Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 142 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
Santa Anna. The sun of San Jacinto rose in
splendor and went down in blood thirty-four days
after Burnet's election, but its rays were reflected
over a land won to freedom.
Then followed grave problems. First the disposition
to be made of Santa Anna; second, the
maintenance of an army in the field, without
money, supplies or resources in a country from
which the inhabitants had recently fled and were
returning without bread
the condition soon
aggravated by men poorly fed and idle in camp;
third, the creation of a navy against Mexican
cruisers; fourth, Indian ravages on the frontier;
and fifth, the regular organization of the Republic,
by elections under and the ratification of the constitution.
Passions ran high; demagoguery had
its votaries, and nothing short of superhuman
power could have escaped unjust criticism. But
to men of enlightened minds and just hearts it
has long been evident that the administration of
this over-burdened first President was wise and
eminently patriotic. It will bear the most rigid
scrutiny and be pronounced a durable monument
to the head and heart of its chief.
After remaining in retirement two years he became
Vice-president by a large majority in December,
1838, and served three years, several months
of the time as President. He participated in the
Cherokee battles of 1839, and was wounded.
With 1841 he retired to private life, but served as
Secretary of State through 1846 and 1847, with
Governor J. P. Henderson.
In 1866 he was elected to the United States
Senate, but was denied a seat on account of the
question of reconstruction.
The close of the war found him alone in the
world. His wife and three children lay buried on
his San Jacinto farm. His last child, the gallant
Maj. Wm. E. Burnet, had fallen in the battle of
Spanish Fort, near Mobile, March 31, 1865-a
noble young man worthy of his noble parents.
President Burnet was not only a learned, wise
and upright man, but a man of sincere and profound
religious convictions, from which, neither in
youth nor manhood, did he ever depart.
He was tendered and accepted a home in the
generous and estimable family of Mr. Preston
Perry, in Galveston, but in 1868 his kindred in
Newark, tendered him a home among them, on his
native spot. The affections of childhood returned
and he concluded to go. This becoming known in
Galveston, on the 23d of May, 1868, a farewell
letter was addressed to him signed by ninety-eight
gentlemen and twenty-seven ladies, embracing some
of the most eminent names in the State. That
letter, now before me, is touchingly beautiful and
as true as beautiful. It is too long for this place;
but I want young people to read at least its concluding
paragraph. Here it is:"Texas,
whom you have loved and served, sends
you to-day from her mountain tops to her sea
board, from both sexes and all ages her affectionate
greeting and farewell. It comes alike from the
few feeble voices that long ago, in the day of
youth and strength, elevated you to the supreme
authority in the Republic of Texas; the heroic
few that won her independence and accepted her
destiny as their own; from the lispings of childhood,
who have learned from parental lips the
value of your services, and beauty of your character;
and from strangers, too, who have learned
to love in you all that is pure, unselfish, and noble
in man. And that God, in his goodness, may
bless and preserve you, is the earnest and universal
prayer of Texas and her people."
This letter to President Burnet, in its entirety,
with the names attached, is a proud monument to
He went to his native place, but did not long
remain. The changes there had removed the
scenes of childhood and he moved among strangers.
The love of Texas -the product of fifty years'
association in manhood and its trials
him, by contrast, with resistless force. He came
back to die in the land of his love, and then to
sleep beside his wife and children. Peacefully, on
the 5th day of December, 1870, he departed from
life, aged eighty-two years and eight months, in
the home of Mrs. Preston Perry of Galveston, who
was to him all that a daughter could be.
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/142/: accessed May 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .