Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

or who did not yield to his dictation; and that it was the intention of the Indians on the Trinity River to unite with him in his war of extermination, -thought it his duty to “ prepare for action,” as no boundary line, unless guarded with an efficient force, would arrest the sanguinary career of the savages. He, therefore, applied on the 8th of April, 1836, for three brigades and one battalion of mounted militia, to the governors of Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama. A second requisition made by him on the 28th of June was formally disapproved by the President, who, on examination of the facts, deemed the appointment of 10,000 militia under the Volunteer Act, with the power of calling out 2,000 volunteers in Arkansas and Missouri, aided by the regular troops stationed in the locality, sufficient for the protection of the frontier. A larger levy, he remarked, in writing to the governor of Tennessee, “ when it was well known that the disposition to befriend the Texans was a common feeling with the citizens of the United States," might“ furnish a reason to Mexico for supposing that the government of the United States might be induced, by inadequate causes, to overstep the lines of neutrality which it professed to maintain.” The Mexican Minister declared himself satisfied with President Jackson's disapproval of the requisition made by General Gaines, but continued to protest against the authority which had been given him to advance with his troops as far as Nacogdoches.

There was reasonable cause for jealousy and apprehension on the part of Gorostiza. The Treaty of 1819 between Spain and the United States had restricted the western limits of the latter to a line beginning at the Sabine. This boundary was definitively settled by the Treaty with Mexico in 1828. But the American Government, desirous of extending its limits, instructed its Envoy, in 1829, to offer five millions of dollars for the province of Texas. Instructions to repeat this offer were given in August, 1835, before the convention of the 2nd of April, of that

for surveying the limits according to the line agreed upon in 1819, and recognised in 1828, had been ratified. The proposal to purchase not having been accepted by Mexico, the ratification of that convention took place on the 20th of April, 1836; and it was agreed that commissioners and surveyors, to settle and mark the dividing line between the two countries, should meet for that purpose at Natchitoches, within one year from the date of the signature of the convention imposing the obligation. Under these circumstances, it is not extraordinary that the Mexican Minister should have protested against the authority given to General Gaines to advance as far as Nacogdoches, although for no other object than “ to preserve the territory of the United States and of Mexico from Indian outrage, and to protect the commissioners and surveyors of the two governments, whenever they should meet to execute the instructions to be prepared under the treaty of limits between the United States and the Mexican United States.

year

* Memorandum for Mr. Gorostiza, by Mr. Forsyth. It appears singular that the Government of the United States did not recognise the fact, that the Mexican Government possessed no constitutional right either to cede or sell Texas to a foreign power.

The treaty for the release of Santa Anna, which was ratified at Velasco, whither President Burnet and his cabinet had removed, encountered great opposition, and the public discontent grew to a very high pitch, when, for the purpose of procuring peace, the government were about to convey their important prisoner to Vera Cruz. In order to secure the liberation of the Texan prisoners, previous to landing Santa Anna on Mexican soil, it was intended that the vessel which conveyed him should touch at Copano and Matamoros, where the Texan Commissioners could ascertain the facts, and act accordingly. On the 1st of June, President Santa Anna with his suite, consisting of Colonels Almonte and Nunez, and his secretary, embarked on board the armed schooner Invincible, commanded by Captain J. Brown. At the moment of embarkation, copies of the following Address were distributed to the Texan army:

“My friends! I have been a witness of your courage in the field of battle, and know you to be generous. Rely with confidence on my sincerity, and you shall never have cause to regret the kindness shown me. In returning to my native land, I beg you to receive the sincere thanks of your grateful friend. Farewell.

“Ant. LOPEZ DE SANTA ANNA." The embarkation was quietly effected. The VicePresident of Texas, Lorenzo de Zavala, and Mr. Hardiman, secretary of the treasury, were to accompany Santa Anna until his arrival at Vera Cruz. Some necessary preparations delayed the departure The transfer, if made, would have been just as illegal, according to the Constitution of 1824, as if the Federal Congress at Washingtop were to dispose of the State of Maine to Great Britain.

of the Commissioners; and on the 3rd of June, a party of volunteers, recently from New Orleans, landed at Velasco, with minds long inflamed against the Mexican President by reports of the atrocities he had sanctioned. Their indignation, bordering on fanaticism, infected a number of the Texans, and clamour and commotion were the result. Apprehensive of danger to the domestic tranquillity of Texas, the President ordered the debarkation of the prisoners; and Mr. Hardiman, General Hunt, Colonel B. F. Smith of the Texan army, and Colonel James Pinckney Henderson, recently from North Carolina, were deputed to wait upon General Santa Anna and communicate the will of the Government. This duty was performed, and the prisoners were escorted to Quintana, on the side of the Brazos opposite Velasco.

On the same day, President Burnet received an address from the army, complaining that their necessities had not received due attention from the executive, recommending an increase of force in the field, impugning the purity of the motives of the government in resolving to liberate Santa Anna, declaring that they would not permit his liberation without the sanction of Congress, and requesting the President to order elections for members of Congress and the necessary officers of government forth with, and that Congress be called together at least in two months, “in order that the government might be organized, and that they might have one of laws, and not of forces.” To this communication, which was dated from the encampment at Victoria, 26th of May, the President made a temperate and

firm reply, showing, by an appeal to facts, that the government was not to blame for the privations endured by the troops. In regard to the other subjects introduced into this “somewhat novel communication,” he observed, that " when the civil government of a country is compelled to receive a prescription of its duties from an armed force, that government, if not virtually dissolved, is in great danger of being subverted by military misrule.”

A long and able remonstrance was addressed to the army by the President on the 11th of June, in which he explained and defended the views of the government in subscribing the treaty which provided for Santa Anna's release. He reminded the citizens in the field, that “ deeds of valour were not alone sufficient to establish the high character of an enlightened, patriotic, and Christian people—a scrupulous regard to the established and beneficent principles of morality were equally indispensable. Their country had but recently aspired to a standing among the nations of the earth; her character, only partially displayed at home, had not been developed abroad; and much of her future happiness and prosperity depended upon the moral qualities that should be unfolded to the world in the development of that character. The government of Texas had deliberately entered into a treaty with the President, Santa Anna; that treaty might or might not be wise; be it what it might, it had been solemnly made, and the good faith of Texas was pledged for its consummation. The treaty had for its ultimate object a firm peace with Mexico, based upon the full recognition of Texan independence.

« ZurückWeiter »