Texas's Second President Denounces the Cherokees for Conspiring with Mexico
Digital History ID 3668
Mirabeau B. Lamar
In a letter to the Shawnees, Texas’ second president Mirabeau B. Lamar accuses the Cherokees of conspiring with Mexico to attack the Republic of Texas and threatens to use violence to put down any threats. In 1839, the Cherokee were expelled from their Texas homelands and relocated in Arkansas territory. By 1841, east Texas was almost entirely cleared of Indians and Texans had advanced along the Colorado, Brazos and Trinity rivers, gaining control over the area that would become Austin, Dallas, and Waco.
Brothers: I have long suspected that the Cherokees were our Secret enemies. that while we were treating them with Kindness, they were holding dark councils with the Mexicans. These Suspicions are now reduced to absolute proof. The treachery and the hostile machinations of the Cherokees have been fully discovered. They have listened to the forked tongue of the Mexicans, who are always Women in war, and wiley Serpents in peace. The Cherokees can no longer remain among us. They must return to the land appropriated by their great father the President of the United States for the future residence of their people. I hope they will go in peace and return no more for we have no wish to shed the blood of the Red men.
Brothers! You are not Cherokees and we believe you have not mingled your voices in their wicked Councils. Be admonished and refrain from all participation with them, and with their impotent advisers beyond the Rio Grande. The Mexicans can render them no aid. But they are willing to see the white men and the red men employed in the mutual destruction of each other. We are much Stronger now than when we conquered their armies and their great Chief and drove them from our Soil. They can never return except in small skulking parties, that may wind their way like snakes in the grass along our unsettled frontier where the feet of our warriors seldom tread. And when they do so come it is only to beguile the red men, and to Seduce them into a war with us, which they have not the spirit to encounter themselves.
Brothers! Listen not to evil Council. Should the Cherokees refuse to leave our territory force must be employed. But let the Shawnees be wise; and take no part in the controversy.
Source: Texas Indian Papers Volume 1, #35. Mirabeau B. Lamar to John Linney, May 1839.
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