The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941 Page: 7
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The Lost Journals of a Southwestern Frontiersman
character. . . ." and so on and so on, with the scientist for-
getting his hungry irritation in a swift return to his aim.
Five days later the General was inaugurated, and our diarist
was there. He was there with every American's right to judge
a man for himself, form his opinion to match his convictions,
and if he so desires, to state it. It was a severe view of the
President that found its way into the diary. Maybe it was
shared by some other people who were present; maybe none
of them knew enough about the man they were there to honor
to feel about him as we do now. In any case, here are the
words of a man who was there; an honest man, if sometimes,
where people were concerned, a trifle sharp.
Monday, December 13, 1841: Today Gen. Sam
Houston was inaugurated president of the Republic
of Texas. The audience consisted perhaps of about
1000 persons. He appeared on the stage in a linsey-
woolsey hunting shirt, and pantaloons, and an old wide
brimmed white fur hat. I thought in this Gen. Houston
demonstrated more vanity than if he had appeared in
an ordinary cloth suit. He knew it would be much
remarked, and thought it would be popular no doubt,
with [the] body of the people. . . . After he was sworn
in (by the speaker of the House) he delivered an inau-
gural address of some length, as it was said, entirely
extempore, only some sketches of which were after-
wards published. He did not demonstrate that extem-
poraneous eloquence, which I had expected to see and
hear: indeed I could but pronounce the manner of his
address rather dry and monotonous. A part of the
substance did well enough; but he certainly would have
done better not to have been his own eulogist-I should
say he dwelt too much and unbecomingly on the merits
of his former services and administration: of which
the people generally do not speak near so favorably as
he himself. Also he bore much too severely upon the
maladministration of his predecessor-this he should
have left for others to have censured.
Gen. Houston was elected by a heavy majority, and
now seems quite the favorite of the people; but I fear
this will be found to speak badly of the judgment and
morals of his constituents. His morals and honest
character, and general deportment through life will
not, I fear, justify the favor he now seems to enjoy.
His separating as he did from his family, and secluding
himself amongst the Indians living a most degraded
and dissolute savage life-his drunken and dissipated
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941, periodical, 1941; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/m1/11/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.