Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar journal, 1835 MS 311

creator Lamar, Mirabeau Buonaparte, 1798-1859
Title: The Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar Journal
Dates: 1835
Abstract: On his 1835 trip from Georgia to Texas, Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar kept a manuscript diary. The journal is written in continuous narrative form, with frequent historical or descriptive passages inserted, covering the months June-October, 1835, the period during which Lamar apparently made his decision to settle in Texas permanently and join in the Texian battle for independence from Mexico.
Identification: MS 311
Quantity: 0.25 linear ft. (1 volume)
Repository: Woodson Research Center

Biographical Note

Mirabeau B. Lamar of Georgia (1798-1859), poet, journalist, and politician, first visited Texas in 1835. He traveled from Columbus, Georgia on June 15, 1835 by stagecoach and steamboat as far as Natchitoches, Louisiana, where he acquired a horse and rode into Texas in July 17, 1835, following the Old San Antonio Road. During his four-month sojourn, Lamar made numerous acquaintances and learned much about Texas’ history, colonization, climate, economy, and more. He was particularly intrigued by the political status of Texas, which was on the verge of separating from Mexico, by war if necessary, and establishing herself as an independent republic.

Lamar decided to join in this struggle for independence; he went home briefly to settle his affairs, and returned to Texas just in time to distinguish himself at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, rising from the rank of private to commander-in-chief of the army in a period of four weeks. However, the unruly Texas troops refused to accept him and he retired briefly to civilian life.

In September 1836, in the first national election, Texas elected Lamar Vice-President (1836-1838) and then President of the Republic (1838-1841). His major accomplishments include the early recognition by major European powers of Texas as an independent state, and the establishment of a foresighted system of public education. After his one term as President, Lamar retired from public life, except for service as U.S. Minister to Costa Rica and Nicaragua (1857-1858). He died of a heart attack in 1859.

Exerpted from Mirabeau B. Lamar's Texas Journal, by Nancy Boothe. (Rice University M.A. Thesis in History, 1979) and from "LAMAR, MIRABEAU BUONAPARTE." The Handbook of Texas Online. <http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/LL/flref12.html> [Accessed Tue Sep 7 10:33:55 US/Central 2004 ].

Scope and Contents

A journal, in Lamar’s own hand, documenting his June-October 1835 trip from Columbus, Georgia to Brazoria, Texas. Observations of the climate, political situations, and people encountered during the journey, delving into Lamar's own thoughts on these subjects. Lamar, like other travelers, stopped overnight in private houses and farms, and stayed longer in settled areas such as San Augustine, Nacogdoches, Brazoria, and Velasco. There are several sections dealing specfically with Lamar's views of the Comanches, the "Natives of Texas", and General James Long. The last entry in the journal is dated October 8, 1835, at Brazoria.


Access Restrictions

No access restrictions; this material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish from the Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar Journal must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Lamar, Mirabeau Buonaparte, 1798-1859
Comanche Indians--Texas--History--19th century
Voyages and travels
Southern States
Texas--San Augustine
Texas--San Felipe

Related Material

Lamar, Mirabeau Buonaparte. "Journal of My Travels," a 68 page handwritten diary as of 1979 was in the possesion of Lamar's great-granddaughter, Kate Caulder Pauls, of Galveston, Texas. This is a second diary covering Lamar's travels in the summer of 1835. Mrs. Pauls passed away in 1995. Microfilm copy available at Woodson Research Center.

Mirabeau B. Lamar's Texas Journal, by Nancy Boothe. (Rice University M.A. Thesis in History, 1979). This thesis interprets the diary held by the Woodson Research Center and includes a transcript of the Texas portion of the diary, original pages 65-194, with some portions omitted as noted in the section titled "Editorial Method".

Records of Lamar's tenure as Vice President and President of the Republic of Texas and personal Lamar papers are located at the Texas State Library and Archives. A six volume set reproducing Lamar's papers at the Texas State Library has been published as The papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, Charles Adams Gulick, editor, published in collaboration with the Texas State Library.

Additional Lamar manuscript materials available at the San Jacinto Museum of History.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar Journal of 1835, MS 311, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

Acquisition Information

This journal was purchased from a manuscripts dealer in 1952, after surfacing as an anonymous Texas journal. Comparison of the handwriting with confirmed Lamar manuscripts at the San Jacinto Museum of History established the journal as being Lamar's.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: Journal

1 Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar journal, 1835
Scope and Contents note
194 pages sewn in a leather-bound account book, 7.75" x 9.75"