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Invasion Excitement

from the defensive to the offensive and proposed to the Secretary of War that, in spite of the trade developing with that area,[53]  an expedition against Chihuahua be organized to start about April 1, 1841, from northeastern Texas. He believed that one thousand men could be raised for that purpose, and could "be thrown to a point that would greatly embarrass an invading Army and compel them to abandon any fortifications they may take this side of the Río Grande."[54]

As a more permanent program, however, Huston suggested a plan for colonizing the area adjacent to the Río Grande. He pointed out that in case of an invasion from Mexico, Texas would need foreign aid. This could, he believed, be obtained by establishing a military colony near the Río Grande. Texas could issue $600,000 in bonds to outfit the colonists, who would settle there on condition of rendering military service for two years without other remuneration than the lands to be assigned to them, together with one-half of all money that might be added to the military funds as a result of their activities.[55]  The remaining portion of such money was to be used to bring in colonists and to help them to settle on the lands after the war that he presumed was now unfolding. In this way, Huston estimated that from three to six thousand men with himself as leader, could be thrown into the west at an expense to the government of not more than $600,000 plus the lands to be appropriated. The latter were already in possession of the government.

A week later, Acting President Burnet, in submitting Huston's trans-Nueces colonization plan to Congress, commented:

The establishment of a colony of brave and active yeomanry upon the inland frontier, with suitable precautions which shall guarantee the certain and uninterrupted jurisdiction of the government, would greatly contribute to the protection of our borders from the Indian tomahawk; as it will also operate to restrain the inherent animosities of our Mexican neighbors, who will not fail in years to come, to indulge the most sinister jealousies of our growing Republic. . . . But I submit the accompany[ing] propositions relative to this subject, presented by Major Gen. Huston, more for the purpose of eliciting the mature judgment of their propriety and usefulness,

53. El Ancla, Jan. 25, 1841.

54. Felix Huston to Branch T. Archer, Dec. 23, 1840, in Army Papers (Texas), ms.

55. Ibid.; William C. Binkley, The Expansionist Movement in Texas, 1836-1850, p. 52; H. Yoakum, History of Texas from Its First Settlement in 1685 to Its Annexation to the United States in 1846, II, 302; Writings of Sam Houston, I, 515-516, 516 n.

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