The Indian policy of Mirabeau B. Lamar, president of the Republic of Texas, 1838-1841
The term of Mirabeau B. Lamar's presidency in the RepubUc of Texas represented a brief period in the history of Indian-white relations in Texas. The three years of Lamar's presidency, 1838-1841, saw neither the beginning nor the end of the Indian 'question' in Texas. Indeed, Indian relations had been an important political and military issue in Texas from the arrival of the first Europeans in the region, and they remained significant long after Lamar's short term as President. But the years from 1838 to 1841 witnessed some of the most dramatic events of the Republic of Texas and in the history of Indian-white relations in the Southwest.
Mirabeau Lamar did not achieve a permanent end to the troubles between Anglos and native people in Texas. He did, however, bring a period of relative peace for Anglo-Texans. Lamar ousted a number of immigrant tribes in East Texas and succeeded during his term as President in securing the western Texas frontier against the Comanches. His Indian policy opened up vast new areas of Texas for Anglo settlement. For his actions Texans regarded him a hero at the time, but history has been less kind to him. Some people now label him an Indian killer. Those who condemn his treatment of native people perhaps fail to see Lamar in the context of the time in which he lived, and possibly they ignore the difficult situations he faced as President of a new republic.