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Growth of War Spirit in the West

Mexico became one of watchful waiting. On December 16, three days after entering office, he repudiated the Yucatán alliance and ordered Commodore E. W. Moore,[58]  who had sailed from Galveston the very day that Lamar turned over the reins of government to Houston, to bring the navy home; and in May 1842, the vessels were ordered to New Orleans and Mobile to undergo repairs, preparatory to enforcing the blockade which had been proclaimed in March against Mexico and for the purpose of transporting troops in the forthcoming Texan invasion of Mexico [Ed: Somervell Expedition to the Río Grande in 1842]. A week after his inauguration at Austin, "that scene of tumult and vexation,"[59]  Houston submitted on December 20 his first message to the Texas Congress. In it he outlined what he thought should be the attitude of Texas toward Mexico. Since his predecessor's overtures for an amicable adjustment of existing difficulties between Texas and Mexico had, as often as made, been rejected under circumstances which had not exempted the Texas government from humiliation,

the present Executive of Texas [he said] will neither incur the expense nor risk the degradation of further advances [until a disposition is evinced on the part of Mexico herself to solicit friendly relations.]

Aware of the Mexican character, and believing as I always have that Mexico is and will remain unable to invade us with any hope of success, I would recommend the kindest treatment of her citizens; -- so far, at least, as they might be disposed to engage in commerce with ours. But in every instance where they shall enter our territory with inimical or hostile intentions they should be treated as common enemies. I believe that any interference with the revolutions and distractions of Mexico, is not only incompatible with the dignity and interests of Texas, but directly calculated to exasperate our national enemy, while it weakens our resources, by sacrificing those of our citizens who may engage in their partizan quarrels, to their proverbial perfidy and to certain destruction. This is demonstrated by the issue of every enterprise of the kind, in which our countrymen have been participants. The feuds and contests, which have arisen and may continue to arise, have for their object personal aggrandizement, the leaders

58. Yucatán made peace and returned her allegiance to Mexico on December 28, 1841. George W. Hockley to Sam Houston, Dec. 22, 1841, in Army Papers (Texas), ms.; E. W. Moore, To the People of Texas: An Appeal in Vindication of His Conduct of the Navy, pp. 12-14, 21-31; Lamar Papers, IV, pt. 2, p. 32; Christian, "Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XXIII (1919-1920), 156-162.

59. W. G. Hide to Isaac Van Zandt, Franklin [Texas], Oct. 27, 1841, in Isaac Van Zandt Papers, 1839-1843, ms.

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