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Invasion Excitement

IN HIS ANNUAL MESSAGE to Congress on November 4 [Ed: ,1840] Lamar took a dim view of the negotiations going on in Mexico.

Resentful of any indignities that may be offered our Country [he declared] I should be strongly tempted as an individual to adopt a course, in common with the feelings of many, which would be calculated to accelerate the movements of our foe; but as a public functionary looking with an exclusive eye to what I conceive to be the true interest of the Country, I am constrained to admit that there are considerations of a cogent nature, why we should persevere for a while longer in our pacific policy, rather than resort at the present crisis, to any active and vigorous measures against our enemy.

The "considerations of a cogent nature" were the insuperable obstacles of a depreciated currency and an already heavy debt, which, if increased would impose so heavy a burden upon the people as to crush their prosperity for many years to come.[1]

While Lamar was convinced, at least for the time being, of the futility of aggressive military action against Mexico, there lurked in official circles in Mexico in 1840-1841 a hope of invading Texas. The Federalist forces had been disbanded, and the wily Canales had joined the Centralists with the rank of major general in the Army of Mexico. Arista proceeded to reorganize and revitalize the system of frontier defense. As early as December 15, in a circular letter to the governors of the eastern departments, he announced that, the civil war being over, it was time to prepare for an all out campaign against the In-

1. Mirabeau B. Lamar to Fellow Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives, Executive Department, Austin, Nov. 1, 1840, in Lamar Papers, III, 464-470. Although dated November 1 in the Lamar Papers, and in the Record of Executive Documents from the 10th Dec. 1838 to the 14th Dec. 1841 (Pres. Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar), ms., pp. 204-218, this message was presented to Congress on November 4. See Texas Congress, Journal of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas: Fifth Congress, First Session, 1840-1841, pp. 15-16.

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