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Growth of War Spirit in the West

Louis P. Cooke and James S. Mayfield and presented in the House on November 22, pointed to the de facto government of Yucatán and emphasized that, according to their belief, "a formal declaration of independence" was not a necessary attribute of sovereignty. The "treaty," they declared, had been made with "an accredited agent" of the de facto government of the State of Yucatán. They could not see how the British efforts at mediation between Texas and Mexico might be jeopardized, "when that mediation [through Richard Pakenham, her Britannic Majesty's Minister at Mexico] has been attempted, in accordance with the spirit of the understanding between this government and Great Britain, and the State Department contains the official information of its having utterly failed." This, however, was denied by Van Zandt, who asserted that the mediation "had not yet been attempted," and he read letters from Pakenham to sustain his position.[24]  The Lamar supporters disagreed with the majority report, contending that the contingencies contemplated under the law of the preceding January, fixing the naval establishment, had arisen. Declared the minority report,

Our territory has been invaded by armed Central Mexican forces; our western border has been the scene of continued strife, apprehension and hostility; our western villages have been attacked and destroyed; our civil officers have been driven from their jurisdiction, and with their suffering fellow citizens, either murdered or carried away into the vilest captivity; . . . the Executive is assured that [the] Central Mexican Government is preparing, in the most serious manner, for a maritime war with Texas; [and] that they are building vessels for that purpose, and in anticipation of these designs, have already declared our coast in a state of blockade. . . . Under these circumstances, the only guide of the President was his best discretion; and whether that discretion has been wisely used or not, the undersigned are not called on by the preamble and joint resolution to consider.[25]

The minority report concluded by recommending that the Preamble and Joint Resolution for the recall of the navy, together with the report of the Naval Affairs Committee on the same subject, be returned to the House, "with the opinion that the popular branch of Congress ought not to legislate upon the subject in its present condition."

24. Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, II, 128-131.

25. Ibid., II, 55-59.

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