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Federalist Wars: Second Phase

Any semblance of cooperation by Texas with the enemies of the Mexican government would be impolitic in view of the negotiations of James Treat, who had reached Vera Cruz on November 28, about the time the Federalists and their erstwhile Texan allies were clamoring at the gates of Matamoros.

Treat found that the excitement growing out of Texans' participating in the Federalist revolution interfered with his plans. Because of that participation, two measures were introduced in the Mexican Congress in the middle of December. One requested of Congress special powers to levy taxes to support a war against Texas with the object of reuniting that department to the national union, and the other, emanating from the Secretary of War, Juan N. Almonte, proposed to make it treasonable for anyone "to write, act or speak in favour of the views and intentions of the Texans."[138]  Nevertheless, during the course of the next few weeks, Treat seems to have gained the impression that the Mexican government really had no intention of conducting a campaign against Texas. He informed Lamar on January 7,

The Govmt. Still appear to adhere to their apparent old plan of preparing an Expedition, nominally against Texas, but not with a View of ever carrying the new invasion into effect. Their real plan . . . , I am induced to believe . . . [is to] obtain the means and authorization from Congress to raise an army of 10,000 Men (they have only about 5,000 now, all told) to place . . . on, or near, the frontiers, and then negotiate as they think to greater advantage. . . . This is the real object tho' it will only be avowed to some, while others will be made to believe that the Govmt. are in earnest in their Views of Restoring Texas to the National Union.

The leading officials and all who were enlightened on the subject were fully aware that Texas could never be reconquered; but the government "being weak and tottering" (and stood to be even more so if Canales succeeded in capturing Matamoros or Monterey) sought to gain strength by assuming "The Texas expedition as their real object, when it is only the pretext, and the best, if not the only one, they can now adopt to produce the desired effect on the Chambers" of Congress.[139]  During the ensuing weeks and months, however, Treat was

138. James Treat to James Hamilton, Mexico, Dec. 16, 1839 (Private and Entirely Confidential), Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1908, II, 507-512.

139. James Treat to M. B. Lamar, Mexico, Jan. 7, 1840 (Private), in ibid., 1908, II, 527-529.

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