to learn how he had been strung along by the Mexican authorities until they had the situation well in hand on the northern frontier. In the meantime, he was unable to secure an audience with Cañedo, the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs, before February 1, 1840, because of the belief, later dispelled in part by Lamar's proclamation, that the Texas government was in alliance with the Federalists in the north.
Furthermore, the conduct of its pugnacious citizens caused the Texan government other embarrassments on the diplomatic front. The success of James Hamilton's negotiations for a loan in Europe "depended, to some extent, upon keeping Texas removed from all situations which might affect the market for the bonds." Wrote General Hamilton to the Texan Secretary of State,
I cannot conceal from you that we have great difficulties to contend with, which have been continued, without any intermission in the face of a universally accredited rumor, that Arista was about to invade and overrun Texas, burn your capital and destroy your army; then came the report of your having murdered forty Comanche chiefs, in cold blood [at San Antonio in March 1840][*], whom you . . . invited to a friendly council to treat for peace and the surrender of prisoners; next came the President's proclamation, ordering all free persons of color out of the territorial limits of Texas, which has been put down on this side of the water as a barbarity equal to that of the revocation of the edict of Nantes; and lastly, the Great Western brings the intelligence of the still further depreciation of your treasury notes. Against these adverse currents we had been endeavoring to make headway.
140. J[ames] Treat to M. B. Lamar, Mexico, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 1840 (Confidential), in ibid., 1908, II, 538-542; Joseph William Schmitz, Texan Statecraft, 1836-1845, p. 113.
141. Schmitz, Texan Statecraft, p. 103.
142. By the terms of a law of February 5, 1840, setting forth the free Negro policy of the Republic, immigration of free Negroes was prohibited and Negro residents were required to remove themselves from Texas within two years on penalty of sale into slavery. Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas, II, 325-326. The President was instructed by Congress to order all free persons of color then in Texas to remove themselves before January 1, 1842. President Houston, however, issued a proclamation on February 5, 1842, extending to free Negroes of good character the privilege of remaining another twelve months. Writings of Sam Houston, II, 476-477.
[* Ed: see Index for Council House Fight]