Go to Page | Index | Contents 478     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

Presidential Election of 1841

seat of government; the Franco-Texienne Bill[2]  sponsored by Houston; the Cherokee land question; retrenchment; and the redemption of the nation's honor, desecrated by Mexico. As to the latter, it was charged that if Houston were elected, he would not vindicate the national honor in respect to Mexico and would let matters drift rather than settle the issues by the sword or make another attempt at negotiation. Houston was pictured as representing the east (except in Nacogdoches County where his attitude on the Cherokee land question made Burnet the favorite), and as being "generally inimical to the welfare of the West." Burnet was represented as the supporter of the true interests of the west.[3]

You are represented by many of your opponents [Miller wrote Houston from Gonzales] as rejoicing in the anticipation of power to dissever from us, in the day of our depression, the strong arm of our defence, protection and prosperity, by a removal of the present seat of government -- as viewing us beyond the pale of common justice and equal privileges with the rest of our countrymen -- as deeming us unworthy of governmental consideration, or even mercy -- as partial to the East because of its strength and hostile to the West because of its weakness.[4]

Houston lost no time in attempting to dispel the belief in the west that he considered their problems unimportant. In a letter to W. D. Wallach, editor of the Colorado Gazette and Advertiser, a former Lamar supporter, who by 1841 had become one of Houston's staunchest friends and advocates, in response to some delicate inquiries from Wallach, Houston wrote, "I deem the efficient protection of the frontier against the Indians, as a desideratum in the policy of Texas, and should I be elected, it shall be protected!!"[5]  It is only fit, he con-

2. "A Bill to be entitled an Act to Incorporate a Company, to be called the Franco-Texienne Company, and granting certain privileges to the same," Texas Congress, Journals of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas, Seventh Congress, Appendix, pp. 395-399.

3. W. D. Miller to Sam Houston, Gonzales, Feb. 27, 1841, in W. D. Miller Papers, 1833-1860, ms., copy; Thomas W. Bell to Brother, Rutersville, Texas, July 25, 1841, in Llerena Friend (ed.), "Thomas W. Bell Letters," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, LXIII (1959-1960), 457-460.

4. W. D. Miller to Sam Houston, Gonzales, Feb. 27, 1841, in W. D. Miller Papers, 1833-1860, ms., copy.

5. Sam Houston to W. D. Wallach, Cedar Point, May 31, 1841, in Writings of Sam Houston, II, 367-369; Colorado Gazette and Advertiser (Matagorda), July 10, 1841.

Go to Page | Index | Contents 478     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

AFTER SAN JACINTO: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836-1841
Joseph Milton Nance, 1963