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Growth of War Spirit in the West

colonies, even for a year until the settlers could begin to grow their own food. Furthermore, as most of the land in the area in which the posts were to be located had already been deeded to individuals, the government lacked the money with which to purchase it.[98]

Under the apprehension of a Mexican invasion, the Senate quickly passed on January 27 a bill authorizing the President to call into service as many militiamen as necessary to repel the expected enemy force and to take command, in person, of the land forces whenever he should "deem proper"; "to send out the Navy, and to raise the men and use the means sufficient to man and equip it properly."[99]  Action on this measure in the House, however, was indefinitely postponed on January 31.[100]  The opposition to the President's taking command of the militia in person was led by Owen of the District of Matagorda, Jackson, and Victoria, and Robert Potter from the district of Red River and Fannin counties.

At about the same time, the "Reform Congress," revived an old idea dating back to the beginning of the Republic. It passed on January 27 a bill to extend the boundaries of the Republic to the Pacific Ocean, beyond the coast islands, from the Tropic of Cancer to the forty-second degree north latitude. "A Bill to be entitled an act establishing the Texas Californian Territory" had been presented in the Senate during the dying days of the Lamar administration on November 4 by Clark L. Owen. It was read the first time on November 4 and upon its second reading on November 5 had been referred to the Committee on Public Lands, where it apparently lay when the act redefining the boundaries of the Republic arrived in the Senate from the House on January 25, 1842. On the 27th the Committee on Public Lands reported favorably, through its chairman, Robert Potter, on the creation of the Texas-Californian Territory and the bill was passed the same day.[101] 

98. Houston to the House of Representatives, City of Austin, Feb. 2, 1842 (Veto Message), in Writings of Sam Houston, II, 466-471; Executive Records of the Second Term of General Sam Houston's Administration of the Government of Texas, December 1841-December 1844, ms., pp. 35-39; Bancroft, History of Texas and the North Mexican States, II, 344.

99. Weekly Texian, Feb. 2, 1842; Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, I, 312-315.

100. Ibid., I, 332.

101. Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, I, 26, 26 n, 298, 308.

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