Thursday, August 13, 2020

Southern Poets and Poems, Part XIII


A series by Clyde Wilson

MIRABEAU BUONAPARTE LAMAR (1798-1859) of Texas moved from his native Georgia to the Texas Republic in 1835. He took a conspicuous part in the Texas War of Independence and was cited by Sam Houston for outstanding bravery at the Battle of San Jacinto. Lamar served in the Texas government and followed Houston as President. He was also a prolific poet. His verses were often addressed to or about ladies—his mother, sister, daughter, or others he admired. His work gives something of a hint of the mind of the early Southern settlers of Texas.

The Daughter of Mendoza


  1. If Sam Houston recognized his bravery, he must have been good.
    Brock, this congressman from Texas for twenty-five yrs, Sam Rayburn,
    came from Tennessee to Texas. His father was a Confederate
    Cavalryman. In his office he had pictures on the wall but they
    were all pictures of Robert E. Lee. I would like to see this
    today. But, of course, they wouldn't dare.
    Rayburn who hated the railroads, whose freight charges fleeced the farmer, and the banks, whose interest charges fleeced the farmer, and the utility companies, which refused to extend their power lines into the countryside, and thus condemned the farmer to darkness. Rayburn who hated the "trusts" and the "interests"- Rayburn who hated the rich and all their devices. Rayburn who hated the Republican Party, which he regarded as one of those devices-hated it for currency policies that, he said, "make the rich richer and the poor poorer"; hated it for the tariff ("the robber tariff, the most indefensible system that the world has ever known," he called it; because the Republican Party "fooled ... the farmer into" supporting the tariff, he said, the rich "fatten their already swollen purses with more ill-gotten gains wrung from the horny hands of the toiling masses"); and hated it for Reconstruction, too: the son of a Confederate cavalryman who "never stopped hating the Yankees," Rayburn, a friend once said, "will not in his long lifetime forget Appomattox"; for years after he came to Congress, the walls of his office bore many pictures, but all were of one man-Robert E. Lee; in 1928, when his district was turning to the Republican Hoover over Al Smith, and he was advised to turn with it or risk losing his own congressional seat, he growled: "As long as I honor the memory of the Confederate dead, and revere the gallant devotion of my Confederate father to the Southland, I will never vote for electors of a party which sent the carpetbagger and the scalawag to the prostrate South with saber and sword." Rayburn who hated the railroads, and the banks, and the Republicans because he never forgot who he was, or where he came from.
    He was impeccably honest - when he died, his savings consisted of
    $15,000. The filth nowadays, come out richer than they went

    1. Thanks.