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

Sam Houston and the Texas War Fever

strain those who wished to make of the Vasquez raid an excuse
for an offensive war against Mexico. The ruling sentiment of
the nation was for immediately punishing the Mexicans for this
invasion. Anson Jones, then secretary of state, illustrated the war
feeling in Texas following the Vasquez raid. He had considered
an offensive war against Mexico in 1839 as the "most extravagant
and foolish idea since the days of the crusades."30 Caught in the
war fever, he rhapsodized on the prospect that the Texan army
would be in possession of Matamoros, Tampico, and Vera Cruz
in six weeks.31 To Houston all such talk of a punitive war against
Mexico failed to take into consideration the desperate financial
condition of Texas. The condition of the treasury had not im-
proved since his inaugural speech of the preceding December.
If any invasion of Mexico was to be contemplated, money would
have to be found, and at the time of crisis in 1842, the only prom-
ise of such succor was a foreign loan. No immediate success could
be hoped for, however, in this direction. Trying to shore up the
shaky finances, Houston finally in May appointed W. H. Dainger-
field as commissioner to the United States in an attempt to float a
loan of one million dollars.32
The initial defensive moves against an all-out invasion by
Mexico could be effected with relatively little cost to the govern-
ment. The army was composed mainly of volunteers who, upon
hearing of the Vasquez raid and fearing an all-out invasion, did not
wait to organize themselves in even the most rudimentary form of
military organization. They left their homes as soon as they could
get ready "by ones, twos, tens, or twenties, as the case may be."33
This was the manner in which the San Antonio relief force under
General Burleson had been organized. The dependence upon
militia, still flushed with the memory of the victory of San Ja-
cinto, presented other grave problems. The militiamen were not
amenable to discipline and were convinced of their invincibility.
General Burleson shared their opinions of the situation. The
30Anson Jones, Memoranda and Oficial Correspondence Relating to the Republic
of Texas (New York, 1859), 34.
alJones to Daingerfield, March 31, 1842, in Williams and Barker (eds.), Writings
of Houston, III, 17.
a2Houston to Daingerfield, May 17, 1842, ibid., 54.
8aJonnie Lockhart Wallis (ed.), Sixty Years on the Brazos (Los Angeles, 193o), 93.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 28, 2015.