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when the horses suddenly took fright and ran away with the carriage, which struck against a tree and was shivered to pieces, and his lovely bride was thrown out upon a rock against which her face was dashed. Lamar rushed to the spot to clasp in his arms his fainting and mangled wife. The spectacle was a horrid one: from the eye to and through the lip, her face was cut open to the bone, and the severed flesh hung upon the other part of the cheek. With a ready tact and iron will he saw his course, and was ready to pursue it. Bearing her inanimate form to an Indian hut, he placed her on a fur-skin bed. She slowly recovered, and looking up to her husband, with an expression of profound grief, which seemed to make her forget her pain, said: You loved me for my beauty it is gone forever ! It is true,' he answered, with a look, which belied his bursting heart. Seeing what she must suffer, he thus aimed to nerve her to the task. • But there is one possible way of not losing my affection.' 'Oh! name it!' she cried, with new hope. “Let me sew up the wound,' he answered. She consented at once. He placed her head upon his knee, trimmed the ragged edges of the wound with his razor, and with a common needle-and-thread sewed the severed parts together. And during the agony of those moments, she allowed no groan nor sigh to escape her. The wound healed rapidly, leaving, when it was well, but a small white line, hardly perceptible, and not marring her beauty in the least.
Immediately after his return, Lamar resigned his commission with Gov. Troup. Columbus was settled about this time, and had been selected as the seat of government. Lamar thought it would be a capital opportunity for establishing a newspaper; and having made the ne. cessary arrangements with regard to his plantation, he removed to Co. lumbus, and forthwith commenced the Columbus Enquirer,' which still exists as a powerful paper, and has made the fortunes of many who have been from time to time engaged upon it. The paper was established avowedly to support the administration of Gov. Troup, and in firm defence of broad State Right principles. He was now in his element; all his strong domestic feelings being gratified with a quiet home, loving wife and child, and his strong mind with the eye to see and the will to do;' being in its proper arena fighting for principle, with a singleness of purpose, daring, and brilliancy, which made his opponents quail before him, or subdued them to his will. In this arena Lamar would probably have passed the remainder of his life, had it pleased the ALMIGHTY to spare him farther affliction ; but the iron was yet to enter his soul. During the second year of his residence at Columbus, he was chosen Senator from Muscogee county, and had become a candidate for reölection. The canvass was in progress, and every thing promised well for the future. He was a favorite in the Legislature, and a bril. liant career was opening before him, when he was struck to the heart with sorrow at the sudden illness of his wife. - Fever had placed its heated hand upon her, and from hour to hour and day to day he saw with terror that the disease was preying upon her fair form. All that love could do was done, but it availed nothing. A few days from the first attack, the companion of his soul, his consolation under affliction, and the shrine at which he laid each new laurel, died in his arms, far
away from all her relations. Lamar was now a stricken man. He relinquished his purpose of running again as senator, disposed of his paper, placed his little daughter under the care of his mother, (an infant son having died previously) and went forth a homeless, aimless wanderer. All was sad and gloomy; the earth dead, the heavens dark, except with one star shining there; and hope and ambition were crushed within him. Few of us can look clearly into a soul like his, and appreciate the desolation which such an event would cause there; the ambitious or selfish man certainly cannot. He had a powerful mind, and all the domestic feelings of the strongest class, and was without ambition. All his strength therefore had been concentrated upon home. The wish to gain brighter smiles there, had urged him on in his public career, more than fame or the dazzling tribute of public admiration; and his feelings had nothing to fall back upon, save his little daughter; and she but brought to mind, whenever he looked upon her, the magnitude of his loss.
Years rolled on, and time gradually moderated his grief, as he wandered from place to place, seeking to escape from himself. Politics once more attracted his attention, but it was only impulsively, for the moment, or at times when some darling principle was at stake, and a sudden and daring effort might save it. In this way he became an independent can. didate for Congress against both parties, for the avowed purpose of breaking down the caucus system, which was at that time carried to a debasing excess. He succeeded in breaking it down for the time ; and although of course defeated in the election, his friends were gratified at the large vote which he polled, and the strong evidence of popu. larity which met him at all points; but he remained indifferent to that which happened around him; and Texas at the time exciting considerable attention, he turned his steps thitherward, with the intention of traveling through it, merely for amusement.
