Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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LAMAR, Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus, jurist, born near Eatonton, Georgia, 15 July, 1797; died in Milledgeville, Georgia, 4 July, 1834. He was of Huguenot descent. An eccentric brother of his mother claimed the naming of her children, and called them after his favorite historical heroes. Lucius studied law at Milledgeville and in the law school at Litchfield, Connecticut, was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1819, practising in Milledgeville. He revised Augustine S. Clayton's "Georgia Justice" about 1819, and was commissioned by the legislature to compile "The Laws of Georgia from 1810 to 1819" (Augusta, 1821). In 1830 he was elected to succeed Thomas W. Cobb as judge of the superior court He was esteemed throughout the state as a learned jurist, an eloquent speaker, and a man of fine personal qualities. A year or two before his death he had a severe attack of dyspepsia, with high cerebral fever, from which he never entirely recovered, and in a moment of delirium he died by his own hand.--His son, Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus, statesman, born in Putnam county, Georgia, 1 September, 1825, was taken after his father's death to Oxford, Mississippi, where he received part of his education. He was graduated at Emory college, Georgia, in 1845, studied law in Macon, Georgia, and was admitted to the bar in 1847. In 1849 he returned to Oxford, Mississippi, and held the place of adjunct professor of mathematics in the University of Mississippi for a year, when he resigned, and resumed the practice of the law in Covington, Georgia He was elected to the legislature in 1853, and in 1854 again returned to Mississippi and settled on his plantation in Lafayette. Lamar was shortly afterward elected to congress as a Democrat, and served from 1857 till 1860, when he resigned to take a seat in the Secession convention of his state. He then entered the Confederate army as lieutenant-colonel of the 19th Mississippi regiment, of which he afterward became colonel. He shared in many of the engagements of the Army of Northern Virginia, but was compelled to leave active service on account of his health, and was sent as commissioner to Russia; but when he reached Europe, in 1863, circumstances had changed, and a successful mission was no longer possible. After the close of the war Colonel Lamar returned to Mississippi. He was elected professor of political economy and social science in the University of Mississippi in 1866, and in 1867 was transferred to the chair of law, but afterward returned again to the bar. He was elected again to congress in 1872, when for the first time in many years a Democratic house of representatives assembled, and he was selected to preside over the Democratic caucus, where he made a noteworthy address, outlining the policy of his party. He was re-elected in 1874, and then chosen to the United States senate, taking his seat, 5 March, 1877. In both the house and senate Colonel Lamar spoke rarely, and not often at great length, but when he did it was usually on critical occasions, and with much power and effectiveness. He has insisted that, as integral members of the Federal Union, the southern states have equal rights with the other states, and hence that they were bound both by duty and interest to look to the general welfare, and support the honor and credit of a common country. He was also a zealous friend of public improvements, especially the Mississippi river improvement and the Texas Pacific railroad. He has great independence of thought and action, and at one time, when he was instructed by the legislature of his state to vote on the currency question against his convictions, he refused to obey, appealed to the people, and was sustained. On 5 March, 188,5, Mr. Lamar became secretary of the interior in President Cleveland's cabinet. His course since has been consistent with his previous career.--The elder Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus's brother, Mirabeau Buonaparte, president of Texas, born in Louisville, Georgia, 16 August, 1798; died in Richmond, Texas, 19 December, 1859, was engaged in agricultural and mercantile pursuits until 1828, when he established the Columbus "Independent," a state-rights journal, and engaged in politics. His second wife was a daughter of the Reverend John N. Maffitt (q. v.). In 1835 he emigrated to Texas, and in the movement, for independence was an active member of the revolutionary party. At San Jacinto he commanded a company of horse, leading a charge that broke the Mexican line, and decided the issue of the combat. He was commissioned as major-general, appointed attorney-general in the cabinet of Governor Henry Smith, afterward made secretary of war, and in 1836 elected the first vice president of the republic. In 1838 he was chosen president, which office he held till 1841. During his term of office the independence of Texas was recognized by the principal powers of Europe. At the beginning of hostilities between the United States and Mexico in 1846 he joined General Zachary Taylor's army at Matamoras, took an active part in the battle of Monterey, and was appointed division-inspector, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. In October, 1846, he took the command of an independent company of Texan rangers, and stationed himself at Laredo, where he was for two years engaged in checking the inroads of the Comanches. In July, 1857, he was appointed United States minister to the Argentine Republic, but did not go to his post, and on 23 December, 1857, was commissioned minister, and on 20 January, 1858, minister resident, to Nicaragua and Costa Rica, from which posts he retired in May, 1859. He was the author of "Verse Memorials" (New York, 1857).
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