Mirabeau B. Lamar: A Vision of Greatness

Mirabeau Lamar declared that Texas would become a great nation—an empire that would stretch to the Pacific Ocean. Lamar had devoted much thought to Texas's military and foreign policy. He would no longer seek annexation to the United States. Instead, he would try to win recognition from other countries of Texas's independence.

Most important to Texas survival was winning peace and recognition from Mexico. He almost succeeded, but a revolution broke out in Mexico and upset the peace.

Upon taking office, Lamar changed the Republic's Indian policy. He proposed driving the Indians out of the areas of white settlement and aggressively going after the Comanches.

Lamar wanted to make a statement by building his capital in the middle of Texas territory, showing that Texans would expand from the coast and conquer the west. By October, 1839, Lamar, the government, and forty ox wagons of papers and furniture journeyed from Houston to take up residence in Austin.

Texas had a growing public debt and an almost valueless currency. Lamar's excessive spending was part of the problem. During his term of office, the Texas government collected about one million dollars in taxes and spent almost five million.

Lamar believed that Texas greatness rested on the establishment of public education. Under Lamar's leadership, Texas began to set aside public lands that could be used as an endowment for an educational system. Nearly worthless at the time, the land would one day fund schools, colleges, and world-famous universities.

Source: Mirabeau B. Lamar: A Vision of Greatness
© 2020 Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Back to top