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Rumors of Invasion

If you are not permitted to open negotiations with the Government of Mexico, or having opened them, should find it necessary to discontinue them, without any beneficial results, you will after notifying this Government of the fact be at liberty, to return by the way of Yucatán and ascertain what part the government of that country would be willing to take in a war which Texas might be compelled to wage against Mexico. In doing this however it is only expected that you will sound the people of Yucatán on the subject as you are not furnished with authority to enter into any treaty stipulations, but you may suggest to the authorities the propriety of their sending an agent to this Government with full powers to treat and you may give them assurances of our friendship and willingness to receive such an agent.[32]

"How much better it would be," declared the Brazos Courier upon the eve of Webb's departure on the San Bernard, "if the Government had appointed Commodore Moore, to go down as minister, accompanied by the whole fleet. We could then have treated and coerced alternately, according to the circumstances."[33]

Upon his arrival at the harbor of Sacrificios, near Vera Cruz, at the end of May, Webb was denied permission to land. The Mexican government not only refused to receive the propositions which he was authorized to make for the adjustment of differences, but it "positively rejected the mediation of the British Government, in the settlement of those differences."[34]  "They declare emphatically," Webb informed Lamar, "that they will never discuss, or even receive propositions, from any source whatever, which have for their object the separation of Texas from Mexico."[35]

On leaving Mexican waters, Judge Webb explained to Pakenham that the continuation of a pacific policy on the part of Texas would be extremely difficult in view of the overtures constantly being made by the Federalists of Yucatán, who were regarded by many in Texas as seeking to throw off the yoke of despotism.[36]  In a communication

32. J. S. Mayfield to James Webb, Department of State, Austin, March 22, 1841, in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1908, II, 732-736.

33. Brazos Courier (Brazoria), n.d., quoted in New Orleans Picayune, April 18, 1841.

34. James Webb to James S. Mayfield, Galveston, June 29, 1841, in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1908, II, 751-752.

35. _______ to General [M. B. Lamar], Galveston, June 29, 1841, in ibid., II, 760-766.

36. James Webb to Richard Pakenham, Texan Schooner San Bernard, Sacrificios, June 16, 1841, in ibid., II, 759-760.

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