The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921 Page: 317

Mira-beau Buonaparte Lamar

When President Houston's first administration closed in De-
cember, 1838, it was well known that he would be a candidate
to succeed Lamar in 1841. He entered Congress in October, 1839,
and immediately became the spokesman for those opposed to
Lamar, and succeeded fairly well in creating an anti-administra-
tion party in Congress. He denounced Lamar on every occasion,
but Lamar usually contented himself with defending his admin-
istration against attack. He took no active part in the campaign
in 1841, though it was generally understood that he favored the
election of the vice-president, David G. Burnet, who was running
against Houston. It cannot be said that there was anything like
definite party lines in the contest, and the election of Houston by
an overwhelming majority did not indicate a complete repudia-
tion of Lamar. Burnet was unpopular, and his brief tenure of
the office of president during Lamar's illness did not make him
any more popular. Besides, Houston understood thoroughly the
turbulent frontier methods, of campaigning, and his status at that
time as a military hero was unquestioned.
That Lamar's popularity had declined, however, particularly
with Congress, cannot be denied. At the beginning of his ad-
ministration he had an overwhelming majority of both Houses
with him, while at its close the House of Representatives was hos-
tile, and the Senate showed only a small majority in support of
his policies. But Houston had been less popular at the close of
his first administration. The unpopularity of both executives was
natural in a frontier state where each man was largely an in-
dividualist and inclined to resist any measure of governmental
control. The main acts and failures of the Lamar administration
I have already recorded. His attitude toward annexation, his
Indian policy, the Santa F6 expedition, all aroused some oppo-
sition; but the total failure of the financial system during his ad-
ministration probably caused more discontent than all the other


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921, periodical, 1921; Austin, Texas. ( accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.