The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921 Page: 79
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Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar
and (4) that they had been in collusion with the Mexicans. IHe
reviewed the efforts of commissioners to secure their friendly re-
moval by agreeing to pay for the transportation of the women and
children and for all improvements, but said that in the face of these
offers they flew to arms. And finally he expressed it as his opinion
that the proper course to, pursue with all the barbarian race was
expulsion or extermination.,s
The expulsion of the Cherokees was naturally not accomplished
without serious criticism of Lamar, and an earnest defense by his
contemporaries; and some historians have seen fit to claim that the
action of Lamar was unjustified. It is perhaps not worth while
to enter into the discussion of this question. The history of Texas
in relation to the Indians is too similar to that of Georgia and
,other American States to require justification here. Lamar's in-
stincts and training naturally led him to sympathize with the set-
tlers as against the Indians. HIe was secretary to Governor Troup
of Georgia while that State was attempting to extend her jurisdic-
tion over the territory of the Creeks in response to a demand
.of the would-be settlers. And it may have been that he was too
ready to listen to tales of conspiracies between the Mexicans and
Indians. But sufficient evidence has been presented to prove that
the Cherokees did not have any vested rights in the soil they occu-
pied. The Mexican government might have been culpable for
promising lands and then not giving them, but the Indians cer-
tainly understood that they had not secured title to the lands. The
government of the Republic might have been culpable for using
the promise of lands in return for a guarantee of neutrality dur-
ing the War of Independence, but again the Indians knew that they
had not secured title to the lands under the Republic.
The charge that the Cherokees were engaged in a conspiracy
with the Mexicans is not important in this connection. The im-
portant question is as to whether or not sufficient evidence was pre-
sented to Lamar to justify his believing that they were so engaged.
And this seems to be answered in the affirmative. The papers
taken from the body of Miracle had shown him in consultation
with Bowl before the Cordova rebellion in 1838, and Bowl must
have known before hand of the proposed rebellion. The papers
addressed by Canalizo to the Indian chiefs, including Bowl and Big
Mush, while not proving any connection of the Cherokees with the
"8Telegraph and Texas Register, November 27, 1839.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921, periodical, 1921; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101078/m1/85/: accessed April 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.