Go to Page | Index | Contents 512     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

Growth of War Spirit in the West

In defense of the President's conduct in agreeing to use the navy to aid Yucatán, Jones of Gonzales declared: "The course that Mexico was pursuing was one detrimental to Texas, but not at all so to herself. It injured her in no wise. The nominal existence of the war [with Texas] served her rulers as a pretext for extorting money from the people, and for maintaining a standing army."[26]  Jones believed that the Mexicans would not attack Texas again, for "they knew too well the result of such a struggle." Under existing conditions, he declared, some benefit might be obtained from the navy on which large sums had been spent for outfitting and getting officers and men. The navy could raid Mexican commerce, wreak destruction upon her ports, cut off the principal source of Mexico's revenue by blockading her ports and engaging in an extensive contraband trade from the islands scattered along her coast, and thus "by extortion procure the recognition" of Texan independence; or, if Yucatán were successful, and "the party she belonged to should regain power in Mexico, she would recognize our independence," he declared. "She would be bound by every principle of honor to do so; but if we should refuse to cooperate, we could expect nothing from them."

Those supporting the resolution to recall the navy, however, seemed horrified that the Lamar men should consider Yucatán the friend and ally of Texas. "God save me from such friends or allies!" exclaimed Darnell. "Others may consider them as such, but with such, I beg leave to differ in opinion; and Mr. Speaker, when I recur back to the fields of San Jacinto, I am informed that about two-thirds of the Mexicans whose bones lie bleaching on that field, were from the State of Yucatán. Is it not reasonable then, sir, to conclude, without any good cause for a change, that they are now our enemies?" he asked.[27]

Mayfield of Nacogdoches, vehement in his defense of Lamar, leaned so far toward a liberal construction of the Constitution and laws, that Darnell rose to show how quickly the gentleman could change his views to fit partisan spirit, saying,

It will be recollected sir that at the beginning of this session of Congress, and while the vote for President and Vice President was being counted, that gentlemen objected to the counting of the vote of San Augustine, Montgomery and other counties, upon the ground, not that there was any thing illegal, or even irregular in the mode of conducting the election, that

26. Ibid., II, 121-122.

27. Ibid., II, 152-153.

Go to Page | Index | Contents 512     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

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