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Mexican Threats of a New Campaign

tured at sea off Velasco by Mexican naval units on April 17, 1837 -- President Houston announced publicly on September 15, a renewal of the policy of granting letters of marque and reprisal to prey upon Mexican commerce:

Whereas this government proclaimed its utter abhorrence to every species of warfare not calculated for a nation's glory and the attainment of an honorable peace, and in pursuance of that policy recalled all "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" that had been granted under its authority; and, from time to time released prisoners of war, without exacting the customary exchanges; and . . . has up to the present time forborne even to execute, according to the law of nations, spies heretofore taken, thereby mitigating the horrors of war,

since Mexico does not reciprocate the kind feeling showed toward her, Texas, he declared, has no alternative but to regard her as an enemy.[2] 

Mexico must realize, wrote the editor of the Houston Telegraph, that our fleet shall within six weeks commence ravaging her coasts from Brazos Santiago to Yucatán, and unless overtures of peace have been received from her by April next,

. . . the army of Texas will display its victorious banner west of the Río Grande, and when once its conquering march shall have commenced, when the star of Texas shall have become the guide of the Pioneers of America, no power of Bustamante, or of Mexico shall avail, but that glorious march shall be onward, on onward, till the roar of the Texian rifles, shall mingle in unison with the thunders of the Pacific.[3] 

The pressure of economic conditions in the United States and the excitement of a possible campaign in Texas impelled more than one energetic and ambitious Anglo-American youth toward Texas in the fall of 1837. Early in October a large number of emigrants reached Texas by way of Galveston.[4]  The Natchitoches Journal reported that during the month of October at least a thousand emigrants passed through Natchitoches alone bound for Texas. "Most of them were stout, athletic, able-bodied men, each of whom had with him the

2. A Proclamation by the President of the Republic of Texas, Houston, September 15, 1837, in Telegraph and Texas Register, Sept. 16, 1837.

3. Telegraph and Texas Register, Sept. 16, 1837.

4. Ibid., Oct. 7. 1837.

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AFTER SAN JACINTO: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836-1841
Joseph Milton Nance, 1963