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Federalists Seek Support in Texas

But whether the revolution has succeeded or not, the President believes that the recognition of our Independence may be accellerated by sending a minister directly to Mexico, with plenary power to negotiate a treaty with that Govt having for its objects, the acknowledgment of the Independence of Texas, and a reciprocal trade and intercourse between the two countries.[18]

For this purpose Barnard E. Bee was commissioned minister plenipotentiary of the Republic of Texas to Mexico.

As a means of promoting an amicable solution of the difficulties between Mexico and her former colony, the idea of purchasing the area lying between the Nueces and the Río Grande, once discussed in "Cabinet Council" in Texas, was interjected into the discussions in Washington, and Secretary of State John Forsyth privately hinted to Dunlap, "that perhaps the Mexican Minister [at Washington] believed, that this would be a favorable crisis in the affairs of Mexico to get a little money" and thus facilitate a speedy adjustment of the difficulties between Texas and Mexico. There was even some thought that the boundary might be run westward to the Pacific so as to include California. "This may seem too grasping, but if we can get it, ought we not to take it and pay for it. Texas is the rising sun of the day," declared Dunlap.[19]  As for mediation by the United States, Dunlap was informed by Forsyth, "You will perceive that a mediation is not to be offered unless invited by Mexico."[20]

Bee's efforts to open negotiations in Mexico failed, no doubt owing to the improvement of the Centralist position; and he left Vera Cruz for New Orleans via Havana on June 1, but not before receiving overtures from Juan Vitalba, a secret agent of Santa Anna, which seemed to indicate that Mexico was desirous of proceeding with some sort of negotiation, provided it was deeply shrouded in secrecy. After considerable correspondence between Bee, Vitalba, James Hamilton, James Treat, James Morgan, Lamar, and his Secretary of State, the Texas government concluded to make another effort to open negotia-

18. James Webb to Richard G. Dunlap, Department of State, Houston, March 14, 1839; and Same to Same, Department of State, Houston, March 14, 1839 (both letters of same date), in ibid., I, 372-375.

19. R. G. Dunlap to [M. B. Lamar], Washington [D. C.], May 16, 1839 (Private), and Same to Col. Barnard E. Bee, Washington [D. C.], May 17, 1839, in ibid., I, 383-385, 388-389.

20. Nath[anie]l Amory to A. S. Lipscomb, Legation of Texas, Washington, May 8, 1840, in ibid., I, 452. The original of John Forsyth to Genl. R. G. Dunlap, July 17, 1839, has not been located.

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