The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959

Sam Houston and the Texas War Fever

Anna, Texas laid claim to all of the area north and east of the
Rio Grande and a line extending from the river's source to the
forty-second parallel." This was an area over which the infant
Republic could not hope to establish its right by immediate
occupation, and the claim was not grounded in any treaty except
upon the most tenuous premises. Furthermore, this claim, if hon-
ored, would take great areas from the northern states of Mexico
and include Santa Fe. Even though this portion claimed was too
large to control effectively, there arose in Texas a group of expan-
sionists who wished to make even more extreme claims.6 Mexico
refused even to deal with the agents sent to treat with her on
the problem of Texan recognition. Santa Anna had lost influence
only temporarily following his return to Mexico. The position
which he assumed toward Texas after he had returned to power
was dictated in large measure by the internal conditions within
the country. Had he had the inclination, after becoming head
of the centralist government once again, to cut Texas loose, it
would not have been politically expedient for him to do so.
The missions of Barnard Bee, then Texan secretary of state, who
attempted to seek Mexican recognition of the boundary of De-
cember 19, 1836, and to negotiate for peace, were thus predes-
tined to failure. He had landed briefly in Mexico, but soon left
after feeling the temper of the government. His further efforts,
along with those of General James Hamilton, proved equally
fruitless. The stand of Mexico and Santa Anna by 1842 was di-
rectly opposite that stated in 1836. This change of attitude is
shown by Santa Anna's statement:
We have fully weighed the actual and the possible value of the terri-
tory of Texas, the advantage accruing to Mexico by retaining pos-
session and still more by the precarious situation to which she would
find herself reduced were she to permit a colossus to arise within her
own limiits.7
6For Act of December 19, 1836, see H. P. N. Gammel (comp.), The Laws of
Texas, x822-1897 (lo vols.; Austin, 1898), I, 1193-1194.
6For a discussion of further wild expansionist dreams held by Texans and expan-
sionists in the United States during this entire period, see William C. Binkley,
The Expansionist Movement in Texas, x836-z85o (Berkeley, i925).
7Santa Anna to Hamilton, February 18, 1842, quoted in Niles' Weekly Register,
March 26, 1842.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed December 1, 2015.