The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922 Page: 152
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ITh'e Southwestern Historical Quarterly
to get into the United States; how to keep out of the hands of
Mexico; and how to handle the Indians. Practically all Texans
were agreed upon the proper solution of the first two problems,
but there was much difference of opinion in regard to the Indians.
The majority of the people doubtless favored the use of military
force for the purpose of extermination; but an important and in-
fluential minority desired peaceful relationships established through
diplomacy and maintained by kindness and fair dealing. This
faction was headed by General Sam Houston, president of the Re-
public for more than half its duration.2
However enigmatical Sam Houston may have been-and he was
one of the most puzzling characters in history-his attitude towards
the Indians was indisputably that of friendliness and good will.
When he came to the presidency for the second time, in 1841, he
found the Indian relations exceedingly bad, owing to the policy
of force and extermination which had been pursued by President
Lamar." Houston hated Lamar, and reversed his policy. Hatred,
however, was not his sole motive, for he almost loved the Indians,
and he sought in every way to regain their friendship which had
been lost and to restore their confidence which had been destroyed.
The work of pacification proceeded slowly, and had to be done
with utmost patience, for the Indians were suspicious and held
back warily like guilty and stubborn children. Houston's plan
was to approach them through agents, draw them into councils,
establish frontier posts, set up trading houses to supply their wants,
and induce them, tribe by tribe, to sign treaties of friendship and
amity. His kindly attitude and his procedure are shown clearly
in the following letter from one of his agents to Red Bear, chief
of the Caddos.
Boggy Depot, July 30, 1842.
To Red Bear,
Caddo Chief: Dear Friend
Your letter dated Grand Prairie in this month was received
. . and I am happy to inform you that two days after the
reception of your letter Col. Stroud and others arrived with full
'The constitution of the Republic (Art. III, Sec. 2) provided that the
first president should serve two years, and succeeding ones should serve
three. Houston was, therefore, president for five years.
'President M. B. Lamar served in the interim between Houston's first
and second term as chief executive of the Republic of Texas.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 25, July 1921 - April, 1922, periodical, 1922; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101082/m1/158/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.