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Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar passes away

Today in Masonic History Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar passes away in 1859.

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was an American politician.

Lamar was born on August 16th, 1798 near Milledgeville, Georgia. As a child he loved to read and educated himself through books. He was accepted to Princeton University, he declined the opportunity and started in business. He was a merchant and owned a newspaper. Both endeavors were unsuccessful.

In 1828, Lamar entered the world of politics when he was hired as the private secretary of Georgia Governor George M. Troup. He would travel around giving speeches for the Governor as well as composing press releases.

When Troup failed to be re-elected in 1828, Lamar established the Columbus Enquirer in Columbus, Georgia. The new paper was much more successful than the last.

In 1830, Lamar's wife, who he married in 1826, passed away from Tuberculosis. This was the beginning of a hard period in Lamar's life. At the time Lamar was serving the Georgia Senate, he withdrew his name for re-election devastated by the passing of his wife. In 1833, he had an unsuccessful run for the United States Congress. In 1834, his brother committed suicide. All this was more than Lamar could take so he decided to go traveling to get away from the bad memories.

In 1835, Lamar found himself in Texas and decided to become a permanent resident. After a brief trip back to Georgia to sell property, he returned to Texas just as the war for independence from Mexico was beginning. He quickly joined Sam Houston's Army. The night before the Battle of San Jacinto, Lamar rode out to save two Texans that had been surrounded. The act was so courageous that it drew a salute from the Mexican lines. On the spot, Houston promoted Lamar to colonel from private. Lamar was placed in charge of a calvary unit during the battle.

Lamar was inaugurated as the second President of Texas on December 1st, 1838. Under his term the capital of the Republic of Texas was moved to the newly created city of Austin. Although never formally educated himself, Lamar believed in the importance of education and laid the ground work for the establishment of public schools in Texas.

In his first address, Lamar called the immediate removal of the Comanche and Cherokee from Texas. He felt it had to be done to free up the lands for white settlers. The Cherokee were either killed or driven out. The Comanche, despite massive loss of life held their ground.

Lamar also sought formal recognition for the Republic of Texas with European nations. He rejected the idea of Texas being Annexed to the United States and sought loans from the European nations. Although several did recognize Texas as an independent Republic, none would loan Texas any money. When he could not get funds elsewhere, Lamar decided to print official Texas paper money, called redbacks, the money was worthless and caused more financial hardship for Texas.

Sam Houston, who was also the first President of Texas, replaced Lamar as President. Lamar returned to the military until he was elected to the Texas Legislature in 1848. He was appointed in 1857 as Minister to Nicaragua and Costa Rica from the United States, after the annexation of Texas.

Lamar passed away on December 19th, 1859 from a heart attack.

Lamar was a member of Harmony Lodge No.6 in Galveston, Texas.