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Federalists Seek Support in Texas

ing out of the Federalist revolt, Lamar had determined, as we have noted, to take advantage of the internal situation in Mexico to send his Secretary of State, Colonel Barnard E. Bee, to Mexico and Richard G. Dunlap to the United States in an effort to bring about a peaceful solution of the difficulties between Texas and Mexico either by direct negotiation or through the mediation of outside powers.[16]

The new Texan minister at Washington was instructed in March 1839, to approach the government of the United States with a view to invoking the mediatorial aid of that government in bringing about a negotiation for the settlement of the differences between Mexico and Texas. He was instructed to emphasize the forbearance shown by Texas after the battle of San Jacinto in not pushing aggressively the advantages which the battle had given her over a prostrate foe; and particularly the magnanimity Texas had since displayed in a suspension of hostilities while Mexico labored under the embarrassments of the French invasion and rebellion at home.[17]  The next day, upon the receipt of news which seemed to indicate that the "Federal Party" was likely to succeed over the "Central" government of Mexico, Dunlap was advised that his chances of working out an arrangement for bringing to an end the present difficulties with Texas were improving, for as he was informed, "the liberal or Federal party in Mexico have always professed to entertain the most friendly sentiments towards this Government," and that some of their influential men had already opened a correspondence with President Lamar, addressing him as "President of the Republic of Texas." Wrote Webb,

They speak of the justice of this Government, and propose to reciprocate friendly offices in protecting the property of the citizens of either, which may be stolen by evil disposed persons, and carried from one to the other. Indeed, Santa Anna himself, stands committed by his solemn obligation and promise to this Government, to use all of his influence to procure an acknowledgment, by Mexico, of the Independence of Texas; and these obligations and promises may be rendered very available in your efforts to bring about a negotiation, if it be true, that he is now at the head of the Mexican Government [even if he headed the "Central" or Government party of Mexico].

16. R. G. Dunlap to J. Pinckney Henderson, Washington [D. C.], May 24, 1839, in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1907, I, 394-396.

17. James Webb to Richard G. Dunlap, Department of State, City of Houston, March 13, 1839; and R. G. Dunlap to J. Pinckney Henderson, Paris [dated:] Washington [D. C.], May 24, 1839, in ibid., I, 368-372, 394-396.

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