The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

THE INDIAN POLICY OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS
ANNA MUCKLEROY
CHAPTER V
THE INDIAN POLICY OF LAMAR'S ADMINISTRATION
I. LAMAR'S ATTITUDE TOWARD THE INDIANS
Lamar's personal attitude toward the Indians was diametrically
opposed to that of Houston. This naturally resulted from the
early experiences of the two men. Houston had lived among the
Cherokee Indians in Tennessee and Arkansas, knew them as
friends, and trusted them as men of honor. The old Cherokee
chief, Ooloteka, called him his adopted son, and believed that
through him justice could be gained for the outraged and op-
pressed Indians. Houston knew from actual association the point
of view of the aborigines, and saw the justice of their claims. On
the other hand, Lamar was unable to think of the Indian except
as an impediment to the progress of the white man. He had
served as private secretary to Governor Troup of Georgia during
the controversy over the Creek lands. The Governor had no
sympathy whatever with the Indians, but was determined to carry
out the disputed treaty of Indian Springs whether legitimate or
not, for it gave to Georgia possession of the coveted Creek lands.
He also asserted that the Indians could not establish an inde-
pendent government within the State, but must, if they remained
in Georgia, be subject to its laws. In his close association with
Governor Troup, Lamar was probably influencel by his views.
When he became President of Texas, Lamar saw no hope of a
peaceful settlement of the difficulties between the Indians and the
settlers; he did not believe in the integrity of the red men, and
advocated their expulsion or extermination.
In his first message to Congress on December 20, 1838, Lamar
made his position concerning the Indians perfectly clear. He
considered the policy of pacification a total failure. "As long as
we continue to exhibit our mercy without showing our strength,
so long will the Indians continue to bloody the tomahawk, and
move onward in the work of rapacity and slaughter." The time

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101084/. Accessed December 26, 2014.