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Growth of War Spirit in the West

our prosperity. . . . But we are told that we have no right to act in concert with Yucatán, because she is an integral part of Federal Mexico, and must be our enemy. And we are asked in triumph what is Mexico? and what is Yucatán? A set of faithless murderers the northern Mexicans have proved themselves to be, say gentlemen on the opposite side of the question, those of Yucatán are no better. Those gentlemen have as much confidence in Mexicans in general as I have. I will tell them, however, that there is a difference between the northern Mexicans and those of Yucatán. . . . [The latter] have more intelligence and are more worthy of confidence than the northern Mexicans on the Río Grande. Admit that they are the faithless wretches that they are described to be, their interest still makes them our friends. Admit that they are our enemies, and according to the laws of nations, we have a right to use them as a means to weaken a more powerful enemy; to keep up the Kilkenny catfight until they shall destroy each other. Like an young Hercules, we have a right to clip off the heads of the Hydra one by [one], and sear them with a hot iron, until it shall have no power to do us harm. . . .

It has been said that there are war men in this House. I am as much opposed to war when it can be honorably avoided as any member of this House; but, Sir, when negotiation has become useless, when our overtures for peace have been spurned, and insult has been added to injury; when I see the loveliest portion of my country languishing and desolate on account of the hostile attitude of our vain, proud and imbecile enemy, my voice is then for War! Not for an invasion by land, because we would only accommodate Mexico by destroying a population which will ever be troublesome to that distracted country whenever an artful demagogue shall excite them to rebellion. Let us attack her at her most vulnerable point; -- attack by sea, destroy her commerce and we destroy her revenue. . . . Deprive her of her revenue and she dies for want of sustenance. With a coast depending upon foreign nations for support, war will then be presented to her in its most horrid form, and she will be forced into a recognition of our independence. . . .

Let us use the means which we have under our control to annoy our perfidious and vindictive adversary. Let us make her feel some of the evils which have heretofore afflicted us; let us keep our navy on the Mexican coast, and lay every town, village and hamlet under contribution, until our independence is recognized by the Mexican Government. The more violent the storm, the shorter will be its duration.[34]

While the debate on the Preamble and Joint Resolution for the recall of the navy extended over a period of several days, it boiled down to a fight between the Lamar and Houston supporters, with the east and

34. Ibid., II, 131-135.

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