The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 14, July 1910 - April, 1911 Page: 114
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
of buffalo. Lamar and his men were soon in the saddle, and
after killing all the buffalo they wanted were assembled by a re-
call sounded by the bugler on the very hill where now stands the
State Capitol building. Lamar, while looking from that hill on
the valley covered with wild rye,-the mountains up the river,
and the charming view to the south, remarked, "This should be
the seat of future Empire." The night before Harrell had told
Lamar that he had gone up the Colorado for thirty miles in the
dark of the moon, when he could go with safety (for Indians
always made their forays in the light of the moon),-that he had
not found a valley as "big as a saddle blanket,"-that the moun-
tains were covered with cedar, and that he had found in abund-
ance "grindstone rocks" and "speckled rock that would strike
General Lamar was a man of culture, and then knew that he
was near an igneous or primary geological formation, which no
one then believed existed in Texas. Mir. Fontaine thought the
abundance of stone and wood for building, and the natural beauty
of the location, which was at the northern limit of the alluvial
valley of the Colorado, inspired the remark of General Lamar.
Willis Avery, whose posterity still live in Texas, told me that
Lamar killed on that hunt with his holster pistol near where the
Avenue Hotel now stands the largest buffalo bull he ever saw.
When afterwards in 1839 Lamar was president he approved the
Act of Congress of January 16, 1839, which provided for the
al;pointment of Commissioners to select a site for the Capital. He
appointed among them A. C. Horton, whom I knew well, and in-
structed them to go to Jake Harrell's cabin and look carefully at
that location. Fontaine was present when the President talked
to the Commissioners, and thought that Lamar's admiration of
the ground near Harrell's cabin had much to do with the report
of the Commissioners.1
A few cabins had been built on the river two and a half miles
below Harrell's cabin, and they called the place "Montopolis."
'The foregoing account of Lamar's remark on Capitol hill may seem
to have the odor of romance; but there are still living in Austin a few
persons who knew Mr. Fontaine. I never had cause to doubt his verac-
ity. Both James O. Rice and Willis Avery verified to me all the inci-
dents of the buffalo hunt, except Lamar's remark about "the seat of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 14, July 1910 - April, 1911, periodical, 1911; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101054/m1/128/: accessed March 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.