The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915

The Southuestern Historical Quarterly

NEW YORK AND THE INDEPENDENCE OF TEXAS
JAMES E. WINSTON
The New Yorle Courier and Enquirer of June 6, 1836, copied
from a Mexican journal the following comment upon the massa-
cre of Fannin and his men: "Humanity will recoil at this event,
as the prisoners had surrendered; but it is absolutely necessary
to exterminate this race of serpents, whom in an evil hour we
have permitted to come into the country." In these words are
summed up the beginning of all of Mexico's difficulties with her
rebellious subjects. When Stephen F. Austin led his colony of
three hundred Anglo-American settlers into Mexican territory,
the first step was taken in the march of events which were des-
tined, sooner or later, to result in the dismemberment of Mexico.
It has been the fashion for writers to see in the movements
connected with the independence of Texas and its annexation to
the United States only a scheme pushed forward by the slave
power.' It is safe to affirm that had there not been a single slave
within the limits of the United States, the independence of Texas
and its subsequent incorporation within the American Union
would have come about just the same. The question of the an-
nexation of Texas became involved with another question,-the
further extension of slavery-and the fierce passions engendered
by the discussion of the latter have colored the treatment of the
Texan question by those writers whose abhorrence of everything
connected with slavery has led them to attribute all our national
sins for a period of several decades to the iniquitous "slave
power." The diplomacy of the American government during the
years preceding the annexation of Texas has been characterized
as dark and tortuous.2 The Mexican War, according to these
writers, was an unjustifiable attack by a strong power upon a
weak one; and when the weaker nation had succumbed, the United
States outrageously filched from its beaten foe an enormous por-
tion of the latter's territory. In a word, the entire period in our
1For such a partisan treatment, see Schurz, Henry Clay, I, 86, et seq.
This view has been effectually disposed of by Smith, The Annexation of
Texas, 28-29.
2See Rhodes, History of the United States, I, 75, 86.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 18, July 1914 - April, 1915. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101064/. Accessed October 23, 2014.