Mirabeau B. Lamar was a man of letters, a poet and a writer who came to Texas in 1835 to carry out historical research. Caught up in the stirring events of the time, he joined the army as a private a few days before the Battle of San Jacinto. His accomplished horsemanship and bravery during skirmishes on April 20, 1836 won him a battlefield promotion to colonel of cavalry. As second President of the Republic of Texas, he proposed that Texas establish a system of public education endowed by public lands. The legislature passed this act on January 26, 1839, thus securing the future of public education in Texas. His advocacy of the act earned him the title “Father of Education.” Lamar saw Texas as it could be, not as it was.