Clipped From The Paris News

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 - the body that "Cultivated mind is the guardian...
the body that "Cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy." This was in his first message to the Congress, which, on January 26, 1839, passed the legislation which he sought, for establishment of a tree school system for the new country. Freedom and culture were two of the inherited tenets of the Lamar family, descended from Huguenots who had fled France to escape religious prosecution. Below medium height but stout and muscular, Mirabeau Lamar, his blue eyes set in an oval face framed in straight black hair, was probably not a romantic figure in appearance. But his was a personality of such charm and strength as to arouse admiration where- ever he went. Born In 1798 Son of John and Rebecca Lamar, he was bom August 16, 1798 near Louisville, then the capital city of Georgia, and was named by an uncle who was given to much reading of history and classic literature, and christened his nieces and nephews after his favorites of the moment. Young Lamar learned to enjoy riding, fencing, boat and stage excursions a-s he grew up at Fairfield, the home to which the family" moved near Milledgeville. His formal education was sketchy, a short time being spent at Milledgeville and Eatonton academies at the most. But, like the uncle, he read widely, and gained an extensive cultural knowledge hi this fashion. He had social access to every home in fix~e counties as he grew up, and his penchant for writing verses to the maidens he met endeared him to them. Among them •was Martha Fannin, niece of that James Fannin, whose tragic death in the Texas Revolution was to im- mortalize his name. It is a coincidence that adjoining counties in the Texas Republic were named for these two men who had been friends in their youth. Went To Alabama Lamar went to the newly-admitted Alabama in- 1819 to seek his fortune, but found he was not fitted for mercantile life, and turned to newspspcring, which gave opportunity to his literary bent. Then back in Georgia, he entered the field of politics, when he obtained the post of secretary to the newly-elected Governor George M. Troup. In this capacity, he commanded a military corps which welcomed Lafayette when he visited Savannah in 1825. Politics brought about acquaintance also with Miss Tabitha Jordan, whom he married on January 1, 1826, when he was 28, she 17 years old. Her health suffered from an accident when the carriage horses bolted on a journey not long after the wedding, and Lamar abandoned his career to care for his bride. Their daughter. Rebecca Ann, was born in 1827, the mother living only three years afterward. Two years' travel after this loss served to re-awaken La mar's interest in politics and he ran for the State Senate on an independent ticket. Ke had become champion of the states' rights adherents, and to lend emphasis to this, re-entered the newspaper field nt Columbus, Ga. Defeat politically caused him to turn his attention in 1835 to the Mexican province of Texas, then looming important on the international horizon. Spoke For Independence Upon reaching the country in question, he was invited to speak at the town of Washington, and I was the first to declare publicly in favor of the independence of Tex| as. I He made a hurried trip to Geor] gia to settle his affairs, and returned in equally hurried fashion to Texas, upon receiving the disturbing news of the Declaration of Independence _and the fall of the | Alamo. Reaching Houston, e wrote to his brother that a great battle beuveen Mexican and Tex- ian forces was impending and "of course I shall have to be in it." This was San Jacinto, where, as j the charge Avas sounded, Lamar and his 60 cavalrymen on the right J wing of the army rode out "like ! an avenging fury." to speed the ' rout of Santa Anna's Mexicans. Ten days later, he had been j made secretary of war, and was bitterly opposing compromise with Santa Anna; four weeks afterward saw him commander-in-chlef of I the army, a post he resigned when j he saw sentiment was against him. But four months later, he was elec- I ted vice president of the Republic and with Houston, was inaugurated on October 22. 1836. Collected Historical Material His duties in this office not being onerous, he began the collection of historical material, advertising for Austin's papers, starting extensive biographies of the Texas filibusters, undertaking the study of Spanish, in preparation for writing a history of Texas. His cousin Gazaway Lamar, to whom he had often had to appeal for financial aid, wrote him somewhat grudgingly, "we are proud of your success: I have just re- turned from a visit Europe THE OWNER OF A LiCENSE NUMBER? 5 GALS, of GAS FREE If you're the owner of one of the license numbers in the boxes below go to Lee Weiland's Service Station and Coy Skelton's Service Station, two of where your fame had preceded me." A x-isit to Georgia brought throngs of admirers wherever he was, and when he returned to Texas, his election as president was a foregone conclusion. His inauguration took place on December 10, 1838 in Houston, then the capital, the statehouse oc- cup3 r ing the site of the present Rice Hotel. It was Lamar who selected the site of Austin as the future permanent capital of Texas, making an exploration trip through the central part of the country. Fording the Colorado where the seven hills form a circle, he ssid "This should be the seat of Emr.ire." And so it was. Compelled To Retire

Clipped from
  1. The Paris News,
  2. 01 Sep 1940, Sun,
  3. Page 14

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