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Growth of War Spirit in the West

and Britain's proposed mediation in the dispute between Texas and Mexico.[106]  Houston renewed his plea for peace with all nations, if possible, including Mexico, for only through peace could Texas grow in population, wealth, and prosperity. Houston succeeded, for the time being in curbing the enthusiasm for war, and Texans were forced to await further developments.

Before adjourning on February 5 Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing the President to employ one company of mounted men to act as rangers on the frontier on such terms as he believed would be "most beneficial to the public interest."[107]  especially since "the Indians had been driven to the highest degree of exasperation" by Lamar's "savagism." It appropriated $20,000 to be used at the President's discretion for purposes of protecting the frontier.[108]  Such an appropriation, however, was regarded as insufficient to sustain a single company upon the border for one year.[109]  An effort in the Senate to get the members of Congress, in view of the prostrated financial condition of the Republic, to donate five of their eight dollars per diem for the protection of the frontier got hopelessly sidetracked, but in the end Congress, due to the insistence of the House,[110]  agreed to set the pay of its members at five dollars per diem instead of eight dollars as formerly.[111]

The Senate adopted a resolution to give "the President . . . power, in case of actual invasion by Mexico, to employ the Army, and fit out and employ the Navy on the Gulf," but this resolution was rejected by the House of Representatives.[112]  In the interest of economy, the Congress abolished the offices of paymaster general and of quartermaster and commissary general of subsistence, and Houston found it

106. Houston to the House of Representatives, City of Austin, Feb. 1, 1842, in Writings of Sam Houston, II, 462-465; Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, II, 434-436. There is no record of any attempt of the House to repass the boundary bill over the President's veto.

107. "Joint Resolution for the Protection of the Southern Frontier, Approved January 29, 1842," in Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas, II, 746.

108. Ibid., II, 770-771; Bancroft, History of Texas and the North Mexican States, II, 342.

109. Houston to Richard Roman, H. Ledbetter, and Others, City of Houston, Aug. 10, 1842, in Writings of Sam Houston, III, 142-145.

110. Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, I, 272, 272 n, 325-326, 345-346; Weekly Texian, Jan. 26, Feb. 6, 1842.

111. Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas.

112. Houston to George William Brown, Galveston, March 3, 1842, in Writings of Sam Houston, IV, 73-74.

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