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Growth of War Spirit in the West

of our own citizens from their families and business as to retard the regular growth of the country. There are ambitious young men, born in the United States, and Texas (and that sort of ambition has been wisely said to be a virtue) who will swell the ranks of an army for invasion -- assured of subsistence and reward from the honorable spoils of war, without plundering the country of the enemy.

The only way in which we can ever expect to force upon Mexico our own terms -- which must now be as rigorous as she has been contemptuous and insolent -- is to invade her territory. By making that country the theatre of the contest, we secure our own from the ravages of war. . . .

But practically speaking -- Texas can furnish a force of 8,000 men, who can concentrate at a given point, to march to the Río Grande, and capture and fortify the frontier towns of the enemy upon and near that river. She has a Navy consisting of one Steamer, one Corvette or Sloop, two Brigs, and two Schooners, making, in all, six vessels of war. This naval force, besides being employed afterward in blockading the Ports of Mexico, can transport the emigrant soldiers of Texas, from the United States, so as to invest, capture, and fortify Matamoros, Tampico, and Vera Cruz. And we may be assured that Missouri alone, with, perhaps, a little aid from the adjacent States, will send out a number of men sufficient to march upon and conquer that rebellious portion of Texas comprehending Santa Fé, and likewise the adjoining Northern Provinces of Mexico.

To accomplish these objects will require not more than $2,000,000, and 12,000 of our former countrymen and brothers. We are assured, upon high authority -- from the action of the Legislature of Kentucky itself [condemning the capture and treatment of some of its citizens who were members of the ill-fated Texan Santa Fé Expedition] -- that the spirit of that State is sensibly aroused in our behalf. We hear reiterated the glad tidings that 20,000 men from the Valley of the Mississippi alone, may be expected to emigrate to Texas, whenever the war cry shall be raised for the conquest of Mexico. And of course, when such a spirit prevails, the aid of money will not be wanting. . . .

Have we not shown, by our forbearance and endeavors to conciliate the enemy, that we love the arts and the repose of peace? But since the necessity is imposed upon us by the hardihood of our foes, let us teach them again, as at Conception, San Antonio and San Jacinto, that we can make a direful business of the havoc of war. . . .

I will not speculate upon the advantages to Texas of an offensive war against Mexico. My genius is not equal to the calculation. First, the peace and independence of Texas -- in the next place, the multiplied population, the increased growth and resources of the country, together with the extension of Free Principles over a land enchanted, but lovely beyond description, and over a People now firmly bound in the chains of Super-

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