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

Sam Houston and the Texas War Fever

were forced to rely upon land as the only way of procuring the
means to carry on this campaign.
President Houston's next move was obvious. In a tautly worded
veto message he cut the ground from under such a scheme. He
pointed out that the Executive had no way of transferring the
ten million acres of Texas land into a means of prosecuting the
war. He objected to the proposed payment of the troops in land
scrip which would be almost valueless. Houston stated, "To invite
an army of five thousand volunteers into service without means
to subsist them, would be productive of incalculable injury to
the nation.""'47 Therefore, the President's duty was to veto such
a dangerous proposal. For this action Houston was blasted by
those who felt certain that Texas was at last to have revenge upon
Mexico. On the other hand, Houston had played his hand so well
even the most pacifistic felt that he still nurtured plans for a
descent upon Mexico. This seemed to be confirmed by a series of
letters which Houston wrote in August proposing an expedition
which would operate guerilla fashion against Mexico in the south-
west.48 The explanation of this action was to be found in the
rather vain figure of Houston, who felt that he must still main-
tain the facade of an ardent War Hawk.
While some of the more rabid supporters of military action
were threatening and were still brooding over Houston's under-
handed methods, the country as a whole accepted it. Relative
peace and quiet had prevailed on the frontier since the beginning
of April. Almost all of the forces had been disbanded and the
warlike fervor was dead. General Adrian Woll, who had re-
placed General Arista at Monterrey, would find only about one
hundred and seventy-five men in San Antonio to oppose him
when once again Mexico invaded Texas in September, 1842.49
The events following Visquez' raid of March 5 illustrate
Houston's capacity for handling a difficult situation and gaining
the result which he desired. Throughout this period he was de-
termined to have the means at hand to wage a defensive war if
47Houston to House of Representatives, July 22, 1842, ibid., 122.
48Houston to Jones, August 2, 1842, ibid., 137.
49"Diary of Anderson Hutchinson," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Asso-
ciation, XIII, 294.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed September 23, 2014.