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Growth of War Spirit in the West

and hold them as hostages for the safety and well treatment of our captured countrymen. . . . Let the press send forth its thunders, and Lamar and Burnet ply their pens and unfurl to the breeze the broad folds of the tricolored [flag] whose star shall cast its rays of hope into the inmost recesses of the mind and the darkest corner of the dungeon.[42]

Over at Natchez, an individual (presumably General Felix Huston) addressed a letter to the editor of the New Orleans Bulletin on December 20 calling upon "Gen. [Leslie] Combs of Kentucky, whose son was in the expedition, and the friends of [George W.] Kendall, of the Picayune, to rally around the standard of freedom and come to the rescue."[43]  And in Texas, "A Citizen," describing himself as "A Voice from the West," appealed to his "Fellow Citizens" for vengeance against the Mexicans for the capture of the Santa Fé Expedition. "The Piteous cries, and dying groans of our imprisoned and slaughtered countrymen, come to our ears in every breeze that sweeps over the Western prairies," he declared.[44]  A memorial from a public meeting at Nacogdoches urged that the navy and privateers "scour the Gulf and attack, burn, and destroy every town upon the coast of Mexico," and "that a land force be organized to carry on the same species of warfare along the Río Grande. Vengeance should be meted out with a liberal hand."[45]  As the weeks passed, the chorus for revenge mounted. But, according to President Houston and a number of his able supporters, any attempt to invade Mexico would likely prove not only inexpedient and "ineffectual but destructive to the prisoners"; and, hence, he sought to discourage the idea,[46]  and in his second administration reversed Lamar's policy by seeking to promote peace along the Indo-Mexican frontier. In his inaugural message Houston recommended

42. Guy M. Bryan to James F. Perry, Gambier, Ohio, Jan. 8, 1842, in James F. Perry Papers, 1842-1843, transcripts. James F. Perry was Bryan's stepfather.

43. Quoted in "A Voice from the West!!!" [Jan. 1842], broadside (incomplete).

44. Ibid.

45. Memorial of the Citizens of Nacogdoches County, Memorials and Petitions (Texas), ms.; see "Santa Fé Expedition" in Austin City Gazette, Feb. 2, 1842; Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, I, 259 n.

46. Houston to George William Brown and Others, Galveston, March 3, 1842, in Writings of Sam Houston, IV, 73-74; Telegraph and Texas Register, March 16, 1842; ibid., Oct. 6, Dec. 1 and 8, 1841; Weekly Texian (Austin), Dec. 15, 1841, quoted in ibid., Jan. 5, 1842; W. D. Miller to Sam Houston, Austin, Feb. 23, 1842 (Private), no. 3, and Same to Same, Austin, Wednesday night, Feb. 23, 1842 (Private), no. 4, in W. D. Miller Papers, 1833-1860, ms., copy.

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