Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar
“Father of Education in Texas”
Accomplished in horsemanship, fencing, painting, and poetry, Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar came to Texas and became one of its greatest political leaders. His inspired vision of what Texas could become lay the foundation for future greatness during some of its darkest years.
Born in Georgia on August 16, 1798, Lamar was educated at the academies at Milledgeville and Eatonton. He served as secretary to the Governor of Georgia from 1823 to 1826, and was elected state senator in 1829. Defeated in the elections of 1832 and 1834, he followed James Fannin to Texas to collect historical information. He became involved in the independence movement and, deciding to settle in Texas, hurried back to Georgia to settle his affairs.
Back in Texas, he was commissioned a colonel and commanded the cavalry at the Battle of San Jacinto. He was soon appointed Secretary of War and demanded the execution of General Santa Anna as a murderer and war criminal. In September 1836 he was elected Vice-President of the Republic of Texas, and in 1837 founded the Philosophical Society of Texas. In 1838 he was supported for President by the anti-Sam Houston faction. Both of his opponents’ committed suicide before the election.
At Lamar’s suggestion, the new capital city of Austin was built and occupied in 1839. His proposal to set aside public lands to finance public education earned him the title “Father of Education.” As a lieutenant colonel during the Mexican War, he fought in the Battle of Monterrey. During the next ten years he traveled extensively and was U.S. Minister to Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Shortly after returning to Texas he died at his plantation at Richmond on December 19, 1859, and was buried in the Masonic Cemetery. He was a member of Harmony Lodge No. 6 at Galveston.
* From The Texas Mason
By Pete Normand, PM
Texas Lodge of Research
* The Texas Masons
The Fraternity of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons in the History of Texas
by Pete Normand, © 1986
Book may be ordered from
Brazos Valley Masonic Library and Museum Assn.
P.O. Box 1300
College Station, TX 77841
Price: $10.00 Postpaid