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Growth of War Spirit in the West

section of the country. No such means have been placed at my disposal and when Congress adjourns, I have every reason to believe that the available force remaining at Austin will not be such as to guarantee the undoubted safety of the archives, and other public property. The loss of the archives would be an irreparable injury to the Country. Therefore, to the representatives of the people, I submit the question as to measures proper to be adopted for the protection and security of an object so important to the whole nation. The enemy must be apprised of the true situation of affairs at Austin; and can it be reasonably supposed that they will not endeavor to take advantage of our condition?[68]

A bill to locate the seat of government at some other place from and after March 1, 1842, had been presented in the House of Representatives on January 17 by Robert M. Williamson and ten days later passed its first reading,[69]  but received no further attention during that session of the Congress.

While the administration in Texas sought to promote peace and the economic development of the Republic, her declared enemy south of the border was planning a renewal of hostilities. Having for the first time in several years re-established a semblance of order at home, Mexico late in 1841 began to turn her attention to the problem of Texas. Having persuaded the French to leave, subdued the Federalist uprising, and captured the Texan Santa Fé Expedition, the "war-dogs of Santa Anna," began to howl "furiously in Mexico, reporting themselves in full outfit, and determined to quell the rebellion in Texas and plant the Mexican flag on the Sabine."[70]  "What stupid illusions [of invasion] occupy the brains of our Texans!" declared a correspondent of El Sol from Santa Ana de Tamaulipas under the date of March 13, 1842. "Wretched ones! The hour approaches for your extermination, and the immortal leader [Santa Anna] whose name fills you with terror, will not delay in clutching tightly his victorious sword to give the order of subjecting you to obedience. The fatherland will revenge itself! Ungrateful ones! Do not doubt it!"[71]

Motivated by the desire to retaliate for the Santa Fé Expedition and

68. Sam Houston to the Senate and House of Representatives, Executive Department, City of Austin, Feb. 5, 1842, in ibid., I, 357.

69. Ibid., II, 396, 424.

70. Z[enos] N. Morrell, Flowers and Fruits in the Wilderness: or Forty-Six Years in Texas and Two Winters in Honduras, p. 157; Diario del Gobierno (Mexico City), Nov. 20, 1841, quoted in Telegraph and Texas Register, Dec. 22, 1841.

71. Quoted in El Cosmopolita (Mexico City), March 26, 1842.

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