two months at the island, "where he attracted very little attention indeed for a President." During the months of May, June, and July the pressure on the administration for direct participation in the Federalist cause increased. The country was kept in a state of continual excitement by rumors that great preparations were being made in Mexico to drive the Federalists off the Nueces; and to invade Texas. Rumors were received late in May that the Mexican commander at Matamoros was endeavoring to promote a large-scale Indian attack upon the frontier settlements.
At Houston on May 28 Lamar spoke at a public dinner given in his honor. The speech was in defense of his administration and was also aimed at bolstering the secret negotiations going on in Mexico. In referring to the negotiations being carried on by Treat in Mexico, he said,
. . . we shall expect a definite answer in a reasonable time, and when that shall be rendered, we shall do and do promptly what remains to be done. If the response shall be war! our gallant Navy will take up the war cry with alacrity, and send its loudest reverberations throughout the shores of Mexico. And our armies will march to the aid of a neighboring people who are striving after our example to cast off the yoke of oppression.
It was at this time that the rumor was going around that Albert Sidney Johnston, then on a visit to the United States, would probably command the Federal army.
In view of the rumored Mexican-Indian assault to be launched against the frontier and while the steadying hand of Lamar was away from the seat of government, his "quite unpopular" Secretary of War Doctor Branch T. Archer, after consultation with the cabinet and Vice President Burnet, on June 6 ordered out the militia of fourteen counties west and south of the Trinity, the Gulf counties excepted, to meet the anticipated danger. Archer declared that General Arista
140. Ashbel Smith to Col. B. E. Bee, [Galveston? Aug.-Sept. 1840], in Ashbel Smith Papers, ms. Lamar was at Houston by May 28, where he spoke at a dinner in his honor, and at Galveston from May 31-July 27, 1840.
141. "Lamar's Speech in Defense of His Administration, Houston, May 28, 1840," in Lamar Papers, III, 393-397.
142. George W. Hockley to Ashbel Smith, Austin, June 1, 1840, in Ashbel Smith Papers, ms.
143. Ashbel Smith to Col. B. E. Bee, [Galveston? Aug.-Sept. 1840], in ibid.
144. Texas War Department, [Proclamation beginning:] War Department, City