|Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar
|16th of August in 1798
|Place of birth
|Louisville, Georgia, United States
|19th of December in 1859
|Place of Death
|Richmond, Texas, United States
|Former President of Texas
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, a multifaceted American attorney, politician, poet, and significant figure during the Texas Republic era played an instrumental role in shaping the course of Texan history. Rising to the position of the second President of the Republic of Texas following the presidency of Sam Houston, Lamar’s impact on the fledgling nation was profound. He garnered renown for his strategic campaigns against the Cherokee and Comanche tribes, which aimed at securing Texan borders, and for his commitment to advancing education through the establishment of a dedicated fund. Lamar’s legacy as a dynamic leader, both on the battlefield and in the realm of policy-making, continues to endure as a testament to his enduring contributions.
Mirabeau was born on August 16, 1798, in Louisville, Georgia, United States. His life journey would unfold as a captivating tale of leadership and determination that would greatly influence the course of Texas history. He hailed from a white ethnicity and practiced Christianity, which would later shape his perspectives and decisions.
As a Leo, Mirabeau carried the traits associated with the zodiac sign—courage, ambition, and a passion for making a lasting impact. These qualities would resonate throughout his life, propelling him to engage with the challenges and opportunities presented by his era.
Tragically, at the age of 61, Mirabeau’s journey came to an end on December 19, 1859, in Richmond, Texas. His passing marked the conclusion of a life dedicated to public service and the betterment of the nation he helped shape. Despite his physical departure, his legacy would continue to shine brightly in the pages of Texas history and the hearts of those who admired his unwavering dedication to his ideals.
Early Life and Education
Lamar’s journey began in 1798 in the town of Louisville, Georgia, where he was born as the second eldest among nine siblings. His childhood unfolded against the backdrop of Fairfield, his father’s sprawling cotton plantation nestled near Milledgeville, the capital of Georgia at the time. The roots of his family traced back to French Huguenot Thomas Lamar, an ancestor who had established himself in Maryland in the late 17th century.
His parents, John and Rebecca Lamar, shared a unique familial connection as first cousins through the lineage of Thomas Lamar’s sons, John and Thomas. It was Rebecca’s brother, Zachariah, who was bestowed the honor of naming their sons. Drawing inspiration from his favorite historical luminaries, he chose names that would echo with legacy and reverence.
Lamar’s elder brother, Lucius, bore the name of the Roman statesman Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus—an embodiment of civic duty and leadership. The younger, Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, was christened after two renowned figures: Napoleon Bonaparte, the revered French military and political leader, and Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, a prominent figure in the early stages of the French Revolution.
Embedded in a web of connections that spanned families across Georgia and the South, Lamar’s lineage was interwoven with the tapestry of the region’s history. Notably, he shared kinship with John Basil Lamar, a prominent figure in Confederate politics and a first cousin to Mirabeau.
From an early age, Lamar exhibited a passion for reading—a trait that would come to define his pursuit of knowledge. Self-education became his avenue to growth, a path he navigated diligently through the pages of books. Notably, despite being accepted into Princeton University (then known as the College of New Jersey), Lamar opted to chart his own course. The decision not to attend formal higher education institutions would prove to be a defining aspect of his unconventional path to greatness.
Career and Work
Mirabeau’s path to prominence was marked by a series of ventures and endeavors that showcased both his resilience and adaptability. His journey began in the realm of commerce, where he embarked on a merchant venture followed by an attempt to establish a newspaper. Unfortunately, both of these enterprises met with failure, yet these setbacks did not deter his determination.
In 1823, Lamar’s familial connections paved the way for a significant turn in his career trajectory. He secured a pivotal role as the private secretary to Georgia Governor George M. Troup. In this capacity, he assumed responsibilities such as issuing press releases and embarking on statewide tours to deliver speeches on behalf of the governor. During one of his tours, fate intervened as he encountered Tabitha Burwell Jordan, the woman who would become his wife in 1826. Together, they welcomed a daughter into their lives.
The winds of change led Lamar to Columbus, Georgia, after Governor Troup lost his re-election bid in 1828. Here, he founded the Columbus Enquirer—a venture that proved markedly more successful than his previous undertakings. However, life’s twists were not all favorable, as Tabitha succumbed to tuberculosis in 1830. The loss deeply affected Lamar, prompting him to recalibrate his aspirations. He withdrew from the running for re-election to the Georgia Senate, a position he had already served one term in.
Following a period of exploration and introspection, Lamar redirected his pursuits towards the legal field. His commitment culminated in his admission to the bar in 1833. Despite an unsuccessful campaign for a seat in the U.S. Congress, a new chapter awaited him—one intertwined with the fervor of Texan independence.
