Today in Texas History – October 22


rom the Annals of the Republic – In 1836, Sam Houston was inaugurated as the first constitutionally elected President of the Republic of Texas.  Among the most pressing issues facing the new President were relations with the Native Americans who still dominated much of the claimed national territory. Houston’s years living with the Cherokees and actually becoming a Cherokee citizen gave him a different perspective than most.  During his first term, Houston held conferences with tribal leaders in an attempt to address past grievances and establish new trust. He appointed agents to deal with the tribes and to run government trading houses.  Houston attempted to limit further settlement by pulling back surveyors and military companies from the frontier.  He did recognize that Anglos needed some protection.  He created a force of 280 mounted riflemen to enforce the trade laws and deal fairly with both sides, removing white trespassers and arresting Indian raiders.  But there was to be no peace between whites and Indians. Many Texans refused to wait for Houston’s policy to work and demanded that the Indians be removed from Texas and violence inevitably resulted – instigated by both sides.  By the end of Houston’s term in 1838, a change in policy was inevitable.

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