The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942 Page: 148
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
and his presidential administration was certainly no exception
to the rule-when he left office, a stable foundation for future
building had been laid. Yet much of the foundation was quite
hidden. To the men of his day it was the present that counted.
Lamar and his administration were considered failures. Anson
Jones had called him a "political Troubadour and Crusader,
wholly unfit . .. for the active duties and the every-day realities
of his present station," and had asserted that "Texas is too
small for a man of such wild, visionary 'vaulting ambition'."3
Lamar's ambition was vaulting. He dreamed of Texas as
extending to the Pacific, and far to the south, perhaps even
into Mexico-rivaling in some future day the power of the
United States and that of Great Britain. His vision, though
often far too wide in scope to be shared by his associates, was
not always faulty or wild. One of his contemporaries said
that ". . . his mind instinctively, as it were, tears the covering
from things and looks down at the things themselves in their
native beauty or deformity."4
Lamar presented a complex temperament. As an artist and
poet he loved beauty. As a statesman he demanded the same
rectitude in others that he lent to his own public life. He had
but few intimate friends, to whom he was intensely devoted.
His private life always seemed something apart from his public
career. He was not a successful politician. He depended upon
the "justice of his policies rather than on political movements
to bring their success; but if he could have added . . . a little
political tact . . . he would have been more successful, and
probably would have stood higher among historians."
Radical adjustments were difficult for Lamar to achieve. In
his early years he had known and been a part of the environment
of all that was best in Southern culture. It was not easy for
him to fit into the frontier atmosphere. To the somewhat
rough, unconventional people of the new Southwest, he seemed
cold, proud, formal. But he did at last manage to put on a
certain frontier veneer, and so to fall into careless ways, which
in turn brought criticism upon him.
3Anson Jones, Memoranda and Official Correspondence Relating to the
Republic of Texas, Its History and Annexation, 34.
4Francis Copcutt, "A Sketch of Mirabeau B. Lamar" in The Knicker-
bocker, XXV, 386.
5A. K. Christian, Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, 195.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942, periodical, 1942; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146053/m1/162/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.