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Invasion Excitement

In like vein the editor of the Morning Star[50]  declared that

. . . the question whether a Mexican army is advancing or not has but little to do with the policy we advocate. We should not wait for any demonstration from the enemy -- we must carry the war into CARTHAGE. It can be done by volunteers with the most triumphant and brilliant success. Let the tocsin be sounded, and let the call be made upon the generous, the brave and the daring to rush to the conquest of a paradise held by dastards -- offer the terms proposed by the bill lately passed the House of Representatives -- the plunder of the enemy and one league of land beyond the Río Grande to each soldier -- and the low state of our finances would no longer be an obstacle to the raising and subsistence of as noble and gallant an army as ever made the earth tremble beneath its tread. Five thousand volunteers raised on this plan would be amply sufficient, with the cooperation of the navy, to conquer the country to Monterey, and to maintain such conquest; [and] with the accessions which would constantly arrive from the United States, we might calculate with safety upon a volunteer army of 7000 men, armed to the teeth, and dependent upon their own resources, and upon those of the enemy for support and reward.

Others were not so enthusiastic about volunteers from the United States. "I Shall," wrote John Henry Brown, "allways -- [oppose] another volunteer army from the U.S. entering Texas or having any thing to do with such a body. . . . If it becomes necessary to porsecute the War we can best do it with our Navy by blockadeing Mexican ports, &c. &c. and make reprisals without any expense to go[v]t."[51]

Aware of the failure of Treat's mission, Samuel A. Plummer wrote Burnet from New Orleans that "if England does not settle the question between the two countries soon the whole country should rise and end the war with the sword. A small flogging would not hurt . . . [the Mexicans] pending the negociation" particularly if they had entered the territory of Texas as is rumored.[52]  Treat's failure to reach some sort of peaceful adjustment with Mexico, whether of a permanent or temporary nature was disheartening to most Texans; and his death made the denouement of his efforts most distressing.

In response to the sentiment for action, General Huston now switched

50. Quoted in ibid., Jan. 6, 1841.

51. Extract of a letter from John Henry Brown to Thomas M. Duke, Matagorda, July 12, 1841, in John Henry Brown Papers, ms.

52. Sam[ue]l A. Plummer to Judge [David G. Burnet], New Orleans, Jan. 20, 1841 (Private), in Domestic Correspondence (Texas), 1836-1846, ms.

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