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Growth of War Spirit in the West

takable language "the views and temper," he said with considerable exaggeration, "of the most considerate of my fellow citizens at this juncture."

The position of Texas toward Mexico has been said to be "peculiar and critical." It is true, that it is "peculiar and critical," but not so much from the fact that Texas is in any immediate imminent danger of being overrun by Mexico, as that the latter power is on the eve of a great disaster and humiliation -- which must ensue, if the councils and energies of the former are directed in wisdom.

As to the justification in the eyes of the world, of any expedition which Texas may set on foot against Mexico, under the banner of Texas, the several Powers which have recognized her Independence are, by virtue of their acts of recognition, precluded from raising an objection. And if I believed that the rest of the civilized world would need an excuse for acts of hostility on the part of the Texians, I would necessarily have to write anew, and in blood, the history of the perfidy and barbarity of the Mexicans; and, with a pen of diamond, of the clemency, magnanimity, and too patient endurance of my countrymen.

We are universally considered to have fairly won our Independence -- nearly six years having elapsed since the glorious battle of San Jacinto which sealed it, and since the inglorious retreat of the enemy, by gracious permission, from our territory. But we hear that the haughty enemy -- having, as he vainly supposes, outlived the shamefulness of defeat, and shaken off the trammels of domestic discord and revolution -- is arming to the teeth, by land and water, for the purpose of again invading and desolating the country. What, then, must Texas do? -- Does not every patriot answer: "To your tents, O Israel!" "To arms!" "War to the knife, and the knife to the hilt!"

But it becomes a serious question, among those who reflect, what is the best course to be adopted in the emergency which besets us: whether to undertake offensive operations ourselves, or to await the desperate onset of the enemy, and leave our country exposed to the ravages of his savage hordes? For my humble self, I would not be slow to choose. One needs no prophetic vision to see that Texas now has it in her power to [make] a complete conquest of Mexico, if she will offer the proper inducements to the daring and enterprising spirits of the Southern and Western States of America to join her standard as citizen soldiers. Let but the banner of the Lone Star be flung to the breeze, preparatory to an invasion of Mexico, and the noble hearted sons of Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, and other States of the Union, self-equipped and munitioned, will rush to join the standard in such numbers as to ensure its being planted upon the strongest battlements of Mexico. And all this can be done, if the government wills, without cost to the nation -- and without taking so many

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