Southwestern Historical Quarterly
These claims must be treated with a large grain of salt as
braggadocio and egotism are apparent in every paragraph of the
memorial.12 The department of state issued unofficial instruc-
tions to all officials to expedite the return to Mexico of this
apparently embarrassing guest. At Natchitoches, Louisiana,
Gutierrez met Second Lieutenant Augustus William Magee, an
officer of the United States Army garrison at Fort Claiborne, and
fired him with ambition. While Gutierrez was recruiting an armed
force for the invasion of Texas, Magee resigned his commission
and accepted one as colonel in the revolutionary army.
The amount of official and unofficial interest on the part of
the Washington authorities is a matter of speculation. This much
is clear. William Shaler, who had been United States commercial
agent in Havana, was dispatched to keep an eye on developments,
and in his reports he recommended military assistance. He re-
ported regularly to Monroe and, from time to time, advanced
money to Gutierrez to meet his living and traveling expenses.
Apparently Shaler's superiors never objected to this small finan-
cial assistance.'1 Also Lieutenants Magee and Samuel Noah were
allowed to resign their commissions in the United States Army
and join the expedition despite the fact that the United States
was embroiled in war with Great Britain and both were grad-
uates of the United States Military Academy. In fact, Magee had
been the subject of a letter of commendation from General James
Wilkinson who recommended Magee's early promotion and pre-
dicted a fine career from him in the army. 4 Governor William
C. C. Claiborne, though advised of the preparations, did nothing
until the invasion of Texas was well underway, and General
Wilkinson helped the revolutionaries by changing commanding
officers of Fort Claiborne at Natchitoches just at the crucial time
12J. B. Gutierrez de Lara to the Mexican Congress, August 1, 1815, in Charles
Adams Gulick and others (eds.), The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar
(6 vols.; Austin, 1921-1928), I, 4.
isShaler to Monroe, May 2, 1812, in State Department, Special Agents, II, folio
2o, National Archives, Washington (microfilm copy, Library, Texas Western College,
El Paso, Texas). Hereafter referred to as Shaler Papers.
14R. Ernest Dupuy, Where They Have Trod: the West Point Tradition in
American Life (New York, 194o), 24.
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 May 25, 2015.