The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923 Page: 8
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the Indians were held in check by the presence of the troops, if
they ever intended attacking the settlements. It seems that
Gaines, however sincere in his belief that danger existed, and
however honest in his desire to protect the frontier of the United
States, was nevertheless over-credulous in regard to intended In-
dian hostilities. There was some hearsay evidence for believing
that there were Mexican emissaries among the Indians, but this
charge has never been proved in any substantial way against
On October 22, 1836, General Houston, who had been elected
president under the new constitution, was duly inaugurated. The
ad interim government had served its purpose and resigned. Bur-
net had not carried out any definite Indian policy. It seems to
have been his purpose merely to tide things over this crucial
period, without committing the government to any definite prom-
ise which might later be regretted.
THE INDIAN POLICY OF HOUSTON'S FIRST ADMINIS-
TRATION (OCTOBER 22, 1836-DECEMBER 10, 1838)
I. HousToN's INDIAN POLICY DECLARED
President Houston maintained unalterably that the government
should establish a wise and just policy of peace, friendship, and
commerce, with the Indians. In his inaugural address, October
22, 1836, he said:
A subject of no small importance to our welfare, is the sit-
uation of an extensive frontier, bordered by Indians, and subject
to their depredations. Treaties of peace and amity and the main-
tenance of good faith with the Indians, present themselves to my
mind as the most rational ground on which to obtain their friend-
ship. Abstain on our part from aggression, establish commerce
with the different tribes, supply their useful and necessary wants,
maintain even handed justice with them, and natural reason will
teach them the utility of our friendship.28
This policy, established on principle, was uncolored either by
22Barker, "The United States and Mexico, 1835-1837," in The Mississippi
Valley Historical Review, I, 26.
"3Journal of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas, 1
Congress, 1 Session, 66.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923, periodical, 1923; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101084/m1/14/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.