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in view the preservation of the Union, by the only means by which she believes it can be long preserved—a firm, manly, and steady resistance against usurpation. Sir, if, acting on these high motives,-if, animated by that ardent love of liberty, which has always been the most prominent trait in the Southern character, we should be hurried beyond the bounds of a cold and calculating prudence; who is there, with one noble and generous sentiment in his bosom, who would not be disposed, in the language of Burke, to exclaim, “ You must pardon something to the spirit of liberty”?
GENERAL SAM HOUston, first President of Texas, was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, but his widowed mother removed in his childhood to Tennessee and settled near the Cherokee Country. Here he was much with the Indians and was adopted by a chief named Oolooteka, who called him Coloneh (the Rover).
In 1813 he became a soldier in the Creek war and was almost fatally wounded at the battle of Tohopeka, or Horseshoe Bend, Alabama. In 1818 he decided to study law and went to Nashville, where he became quite successful as a lawyer and soon received political honors, being elected member of Congress in 1823 and governor of Tennessee
In 1829 he left Tennessee for the West, spent three years in Arkansas among the Cherokees who had emigrated thither, his old friend Oolooteka being one of them; and in 1832 went to Texas, with which State his after life is connected. He was made Commander-in-Chief of the Texan
forces in the struggle for independence against Mexico, and by the battle of San Jacinto, 1836, he put an end to the war, and in the same year he was elected first President of the Republic of Texas. He was elected again in 1841 after Lamar's administration; and when in 1845 Texas became a State in the Union, he entered the United States Senate where he served until 1859. He was governor of Texas from 1859 to 1861 and then retired to private life. He is buried at Huntsville.
He was ever a warm friend to the Indians; he was opposed to secession, and took little interest and no part in the Confederate war, except by allowing his oldest son to enter its service.
His life by Rev. Wm. Carey Crane, President of Baylor University, gives a graphic account of a most interesting and independent character; and it contains also his literary remains, consisting of State Papers, Indian Talks, Letters, and Speeches.
CAUSE OF THE TEXAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.
(From a Letter to Santa Anna, 1842. ) The people of Texas were invited to migrate to this country for the purpose of enjoying equal rights and constitutional liberty. They were promised the shield of the Constitution of 1824, adopted by Mexico. Confiding in this pledge, they removed to the country to encounter all the privations of a wilderness, under the alluring promises of free institutions. Other reasons operated also. Citizens of the United States had engaged in the revolution of Mexico, in 1812. They fought gallantly in the achievement of Mexican independence, and many of them survive, and to this day occupy the soil which their privations and valor assisted in achieving. On their removal here, they brought with them no aspirations or projects but such as were loyal to the Constitution of Mexico. They repelled the Indian savages; they encountered every discomfort; they subdued the wil. derness, and converted into cultivated fields the idle waste of this now prolific territory. Their courage and enterprise achieved that which the imbecility of your countrymen had either neglected, or left for centuries unaccomplished. Their situation, however, was not disregarded by Mexico, though she did not, as might have been expected, extend to them a protecting and fostering care, but viewed them as objects of cupidity, rapacity, and at last jealousy.
The Texans, enduring the annoyances and oppressions inflicted upon them, remained faithful to the Constitution of Mexico. In 1832, when an attempt was made to destroy that Constitution, and when you, sir, threw yourself forward as its avowed champion, you were sustained with all the fidelity and valor that freemen could contribute. On the avowal of your principles, and in accordance with them, the people put down the serviles of despotism at Anahuac, Velasco, and Nacogdoches. They treated the captives of that struggle with humanity, and sent them to Mexico subject to your orders. They regarded you as the friend of liberty and free institutions; they hailed you as a benefactor of mankind; your name and your actions were lauded, and the manifestations you had given in behalf of the nation were themes of satisfaction and delight to the Texan patriots.
You can well imagine the transition of feeling which ensued on your accession to power. Your subversion of the Constitution of 1824, your establishment of centralism, your conquest of Zacatecas, characterized by every act of violence, cruelty, and rapine, inflicted upon us the profoundest astonishment. We realized all the uncertainty of men awakening to reality from the unconsciousness of delirium. In succession came your orders for the Texans to surrender their private arms. The mask was thrown aside and the monster of despotism displayed in all the habiliments of loathsome detestation.
There was presented to Texans the alternative of tamely crouching to the tyrant's lash, or exalting themselves to the attributes of freemen. They chose the latter. To chastise them for their presumption induced your advance upon Texas, with your boasted veteran army, mustering a force nearly equal to the whole population of this country at that time. You besieged and took the Alamo: but under what circumstances ? Not those, surely, which should characterize a general of the nineteenth century. You assailed one hundred and fifty men, destitute of every supply requisite for the defence of that place. Its brave defenders, worn by vigilance and duty beyond the power of human nature to sustain, were at length overwhelmed by a force of nine thousand men, and the place taken. I ask you, sir, what scenes followed? Were they such as should characterize an able general, a magnanimous warrior, and the President of a great nation numbering eight millions of souls? No. Manliness and generosity would sicken at the recital of the scenes incident to your success, and humanity itself would blush to class you among the chivalric spirits of the age of vandalism.* This you have been pleased to class as in the “succession of your victories ;” and I presume you would next include the massacre at Goliad.
Your triumph there, if such you are pleased to term it, was not the triumph of arms—it was the success of perfidy. Fannin and his brave companions had beaten back and de
* Every one in the Alamo was massacred. The inscription there now is: “Thermopylæ had its messenger of defeat: the Alamo had none."
fied your veteran soldiers. Although outnumbered more than seven to one, their valiant, hearty, and indomitable courage, with holy devotion to the cause of freedom, foiled every
ef. fort directed by your general to insure his success by arms. He had recourse to a flag of truce; and when the surrender of the little patriot band was secured by the most solemn treaty stipulations, what were the tragic scenes that ensued to Mexican perfidy? The conditions of surrender were submitted to you; and, though you have denied the facts, instead of restoring them to liberty, according to the capitulation, you ordered them to be executed contrary to every pledge given them, contrary to the rules of war, and contrary to every principle of humanity.
BATTLE OF SAN JACINTO. (From General Houston's Report to Hon. D. G. Burnet, Provisional President of the
Republic of Texas, April 25, 1836.) I have the honor to inform you that on the evening of the eighteenth instant, after a forced march of fifty-five miles, which was effected in two days and a half, the army arrived opposite Harrisburg. That evening a courier of the enemy was taken, from whom I learned that General Santa Anna, with one division of his choice troops, had marched in the direction of Lynch's Ferry, on the San Jacinto, burning Harrisburg as he passed down. The army was ordered to be in readiness to march early on the next morning. The main body effected a crossing over Buffalo Bayou, below Harrisburg, on the morning of the 19th, having left the baggage, the sick, and a sufficient camp guard in the rear.
We continued the march throughout the night, making but one halt in the prairie for a short time, and without refreshment.
At daylight we resumed the line of march, and in a short distance our scouts encountered those of the enemy, and we