Go to Page | Index | Contents 522     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

Growth of War Spirit in the West

undertaking, they often answered, "If we have not the means, Mexico has," and as for an army,

. . . what we cannot furnish will furnish themselves from the United States. It is known to all that there is at this time a state of things in that country that would enable us at any time upon very short notice to enlist in such a cause any number of men that we ask, or that the occasion might require -- men, too, who would neither ask nor receive from our hands expenses -- men who merely ask the permission of our government to march through its territory.[51]

Infrequently it was said, "Never before in this lower world has there been offered to mortal man an opportunity to acquire a fame so enduring, so brilliant, so dazzling, as that which is now within the grasp of General Sam Houston."

In 1841-1842 the citizens of Gonzales held several meetings in regard to Mexican relations. "We have had a great many patriotic meetings here [Gonzales] and played the d---l," quoted Washington D. Miller from one of his Gonzales correspondents,

The people all pretend to believe the Mexicans are coming and every one is trying to see who can make the most noise. At a meeting held here last Saturday [February 19], for the purpose of organizing the county, the people did everything but start to Mexico. I wish you had been here to hear the speakers. Each slew his Richmond and withdrew his blade for what is called the "big meeting" which is to take place on the first Saturday in March. The people by that time are to be organized by companies, and all meet here to elect their officers; -- then Wo be to the Mexicans!![52]

The "big meeting" at Gonzales was set for March 5, and William E. Jones, known as "fiery Jones of Gonzales," a member of the House of Representatives, gave notice that at that meeting he would present a preamble and resolutions "censuring the President and the presses at Austin for refusing their cooperation with the people in an offensive war with Mexico."[53]  The tide of public opinion in the west was rolling with tremendous force against Mexico.

51. As quoted in W. D. Miller to Sam Houston, Austin, Feb. 23, 1842 (Private), no. 3, in W. D. Miller Papers, 1833-1860, ms., copy.

52. W. D. Miller to Sam Houston. Wednesday night, Austin, Feb. 23, 1842 (Private), no. 4, in ibid.

53. Ibid.

Go to Page | Index | Contents 522     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

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