Arrived in Texas, which was to be the theatre of his future career, though little dreamed of then, he found the excitement concerning Mexi. can oppression to be strong, and daily gaining strength. The Congress had been turned out at the point of the bayonet, and many other aggressions, at which we cannot even glance. After having passed some time in the country, with growing interest in it, and indignation at the Mexi. cans, he attended a meeting
of the people, and made an eloquent appeal to them upon their sufferings, and the insolent arrogance of their oppressors; first broached the subject of a revolution, and informed them of his intention to become a citizen of the country; urged them to let all half-way measures alone, or attempts at reconciliation, and promised to be theirs in a struggle for independence to the last drop of his blood. He afterward met Stephen F. Austin, another meeting was called, and Austin's speech on that occasion reconciled the people, who had been divided about the question of peace or war. He had just returned from his Mexican imprisonment, and they saw from his statement that war was inevitable, and they determined to resist the enemy to the death. After travelling through the country, addressing the people, and aiding the operations as far as lay in his power, Lamar returned to Georgia to settle his affairs and replenish his purse ; but while so engaged, he re
ceived a letter from the unfortunate Fannin, urging his return, and stating that the enemy had arrived, and was devastating the country, Fired with zeal for the cause, he hastened his departure, but some delay was unavoidable, and he at last arrived at Velasco, there first to learn that the Alamo had fallen, and that Fannin and his companions had been murdered. Many of them had been Lamar's friends and neighbors, and with a sad heart, and earnest longing for vengeance, he set out on foot for the army, having found it impossible to procure a horse at Velasco, from which place the inhabitants were flying away in terror.
After walking thirty miles, he succeeded in purchasing a horse of some Indians, and hastening on, soon joined the army which was lying at Grocés, on the Brazos. Here discontent was loud in its utterances against General Houston, because he still continued retreating ; and many of the leaders threatened to leave unless they were led on to action. Alarmed by the excitement about him, the commander-in-chief with the army moved forward the next day to San Jacinto, where the Mexicans were met, and after some slight skirmishing, the two armies encamped in the open prairies some three-quarters of a mile apart; and the night was spent by the Texians in watchfulness, and hope that the morning sun would see them hand to hand with the foe. The morning passed, however, and still Houston delayed the action, until impatience again grew loud; and at last Colonel Sherman, with the cavalry, (which Lamar had joined as a private, after purchasing the most powerful horse in the camp,) were ordered out to alarm the enemy, attack them if he saw fit, and the support of the infantry was promised if necessary. The Texians moved on, burning with desire to avenge their murdered friends at the Alamo and Goliad. As the Mexicans saw them advancing, their own cavalry moved in advance of the line to meet them, and a regiment of infantry filed off on their flank to cover the retreat if necessary. As soon as the Texians came within range of fire, they moved forward with a gallop, and a sharp but short conflict ensued; for the Mexicans were armed with spears which kept their opponents at a disadvantage, and the Texians, not receiving the support from their own army which had been promised, retreated some fifty yards; but a rallying cry was raised, and the party again returned to the charge, with Lamar at its head. This time the attack was more fierce but soon over, and both parties began retreating, save Lamar, who with the spirit of the battle upon him still kept up with the retreating Mexicans, hewing his way among them hand to hand with each opponent, as if blind or indifferent to his danger. Turning an instant, he saw Colonel Rusk at some distance, surrounded by, and keeping at bay, four or five Mexicans. Plunging his spurs into his maddened horse's sides, he dashed on to the rescue, and hewed down the first of the Mexicans, striking his knee however with the full force of his speed against the saddle of his adversary, as he sent him to eternity. The blow upon Lamar's knee gave him intolerable pain; he felt as if he had received a mortal wound: all things swam around him, and for the moment he lost all consciousness. Recovering again, he found he was alone; the three remaining Mexicans had fled toward their party, and Colonel Rusk toward his.
Now came an act of reckless daring seldom equalled. On Lamar's
right was the regiment of Mexican infantry, and a direct line to his own army would bring him within one hundred and fifty yards of them; on his left was a clump of trees, round which his retreating party had passed in safety. Should he follow them on a run, and without danger, or go by the direct line ?' He chose the latter, and turning toward the camp, in sight of the two armies, he walked his horse the entire distance while the Mexican regiment were firing at him along their line as he passed. He heard the balls whistle about his head, but reached the
unhurt, and by acclamation was selected to command the cavalry for the next day's engagement. Morning again broke upon an eager, anxious and busy mass of beings; and soon after mid-day came off the famous battle or rather rout of San Jacinto. Lamar not only commanded but led his band, rushed into the thickest of the fight, hewing to pieces the wretches who opposed his career, and by his efforts in the work of death, rendered his sword-arm useless for several days after. The events of that day of slaughter are too well known to repeat the details here. Over six hundred were left dead on the field, and some forty Texians killed or wounded.
