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Texas' Second President Calls for the Expulsion or Extermination of the Republic's Indians
Digital History ID 3667

Author:   Mirabeau B. Lamar

Annotation: Fearful that Texas Indians would unite with Mexico to overthrow the Republic of Texas, Texas’s second president, Mirabeau B. Lamar declares that if Indian “depredations” continued, the response would be the Indians’ “total extinction or total expulsion.”

Document: Has not the white man for centuries furnished him with examples of clemency and kindness? Have not their women and children been protected, and the old and inform been spared. And when taken in battle, have they not experienced the forbearances and indulgences which so much assuage the asperities of civilized conflict? They have: And it is precisely because their indulgences have been profitable to their heartless policy, that they have persevered in their ancient barbarities. As long as we continue to exhibit our mercy without showing our strength, so long will the Indian continue to bloody the to[m]ahawk and move onward in the work of rapacity and slaughter. And how long shall this cruel humanity, this murderous sensibility for the sanguinary savage, be practicesed in defiance of its tested impolicy? Until other oceans of blood, the blood of our wives and children shall glut their voracious appetite? I would answer no. If the wild cannibals of the woods will not desist from their massacres, they they continue to war upon us with the ferocity of tigers and hyenas, it is time that we should retaliate their warfare. Not in the murder of their women and children, but in the prosecution of an exterminating war upon their warriors; which will admit of no compromise and have no termination except in their total extinction or total expulsion.

Source: Mirabeau B. Lamar to the Texas Congress, December 20, 1838

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