The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

neutral foreigners." Thus showing that he was determined to prosecute
the war against Texas. On the 28th of April Com. Moore arrived on the
coast of Campeche, and the engagements of the 3oth April and 16th
May ensued. On the 9th of June succeeding, the Scylla arrived at Gal-
veston from Vera Cruz, bearing the propositions of Santa Anna for an
armistice! If with these two vessels the whole power of Mexico has thus
been held in check, what might not be accomplished with our whole
fleet consisting of the ship, the two brigs and the schooner? While these
vessels remain in our possession, no hostile fleet will dare to molest our
commerce, or even to visit our coast. Great as is the disparity of the
skill and courage of the Texian soldier over the Mexican, the disparity
of the Texian seaman over the Mexican is still greater. The naval
history of our country proves that the Texian seaman can match those
of Mexico successfully even with the disparity of one to ten, the
advantages of mechanical powers being the same. Having these ad-
vantages it would be a suicidal policy to cast them off at this hour.
How can we expect to obtain an honorable peace, if we foolishly
destroy our naval power? Is it not reasonable to suppose that if our
fleet were sold, the treacherous enemy would seize the favorable mo-
ment to blockade our ports, and then dictate his own terms? If these
ports were blockaded, where would be the market for our cotton and
other agricultural products? We venture to say that if once the Mex-
ican navy should obtain the supremacy on the Gulf, cotton, our great
staple, would not command two cents a pound, and the prices of other
articles would fall in proportion. Better would it be for the Republic,
if a direct tax even to the tenth of the value of the property of every
person in the republic were levied to pay for the Navy, than that it
should be sold at this time. We cannot believe, we will not entertain
the suspicion, that the Executive, will consent to destroy this main arm
of national defence at this juncture. While the Navy is efficient, the
country is safe. The very salvation of Texas like that of Athens in
former days may depend on "wooden walls," and we hope no stupid,
blockhead policy will deprive our country of this best resource.
We are told that Mexico desires peace. We know that Texas desires
it, and every patriotic citizen would cheerfully, willingly make almost
any sacrifice but honor to secure it. Let us apply the maxim, "to be
prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving
peace." This is the proper period to display our whole power; and
we are confident that the more we display of physical strength either
for offensive or defensive purposes, the more advantageous terms shall
we obtain from the enemy, when he consents to treat for peace.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed September 20, 2014.