Taylor Town

LAMAR, MIRABEAU BUONAPARTE (17981859). Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, son of John and Rebecca (Lamar) Lamar, president of the Republic of Texas , was born near Louisville, Georgia, on August 16, 1798. He grew up at Fairfield, his father's plantation near Milledgeville. He attended academies at Milledgeville and Eatonton and was an omnivorous reader. As a boy he became an expert horseman and an accomplished fencer, began writing verse, and painted in oils. In 1819 he had a brief partnership in a general store at Cahawba, Alabama; in 1821 he was joint publisher of the Cahawba Press for a few months. When George M. Troup was elected governor of Georgia in 1823, Lamar returned to Georgia to become Troup's secretary and a member of his household. He married Tabitha Jordan of Twiggs County, Georgia, on January 1, 1826, and soon resigned his secretaryship to nurse his bride, who was ill with tuberculosis. In 1828 he moved his wife and daughter, Rebecca Ann, to the new town of Columbus, Georgia, and established the Columbus Enquirer as an organ for the Troup political faction. Lamar was elected state senator in 1829 and was a candidate for reelection when his wife died on August 20, 1830. He withdrew from the race and traveled until he was sufficiently recovered. During this time he composed two of his best known poems, "At Evening on the Banks of the Chattahoochee" and "Thou Idol of My Soul." He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1832, helped organize a new party, and was again defeated for Congress in 1834 on a nullification platform. He then sold his interest in the Enquirer and in 1835 followed James W. Fannin, Jr. , to Texas to collect historical data. By the time he reached Texas, Lamar's health and spirits began to mend and he decided to settle in the Mexican province. Characteristically, he immediately declared for Texas independence, helped build a fort at Velasco, contributed three poems to the Brazoria Texas Republican , and hurried back to Georgia to settle his affairs.

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