The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 44
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
thence due north to the Sabine river." A few days later the
President included a copy of Horton's letter in a report com-
plying with a House of Representatives resolution requiring
him to inform that body whether he had arranged to run the
Cherokee boundary line; and, if so, by what authority. To a large
extent this message (which was addressed to both houses of Con-
gress) took the form of a long argument in favor of the Indian
claims to the land in question, and Houston's position with
regard to the treaty. Additionally the President stated, in sub-
stance, that it was for Congress to decide whether to permit a
few "speculators" who had located in the specified area to involve
the country in a general Indian war or require them to obey the
laws and thus maintain peace with the tribes. The friendship of
the Indians could be confirmed by the course which he had
indicated. If it were not followed, the President nevertheless
would feel vindicated in the belief that he had recommended
the only policy which could save "Eastern Texas from ruin, and
the country generally from imminent danger.""
It was within less than a month after he had penned the above
message that Houston gave way as President of the Republic of
Texas to Mirabeau B. Lamar whose Indian policy generally, as
students of Texas history well know, was almost the very antith-
esis of that held by his predecessor. Certainly that was true as
applied to the Cherokees and their associate bands. In his first
annual message to the Congress, dated December 21, 1838, the
new President stated that even a cursory examination of the
history of the emigrant Indian tribes (particularly the Cherokees)
indicated they never had held an equitable claim to any portion
of the Texas soil. Nor was he aware that there had been any
encroachment upon their rights of occupancy. It was unneces-
sary, Lamar added, to inquire into the nature and extent of the
powers on which the treaty of February 23, 1836, was based, for
it was never ratified by any competent authority. Therefore, it
31For the House of Representatives resolution, see Journal of the House of
Representatives, 3rd Cong., Ist Sess., November 12, 1838, 43. Horton's letter to
Houston, November 1o, 1838, received apparently after the President had begun
his message to Congress, is an inclosure in Houston to the Texas Congress,
November 19, 1838, in ibid., November 24, 1838, 87-92. Houston's message, minus
Horton's letter and other documents, is in Williams and Barker, Writings of Sam
Houston, II, 299-3o1.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949, periodical, 1949; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/m1/50/: accessed June 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.