The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 170
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Leaving his parental home, Le Grand abandoned the profes-
sion for which he was educated and, for some unexplained rea-
son, became a trader or trapper on the plains of the West. By
1823 he had arrived in Santa Fe.4 In the succeeding years he
helped pioneer the Santa Fe trade, was a land surveyor on the
high plains, became a friend of the Comanches and Kiowas, and
journeyed to Mexico City as a merchant.
His experiences in Texas public affairs were marked by the
sharply-contrasted opinions of him held by two Presidents of the
Republic. Burnet's professed friendship for and Sam Houston's
manifest antipathy to Le Grand are inexplicable but nonetheless
are inextricably interwoven with his services for the Republic in
1836-1837. Perhaps the Burnet friendship dated from the decade
the first President spent with the Comanches on the plains; the
Houston antipathy may have originated during the "Raven's"
self-imposed exile near Fort Gibson or from some incident of
his later residence in Nacogdoches. In the unfolding of this nar-
rative of Le Grand's services as a soldier and diplomat, it should
be borne in mind that Houston twice was to reject Le Grand's
claim for remuneration (on the grounds that he did not perform
the services alleged) and that the claim finally was allowed only
after Mirabeau B. Lamar followed Houston to the presidency.
This short study presents the evidence which Houston for some
reason refused to honor despite its acceptance by both houses of
the Texas Congress and by two Presidents of the Republic.
During the summer of 1836 considerable enthusiasm was gen-
erated for the sending of an expedition to attack the Mexican
forces at Matamoros. On July 12, while this feeling was at its
height, Le Grand was appointed a volunteer aide-de-camp to
General Thomas J. Rusk, then in command of the army." As
an aide, with the rank of captain of cavalry, he continued on
Rusk's staff until September." In the early part of that month
Burnet decided to avail himself of Le Grand's knowledge of and
friendship with the warlike plains tribes then being incited
4Waldo, "Recollections of a Septuagenarian," Glimpses of the Past, V, 89.
6A. Le Grand to the Honorable Congress of the Republic of Texas, Houston,
November 23, 1837, Comptroller's Military Service Records, Texas State Archives.
eCertificate signed by Rusk, November 16, 1837, in Le Grand's file in Comp-
troller's Military Service Records, Texas State Archives.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/230/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.