joint committee of Congress which had already under consideration the Republic's relations with Mexico. On the 18th the committee reported that it was in full agreement with the Executive in the urgent necessity of placing the frontier of the Republic "most exposed to Mexican invasion in the best possible condition of defence." It felt, however, that Mexico, knowing that her former province was "forever and irretrievably lost," merely intended to harass Texas. The tone of the report urged caution, preparedness, and a firm determination to repel any attack.
Meanwhile, in Mexico City the negotiations of James Treat had come to an end. Discouraged and ill, Treat left Mexico for Texas. While on his way home on the Texan schooner of war, San Antonio, he died of consumption on November 30, 1840. His body was brought back to Texas for burial at Galveston. With colors at half mast and the firing of minute guns, the San Antonio announced its sorrowful message as it sailed into Galveston harbor on December 9.
In notifying Congress on the 19th of the death of Treat, Burnet said he was satisfied to know from Treat's own hand that the overtures of peace which he had borne to Mexico had been rejected.
We should now address ourselves with promptitude and energy to the only alternative which a gallant people can meditate. When our enemies reject "proposals for an armistice," which is only a temporary qualified peace, we ought certainly in all good conscience and prudence, to consider of the means of prosecuting the war. The ultimate purpose of war, is peace, and the more rigorously it is conducted, the more certain and proximate is the attainment of its object.
Further apprehension concerning an invasion was stimulated by Juan N. Seguin's report. Returning to San Antonio from his recent participation in the Federalist campaign, Seguin is alleged to have reported that the Mexican "officers, troops and all classes of citizens speak incessantly of the war against Texas" that is to be waged. It
35. Texas Congress, Journals of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas: Fifth Congress, First Session, 1840-1841, pp. 300-301.
36. Telegraph and Texas Register, Dec. 16, 1840.
37. David G. Burnet to the Senate and House of Representatives, Executive Department, Austin, Dec. 19, 1840, in Texas Congress, Journals of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas: Fifth Congress, First Session, 1840-1841, p. 315.
38. Telegraph and Texas Register, Jan. 6, 1841.