart attack at his plantation near Richmond, Texas.

Source:

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. Lamar, Mirabeau Buonaparte, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/LL/fla15.html (accessed July 22, 2010).

From the guide to the Lamar, Mirabeau B. Papers 1930; 1938; 1942; 1949; 90-371., 1825-1846, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

Veteran and Texas political figure during the early days of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau B. Lamar was born near Louisville, Georgia in 1798 to John and Rebecca Lamar. He spent most of his youth living at Fairfield, Georgia reading, writing verses and painting. Lamar's interest in political affairs began in 1823, when Lamar became secretary to George M. Troup, Governor of Georgia. Lamar resigned from this office shortly after his first wife, Tabitha Jordon, became ill. He moved his wife and daughter Rebecca Ann to Columbus, Georgia where he established the Columbus Enquirer . In 1829, he was elected state senator of Georgia but did not seek reelection due to the death of his wife. Lamar unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 1832 and 1834. He sold the Enquirer in 1835 and followed James W. Fannin to Texas on the premise of collecting historical data.

In Texas, Lamar was a supporter of Texas gaining its independence from Mexico. Affairs in Georgia kept him from entering the army initially, but his decisive actions on April 20, 1836 caused him to be commissioned a Colonel and he led the cavalry the next day at the Battle of San Jacinto. After the battle he was named Secretary of War in David G. Burnet's cabinet. Although he was commissioned to command the Texas army as commander in chief, unruly Texas troops refused to accept his appointment and Lamar retired to civilian life.

In 1836, Lamar was elected Vice President of Texas and in 1838 President of Texas. His presidency faced many obstacles including the recognition of Texas as a separate Republic, continued hostilities with Mexico and with Native Americans, and the accumulation of debt. During his term he passed the act which set aside land for public schools and two universities. It is Lamar's advocacy for education that earned him the nickname Father of Texas Education. In 1841, Lamar retired to his home in Richmond, Texas, and concentrated on collecting historical materials. In 1851, he married Henrietta Maffitt with whom he had one daughter, Loretto Evalina. He was appointed United States minister to Nicaragua and Costa Rica in 1857 and published Verse Memorials in September 1857. Shortly after returning from his post, he died of a heart attack at his home in Richmond on December 19, 1859.

From the guide to the Mirabeau B. Lamar papers MC083., 1825-1938, (Bulk: 1840-1861), (Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, )

First President of the Republic of Texas, poet, and historian Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar (1798-1859) was born in Georgia.

After attending academies near Milledgeville and Eatonton, Georgia, Lamar owned a general store, worked as a secretary for the governor of Georgia, and published the Columbia Enquirer. In 1829, Lamar became a state senator, but during his reelection campaign in 1830 he resigned due to the death of his wife. He unsuccessfully ran for United States Congress in 1832 and 1834. Following his last loss, Lamar sold his interests in the Enquirer and traveled to Texas. He supported Texas independence immediately and, after helping to build a fort, returned to Georgia to settle his affairs. Upon hearing about the Goliad Massacre and the Siege of the Alamo, he returned to Texas in time to join the Texas Army at Groce's Point. After fighting in the battle of San Jacinto, Lamar became Secretary of War in David G. Burnet's cabinet. Briefly in May 1836, Lamar became a major general and commander-in-chief of the army, but soon resigned due to the rank and file troops' disapproval of his appointment.

By September 1836, Lamar was elected vice president of the Republic of Texas in the first statewide election. After spending most of his term in Georgia, publicizing the new republic, he returned in 1837, founded the Philosophical Society of Texas, and began his campaign for President. Lamar won in a landslide the following year, due to the suicides of his opponents. As president from 1838 until 1841, he opposed annexation, issued large amounts of paper money, took a stern stance on Indians, instigated the ill-fated Texan Santa Fe Expedition, and established on paper a public education system endowed by public lands.

A largely unpopular president, Lamar retired to his plantation at Richmond in 1841 to write poetry and collect historical documents. After the death of his daughter Rebecca Ann in 1843, Lamar traveled through the southern U.S. writing poetry. During the period between 1844 and 1857 Lamar became a U. S. Senator, reversed his opinion on annexation, fought in the Mexican War as a lieutenant, became a Texas legislator, remarried, and was appointed a U. S. minister to Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In 1859, Lamar died of a heart attack at his plantation near Richmond, Texas.

Source:

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. Lamar, Mirabeau Buonaparte, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/LL/fla15.html (accessed July 22, 2010).

From the description of Lamar, Mirabeau B., Papers, 1825-1846 (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 742022848

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http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6j10nhq
Ark ID:
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SNAC ID:
4762987

Subjects:

  • San Jacinto, Battle of, Tex., 1836--Veterans
  • Courts
  • Mexican War, 1846-1848
  • Comanche Indians--Texas History - 19th century
  • Voyages and travels--19th century

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

  • Nacogdoches (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • San Patricio (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • San Jacinto Battleground State Historical Park (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • Southern States (as recorded)
  • Goliad (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • Brazoria (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • New Orleans (La.) (as recorded)
  • Southern States (as recorded)
  • Nacogdoches (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • Brazoria (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • San Felipe (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • Natchitoches (La.) (as recorded)
  • Texas (as recorded)
  • Texas--History (as recorded)
  • Nacogdoches (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • New Orleans (La.) (as recorded)
  • Mobile (Ala.) (as recorded)
  • Natchitoches (La.) (as recorded)
  • Mobile (Ala.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Texas (as recorded)
  • Columbus (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • Columbus (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • San Antonio (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • Velasco (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • Victoria (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • San Felipe (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • San Augustine (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • Velasco (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • Texas (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Nacogdoches (Tex.) (as recorded)
  • Texas (as recorded)