Maribeau Buonaparte Lamar

 

Maribeau B. Lamar was a Brother Mason and a member of 

Harmony Lodge #6.

 

He was born in Georgia in 1798. Early in life he became  

an expert horseman and a proficient fencer. He briefly  

attended private academics but rebelled against the  

routine of formal schooling and pursued a course of self  

education. He became an insatiable reader, a gifted  

speaker, a skilled writer, an artist, a student of ancient  

history and knowledgeable of the liberal arts and  

sciences.

 

He moved to Texas in 1835 and immediately declared for  

Texas Independence and returned to Georgia to settle  

personal affairs. While in Georgia he learned of the fall of  

the Alamo and the defeat of Goliad. He rushed back to  

Texas and joined the Texas Army as a private. He was  

later commissioned a Colonel on the battle field and  

assigned a Calvary to command during the battle of San  

Jacinto.

 

Shortly after San Jacinto he was appointed Secretary of  

War for the interim government of Texas. He became the  

first elected Vice-President of the Republic. And on  

December 19 1838 he was inaugurated as the second  

President of the Republic of Texas.

 

He distinguished himself as the “Father of Texas  

Education” for his support of a public school system. In  

his first address to the congress, he pleaded for the  

creation of a public school system in Texas. He declared,  

“If we desire to establish a republican government upon a 

broad and permanent basis, it will become our duty to  

adopt a comprehensive and well regulated system of  

mental and moral culture”

 

He proposed the set aside of public lands for the creation  

of a permanent endowment to support public education.  

His proposal was approved by the congress and land was  

set aside to support primary public schools as well as two 

colleges. Texas A&M and the University of Texas.  

Provisions were also adopted for the certification of  

teachers.

 

While these acts were important in the establishment of  

public education in Texas, the lasting impact was in the  

creation of a permanent endowment for the support of  

public education that lives to this day.  Furthermore,  

Texas was the first state to give state aid to education.  

The “school lands act “ of Texas continue to provide to  

the permanent endowment and support common  

education in Texas and supplement the property tax  

dedicated to the school system.

 

The Lamar Award of Excellence 

In 1988, under the leadership of Grand Master Graham  

Childress, the Lamar Award of Excellence was  

established. The Lamar Medal is awarded to students and 

educators in recognition of outstanding personal  

achievement in academics, citizenship, community  

service, and sports.