to Lamar, however, Webb, believing that further negotiations with Mexico were useless, gave other reasons for resorting to war now.
I think if active steps are taken, the War may be renewed, and consequences most important to the Nation be atchieved by it, before your administration closes. At all events, the War can be renewed, and placed upon a footing by you as will preclude your successor from discontinuing it, and your administration will have the Credit for it. Should Genl. Houston succeed in the Presidential Canvass (and of this there is now the strongest probability) I understand that he will be opposed to a renewal of the war. Unless therefore it is done in your time, we may expect an additional three years of doubt, difficulty, and embarrassment.
Webb recommended recognition of Yucatán and Tabasco and joining with them in joint declaration of war against Mexico.
General Huston was believed to be extremely anxious "to distinguish himself before the world in the adjustment of . . . [the Texan] differences with Mexico by the sword," wrote Miller, and it is believed "that he will seek every possible means of exciting our people. . . . "And what will be the accomplishment and consequences of opening the war and becoming the assailants"? he asked.
Why, Sir, nothing less than the disturbance, confusion, alarm and uprooting of our whole population, and, withal, the loss of many valuable lives. Distress will hover over the scene from its commencement to its close; and the issue, however favorable will certainly find us, as a nation, impoverished and bankrupt, the scoff and derision of our neighbors. We are doing well enough; and having nothing to apprehend from Mexico. When ever it shall become necessary to protect, in the field, the fair fame of our country, or preserve the integrity of her soil, I and all others are ready to stand by the staff of the tricolor whilst a Texian lives to uphold it.
37. James Webb to General [M. B. Lamar], Galveston, June 29, 1841, in ibid., II, 760-766.
38. W. D. Miller to Sam Houston, Gonzales, July 10, 1841, in W. D. Miller Papers, 1833-1860, ms.