The Lone Star Republic Sam Houston’s Government Houston Forms a Government Texas elected Sam Houston as the first president and Mirabeau B. Lamar as Vice President. Texans approved the Constitution of 1836 and the proposal that Texas join the United States. Stephen Austin became secretary of state, but only for a few weeks because he died of pneumonia on December 27, 1836 at age 43. Houston Forms a Government Selecting a new capital was one of the first decisions of the new government. In December 1836, congress designated Houston as the capital for three years. The decision on a permanent site was delayed. Houston Faces Trouble with the Army Houston had problems with the military because many adventurers and soldiers had arrived in Texas and wanted to fight. They wanted to invade Mexico, but Houston wanted no part of such a plan because he knew war would be costly and could mean a quick end for the new republic. The president sent 600 of the soldiers home on leave and the threat from the army disappeared. The United States Delays Annexation Most Texans wanted to join the United States for protection. Mexico refused to recognize Texas’s independence and the U.S. did not want to annex Texas if it meant damaging relations with Mexico. Slavery was another problem; antislavery groups in the U.S. were against the annexation of Texas because it would tip the balance of U.S. Senate towards the slave states. These antislavery groups were able to block annexation and to delay official recognition of Texas as a republic. Recognition as a Nation The U.S. did not officially recognize Texas as a nation for several months. On March 3, 1837, President Jackson granted official recognition of Texas. France and Great Britain hesitated because they did not want to offend Mexico and figured Texas would soon be annexed by the United States. Finally France, Great Britain and the Netherlands recognized Texas. Houston hoped this would make the U.S. annex Texas quickly. Native American Conflict More Native American raids began as more Anglo Americans settled in central Texas. In one attack, Comanche and Kiowa killed several settlers and kidnapped two women and several children, including Cynthia Ann Parker. The raids decreased when Houston called on the Texas Rangers, who began patrolling central Texas. Native American Conflict Cherokees had moved into Texas under Mexican rule in the 1820’s after being forced from their homes in Georgia. In a treaty, the Cherokees promised to remain peaceful during the Texas fight for independence, in return for the title to their land. The Senate of the Republic of Texas, however, refused to accept the treaty. Cherokees did not receive title to their land, and each day more settlers moved into land in East Texas claimed by Native Americans. Texas Debt Soars Texas had unpaid bills for the supplies and equipment of the revolution. When Houston became president, the debt was 1.25 million. Congress placed a tariff, or tax, on various goods imported into Texas in order to help pay the debt. Congress also imposed property taxes, business taxes, and land title fees, but they were difficult to collect. By the end of Houston’s first term as president, the public debt of Texas had climbed to 2 million. The Release of Santa Anna On Santa Anna’s arrival back to Mexico, he renounced all promises he had made in Texas and declared that he had left politics forever. His retirement was brief. He was back in power a few years later. The Mexican government still refused to recognize the independence of Texas.