In the spring of 1836, news of a battle for liberty reached Lamar’s ears. Responding to the call, he joined Sam Houston’s army, carrying his horse and sword with him. His bravery and valor shone brightly at the pivotal Battle of San Jacinto, a testament to his dedication to the Texian cause. With Texas emerging victorious and securing independence from Mexico, Lamar assumed the role of Secretary of War in the interim Texian government. His prowess continued to rise, leading to his election as the Vice President of Texas in 1836.
Lamar’s ascent reached its zenith as he emerged as the unanimous nominee of the Democratic Party for the presidency, succeeding the renowned Sam Houston. On December 1, 1838, he was inaugurated into office. However, his inauguration was marked by an unexpected turn of events—Houston’s extensive farewell address left Lamar so unnerved that he was unable to deliver his own inaugural speech. Instead, his aide Algernon P. Thompson conveyed his message. David G. Burnet stood as Lamar’s vice president, and together, they embarked on a chapter that would indelibly shape Texas history.
During his tenure as a prominent figure in Texas politics and governance, Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar’s financial standing stood as a reflection of his multifaceted endeavors. Notably, at that juncture in history, his net worth was estimated to be approximately $100,000. This valuation encompassed his diverse engagements, from his ventures in commerce and publishing to his foray into politics and public service.
Lamar’s financial worth not only reflected his material possessions but also underscored the wealth of experiences and contributions he had amassed over the years. His journey was one of both trials and triumphs, marked by a determination to leave an enduring mark on the course of Texas history.
Family and Relationship
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar’s journey was intimately intertwined with the bonds of family and relationships that he forged along the way. These connections not only marked significant chapters in his personal life but also played a role in influencing his path in the public domain.
In 1826, Lamar entered the institution of marriage, uniting his life with Tabitha Jordan Lamar. Their union, however, lasted a mere four years, as they chose to part ways and dissolve their marriage in 1830. The intricacies of their relationship remain a testament to the complexities of human connections, with both joys and challenges shaping their shared journey.
Subsequently, in 1851, Lamar found himself drawn once again to the prospect of companionship. He married Henrietta Maffitt, embarking on a new chapter in his personal story. This union held its own significance, weaving another layer of interconnection into the tapestry of Lamar’s life.
From his first marriage to Tabitha Jordan, Lamar was blessed with two children who became integral parts of his world. Rebecca Ann Lamar and Loretto Evalina Lamar carried forward his legacy, a reminder of his role as a father and the enduring impact of familial ties.
- Lamar held the esteemed position of being the second President of the Republic of Texas. Additionally, he served as the inaugural Vice President of the Republic of Texas, showcasing his significant contributions to the young nation’s leadership.
- His diplomatic prowess extended beyond Texan borders, as he also held the titles of the fourth United States Ambassador to Nicaragua and the third United States Ambassador to Costa Rica. These roles underscored his ability to navigate international relations.
- Lamar’s personal life was marked by two marriages, each contributing to the diverse tapestry of his experiences. He had two children from his first marriage, Rebecca Ann Lamar and Loretto Evalina Lamar, who became integral parts of his legacy.
- Beyond his political career, Lamar was a multidimensional individual. He was not only a politician but also an accomplished attorney and a poet, revealing his capacity for creative expression alongside his administrative acumen.
- The trajectory of his professional journey began with commerce. Lamar initially embarked on a career as a merchant before venturing into the realm of journalism. His enterprise, the Columbus Enquirer, marked a notable chapter in his pursuit of impactful endeavors.
- Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar’s final resting place is located in Morton Cemetery, Richmond, Texas. His grave stands as a testament to his enduring impact on the history and legacy of the region he helped shape.
Q: What significant roles did Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar hold in Texas history?
A: Lamar served as the second President and the first Vice President of the Republic of Texas. He also represented the United States as an Ambassador to Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Q: How many times was Lamar married, and did he have children?
A: Lamar married twice. He had two children, Rebecca Ann Lamar and Loretto Evalina Lamar, from his first marriage.
Q: Apart from politics, what other professions did Lamar pursue?
A: In addition to his political career, Lamar was an attorney and a poet, showcasing his multifaceted talents.
Q: What were Lamar’s early career endeavors?
A: Lamar’s professional journey began with a merchant venture, followed by running a newspaper, the Columbus Enquirer, which marked a successful turn in his pursuits.
Q: Where is Lamar buried, and what does it symbolize?
A: Lamar’s final resting place is in Morton Cemetery, Richmond, Texas. His grave stands as a testament to his enduring influence on the region’s history and development.