From the Annals of Best Intentions – In 1845, the Texas Senate ratified a peace treaty between Anglo settlers and 11 Native American tribes. The treaty was negotiated by Sam Houston whose attitudes towards Native Americans was markedly different than that of the general public based on his years of living with the Cherokee. Houston hoped that the treaty would usher in a new era of peaceful relations between the Anglo-Texan settlers and the tribes still in control of vast areas of the Republic. Had Texas remained an independent country the outcome could have been different. However, with statehood all Indian affairs became the responsibility of the federal government and any chance of peace with the most aggressive tribes such as the Comanche, Kiowa and Wichita was gone.
Image of Sam Houston in Cherokee clothing.
From the Annals of Diplomacy – In 1837, U.S. President Andrew Jackson appointed Alcée La Branche as the American chargé d’affaires to the Republic of Texas. The act officially recognized Texas as an independent republic. La Branche was born on his father’s plantation on the Mississippi River near New Orleans in 1806. The family, earlier named Zweig (the German equivalent of French branche) had emigrated from Bamberg, Bavaria to Louisiana in 1721. Alcée attended the University of Sorreze in France. and after returning home he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1831 and was elected as speaker of the House in 1833.
Texas received him enthusiastically viewing him as friend of annexation. La Branche, however, was loyal to his country and aggressively defended the United States claim to disputed territory in Red River County (now Bowie, Red River, Franklin, Titus, Morris, and Cass counties). The two countries signed the Convention of Limits, which recognized Texas claims to the contested county and the Sabine River as the eastern boundary of Texas. La Branche also sought to reduce tensions concerning cross-border raids in pursuit of Native Americans. He believed that the majority of Indian attacks were caused by Texans’ trespassing and surveying Indian lands.
La Branche Street in Houston is named in his honor.