Go to Page | Index | Contents 176     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

Federalists Seek Support in Texas

republic to recover their liberties and "secure them upon immovable bases."[5]  While Santángelo's proposal was by no means identical with this earlier one, its presentation stimulated a lively discussion at public gatherings, in the press, in the halls of Congress, and in both private and official correspondence. He was answered forthwith in the press by Juan Antonio Padilla, who had served in Texas as a Spanish and, later, as a Mexican official before joining the Texan revolutionary army and serving on the General Council,[6]  and who in 1839 was living in Houston.

Padilla opposed the involvement of Texas in any mutual defensive-offensive alliance with the Federalists, for it would involve her in a war now and in the future -- possibly with a European power -- from which she had nothing, in fact, to gain.[7]  He ably pointed out that the Mexican federation with which Santángelo wanted to make a treaty of alliance, had not yet been established and could not be instituted without a war; hence, Texas could not make a treaty at this time with a federation that was nonexistent. Padilla called attention to the great disparity existing between Texas and the contemplated members of the proposed federation and referred to the grievances set forth in the Texan Declaration of Independence to prove that there could be no harmony in such an alliance.

In commenting upon Santángelo's letter, the editor of the Telegraph and Texas Register took the position that the author was much mistaken in supposing that the citizens of Texas could be induced to embroil themselves in the internal dissension of Mexico. Texas was luckily severed from that unhappy country, and her people and institutions, both civil and political, were entirely distinct from everything of Mexican origin. It was no longer of importance to her whether Federalism or Centralism prevailed in Mexico, except as the success of

5. A Zacatecan Federalist to the Editor of the Correo de Atlántico, Zacatecas, July 28, 1836 (copy in Spanish accompanied by an English translation), in Telegraph and Texas Register, April 10, 1839; also ibid., Oct. 5, 1836.

6. Handbook of Texas, II, 323. Padilla had also served at one time as Secretary of State of the State of Coahuila y Tejas and as a member of the state legislature. He was a native of Mexico, but had for a number of years been living at Nacogdoches, where his family was residing at the time of his death in Houston, Tuesday, August 6, 1839, after a lingering illness. Telegraph and Texas Register, Aug. 7, 1839.

7. J. Antonio Padilla to [Francis Moore, Jr.] Editor of the Telegraph and Texas Register, Houston, April 15, 1839 (copy in Spanish accompanied by an English translation), in Telegraph and Texas Register, April 24, 1839.

Go to Page | Index | Contents 176     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

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