The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 48
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
man, speaker of the House of Representatives, held that the
lands had always belonged to the Republic and hence should be
sold under the regular terms of the general land act. General
Houston, then a member of the lower house of Congress, nat-
urally took the opposite view. He and other advocates of the bill
claimed that the lands in question had actually been won only
in the preceding summer and thus belonged to the government
for disposal as it saw fit.41 To a certain degree the law might be
regarded as a sort of posthumous recognition or vindication of
the claim of the Indians to the land. It is reasonable to assume,
however, that the prospect of adding much needed revenue to
the treasury was the major factor responsible for the adoption of
the measure. The phraseology in the title of the law, moreover,
referred to land reserved for and occupied by the Cherokees,
but did not specify that it was owned by them.42
41For major portions of this debate, occurring on December 22, 23, 1859, see
Smither, Journals of the Fourth Congress of the Republic of Texas, II, 202-231.
This was one of the occasions when Houston strongly presented his views on
the subject of the validity of the Indians' claims to the land and attempted to
justify his actions with respect to the treaty. See above footnotes, 15, 18, and 2o.
42Italics are the writer's.
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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/m1/54/: accessed May 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.