The Texas Presidencies : Presidential Leadership in the Republic of Texas, 1836-1845 Page: 59
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to Robert Irion, his former secretary of state, that not since the revolution began had he
entertained such gloomy hopes for his country,13
By 1840 the Texans had largely expelled the Cherokees from the nation. In early
1836 Houston had concluded a treaty with the Cherokees, guaranteeing the Cherokee
claim to lands in Texas in exchange for peace while the Texians fought Santa Anna.14
The agreements Houston had secured with the Cherokees fizzled in Congress as the
increasingly aggressive attitude toward the Indians developed. Despite this, Congress
took up consideration of the Cherokee Land Bill, which attempted to divide the Cherokee
lands. Fierce debate exploded over the issue, absorbing most of the attention of the
Texas Congress. One congressman recorded that "The Cherokee Bill has excited so
much feeling and interest, that like Aarons Isic] serpent it has swallowed up all the
rest."15 Congressman Sam Houston strongly supported the bill in an attempt to force the
government to acknowledge that Texas had conquered Cherokee lands instead of simply
removing them from the republic's territory. He exclaimed that the measure remained a
pledge as solemn as a nation's faith could make it, and as binding as any national
13 Sam Houston to Robert Irion, January 29, 1840, Madge Thornall Roberts, ed,
The Persona! Correspondence of Sam Houston. 2 vols. (Denton: University of North
Texas Press, 1996), J, 6.
14 Treaty Between Texas and the Cherokee Indians, Winfrey and Day, eds., Texas
Indian Papers. 14-17.
15 David S. Kaufman to Robert A. Irion, December 11, 1840. Irion Family Papers.
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Bridges, Kenneth William. The Texas Presidencies : Presidential Leadership in the Republic of Texas, 1836-1845, thesis, May 1998; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278112/m1/63/: accessed October 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .