have been afforded to fugitives under such circumstances by a government on the most friendly footing with Mexico." How has the Mexican government reacted? he asked. It has fomented Indian raids in Texas, sent small parties from the Río Grande to ravage our frontiers, and General Arista is "unremitting in fulminating his threats of invasion and universal extermination of our people. . . . Our forbearance is nearly exhausted, the patience of the people will not much longer submit to a procrastination from which they can perceive no adequate advantage, and the administration will be forced to return War for War." The President, he continued, suggests that,
It would perhaps be well for you to urge upon Mexico the moderation of this Government in not co-operating (thus far) with the federalists on the Río Grande, as she has been strongly urged to do, and might have done with great benefit to herself and detriment to Mexico, that it is a forbearance we cannot practice much longer, lest we lose all the advantages which such a cooperation would give us, without gaining anything from the Central government of Mexico. The Federalists are still sanguine of success, and unremitting in their overtures to us, to make a common cause in making war on the Centralists, and in return, would grant every thing we could reasonably ask of them.
On another occasion, Lipscomb wrote that the administration had been
. . . compelled to submit patiently to continued and violent abuses of its inactivity and apathy, in not resorting to active offensive measures to extort peace, and we have found it difficult to keep our navy in port without losing all of our officers; they are impatient of what appears to them strange and unaccountable inactivity on the part of the Government. The people at large cannot understand the President's position, and policy forbids all such explanations as would be comprehensible to them; we are, therefore, compelled patiently to submit to a temporary depreciation of popularity. This state of things, however, cannot be long sustained; if something definite is not done soon, we shall be forced to change our position, and to commence active offensive operations,
not for the acquisition of territory across the Río Grande but to compel Mexico to recognize Texas independence and to stop the marauders, whether Centralists or Federalists.
56. Abner S. Lipscomb, Secretary of State, to James Treat, Galveston City, June 13, 1840, in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1908, II, 642-645.
57. Abner S. Lipscomb to Gen. James Hamilton, April 18, 1840, Texas Congress,