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Republic of the Río Grande and Texas

but was only dangling the hope of reconciliation before Texan eyes until she could strengthen her position at home, possibly with the hope of renewing the Texan campaign. Up until now Texas had remained aloof from the internal dissensions in Mexico, but if Mexico were trifling with Treat, maybe it was time to threaten an alliance with Yucatán. Already diplomatic procrastination in Mexico had permitted the opportune time to pass for making an alliance with Canales and the northern Federalists. If the Mexican policy of procrastination were allowed to continue, Bustamante's government might also prevent an alliance being made between Texas and Yucatán and either crush the revolt in the south or arrange a compromise with Yucatán. Under these circumstances, Treat was now instructed to inform the Mexican government that while Texas earnestly desired peace and friendship, its forbearance was tested almost to the limit by the lack of definite action on the part of Mexico. He was to make one further effort to conclude a treaty of peace, and if there seemed to be no hopes for its successful conclusion within a reasonable time, he was to return home. Before departing, however, he was to propose an armistice for three or four years with the Río Grande as the demarcation line.[62]

A week later, Commodore Moore of the Texas navy was told that if Treat broke off negotiations, he was to begin seizure of Mexican ships and a blockade of Mexican ports. He was authorized to repel force with force. In the meantime, he was to contact the Federalists in Yucatán, Tabasco, and Campeche to ascertain their attitude toward Texas and to make a show of strength by the Texan navy to let them know that Texas had the ability to serve them as a friend, if they were friendly; if otherwise, to despoil them as an enemy.[63]

By September 1840, Treat concluded that his efforts were futile, and made plans to withdraw. Before doing so, he proposed to the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs an armistice to continue for three or four years, subject to termination by either party giving six months advance notice of wishing to put an end to it. In the preliminary memorandum for an armistice, Treat proposed that,

If any Mexican troops shall be found on the left side[*] of the Río Bravo del Norte, they shall forthwith return to the right side of Said River; and,

62. Abner S. Lipscomb to James Treat, Republic of Texas, Galveston City, June 13, 1840, in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1908, II, 642-645.

63. Mirabeau B. Lamar to Commodore E. W. Moore, Galveston, June 20, 1840, in ibid., 1908, II, 651-652; Mirabeau B. Lamar to Fellow Citizens of the Senate

[Ed: * - By convention, the "left" and "right" sides of a river are as seen by an observer looking downstream. Malcolm D. McLean (ed. of Papers Concerning Robertson's Colony in Texas), personal communication, May 13, 2006.]

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