Soon after the battle, Lamar was called into the cabinet as Secretary of War, the important question before which was, "Shall we shoot Santa Anna, or treat with him ?? Lamar was for the former, and wrote a pow. erful paper setting forth his views; but other councils prevailed, and the tyrant was let loose again upon his career of blood. Soon after, Lamar was appointed General of the Army, and the following year, at the urgent solicitation of his friends, became a candidate for the VicePresidency, and was duly elected under General Houston. After presiding over the Senate at Columbus for some time, he obtained leave of absence, and returned to Georgia to settle his affairs, where he remained some months, and again came back to his loved and adopted country. His term of office now drawing to a close, and after urgent solicitation on the part of his friends, for he wished to retire to private life, he was induced to become a candidate for the Presidency. The other party, as soon as they knew who was to be their opponent, withdrew their candidate; and Lamar was elected without opposition to the highest office in the gift of the people, in whose army a few years before he had been a private soldier.
Lamar found the government affairs of Texas in a rather chaotic state, each man doing literally that which seemed good unto him, for his predecessor had left things in about the same state in which he found them; having had no moral courage, and caring more to reward parti. sans, and indulge in sensual excesses, than bring order out of the unruly elements about him. He owed his elevation to personal popularity; the higher qualities of head and heart were wanting.
As quickly as possible Lamar had the diplomatie corps organized, and under his administration the Supreme Court held its first sittings : he soon established those checks and balances in the various departments and offices, without which government soon becomes an anarchy. With regard to the Indians, Houston's policy had been to leave the frontiers unprotected, with a view of concentrating the settlements; and many a scene of cruelty and blood was the consequence. The protec
tion of the frontier and removal of these Indians was one of the first objects which Lamar endeavored to obtain. With the determination to do so peaceably if he could, bloodily if he must, he made overtures to the principal tribes for their removal beyond the Red River, proposing to pay for their improvements and for the property which they could not take away. They readily consented, but required some months delay to prepare, which was granted; but soon after a courier was captured with documents which proved that the Indians were in league with Mexico, and preparing for war. They were then told that they must go, and at once; but Lamar was still willing to pay them, although they had placed themselves out of the pale of mercy; but the Cherokees threw off the mask, and showed a front of rifles and tomahawks, instead of negotiation and parchment. The Texians, however, had also been on the alert: two battles were fought, and the red men scourged and driven from the country. The most ferocious being driven away, the other tribes were removed by treaty without difficulty, and their improvements paid for at a valuation in specie; Lamar being determined to do them justice, while securing the safety of his own countrymen. The Indians are now in the place assigned them, and in peace and prosperity instead of continual turmoil with the whites, aggravated by their conflicting interests. The friendly Indians were paid for their services as warriors or spies, and had their share of the spoils taken in battle. General Lamar also made strenuous exertions with regard to education, but succeeded in getting from Congress only scanty appropriations for that purpose.
The Navy was also built up and sustained during his administration ; and among other important results was the protection of Galveston, the key of the country, where the Mexicans had meditated a descent; but they were soon put upon the defensive by the spirit and courage of Commodore Moore. And during the same period, the independence of Texas was acknowledged by Great Britain, France, Belgium, and Holland. The expedition to Santa Fé, so little understood, was made under Lamar's direct supervision. He had always been impressed with the importance of extending their jurisdiction to that place, which was within the limits of Texas by the treaty of independence framed with Santa Anna; and a regiment of regular soldiers was formed at the beginning of his administration, for the purpose of pursuing the Camanches to Santa Fé, and then taking possession of it; but the soldiers were employed in driving out the Cherokees, and afterward disbanded by Congress. Still Lamar saw the importance of diverting the immense trade of Santa Fé through its natural channel, Texas, and that it would enable the country to support its government and pay off its debt. He therefore held to his original purpose, and despatched a regiment of volunteers under the command of a gentleman of talent and unflinching courage, General Hugh McLeod; but for causes beyond his control, the expedition failed, leaving him entirely without merited censure or reproach.
But perhaps the best feature of Lamar's administration was the appointments he made to office. No wire-pullers and hungry applicants were the chosen ones; but with his clear eye, and ready perception of character, the able men, men of integrity, those who had the eye to see VOL. XXV.