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Presidential Election of 1841

Congress "to encourage frontier protection" is "too much disjointed to be effectual. I think," he continued, "a better one would be to authorize some three or four well mounted ranging companies to traverse the frontiers across their whole extent, without cessation. Let them be organized upon the plan, pretty much, of similar companies upon the western frontier of the United States."[7]

Houston's position in the west, too, was undoubtedly improved by his according his blessing in the vice-presidential race to Edward Burleson of Bastrop over General Memucan Hunt and thus giving a sectional balance to the ticket as well as offsetting to some extent Houston's acknowledged preference for the east. Houston also had the support of many of the leading newspapers. The Austin City Gazette, the Houstonian, the Morning Star (Houston), the Red-Lander (San Augustine), and Colorado Gazette and Advertiser (Matagorda) gave their support to him; whereas, the Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston) and Texas Sentinel (Austin) favored Burnet and Hunt.

When election day rolled around on September 6, the results showed Houston the winner by a vote of more than two to one over Burnet; in the vice-presidential race the vote was much closer, yet Burleson, the Houston-sanctioned candidate, won over Hunt by a vote of 6,161 to 4,336.[8]  Thus, as James Morgan phrased it, "Old Sam H. with all his faults appears to be the only man for Texas -- He is still unsteady, intemperate, but drunk in a ditch is worth a thousand of Lamar and Burnet."[9]  "In short," as one writer puts it, "Burnet's identification with the disastrous mistakes and extravagances of the Lamar administration and Houston's powerful, compelling personality had returned the Old Hero to the Executive Chair."[10]

7. W. D. Miller to Sam Houston, Gonzales, July 10, 1841, in W. D. Miller Papers, 1833-1860, ms.

8. Dudley G. Wooten (ed.), A Comprehensive History of Texas, 1685 to 1897, I, 377-378; Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of Texas and the North Mexican States, II, 341.

9. Quoted in Siegel, A Political History of the Texas Republic, p. 182.

10. Ibid.

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