The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 4, July 1900 - April, 1901 Page: 75
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Escape of Xa'nes and Teal.
I think, added considerably to the suspicion with which I had begun
to be regarded.
The letter was answered, but in evasive terms which amounted to
nothing; and when the commissioners requested ,passports to
return with they -were refused, ,and were forbidden to leave the place.
What Urrea's intentions then were towards them, if he had any,
is uncertain. As they had come under a flag of truce, he probably
could not bring himself to make prisoners 'of them at once, and he
was afraid to, let them go; s.o he knew not what to do with them.
They continued thus as prisoners at large, under surveillance, some
weeks. In the meantime the repudiation 'of Santa Anna's truce was
proclaimed, 'and with it threats 'of a fresh and speedy invasion of
Texas in overwhelming force. This bluster 'of rumor seemed like
the din 'of a general uprising. The .church was to, pour out its
treasures, land the population ito contribute the best 'of its, bone and
sinew, brain land blood, for the vindication ,o-f national honor. As
this game ,of brag imposed on most ,of the foreign residents, if not
on most ,of the Mexicans themselves, it is not surprising that it com-
pletely .deceived the commissioners, 'and that they were anxious to
send promptly to Texas news -of 'the imagined danger. 'This brought
about what you have heard of as the sending of the 'whip-handle
dispatch. I had, .as you suppose, .some connection with that affair,
but was not the principal agent in it. I engaged the courier and
suggested the hollow handle 'of a whip as 'a place of -concealment for
papers not likely to be suspected; but I wrote nothing that was sent
in the casket I contrived, for I ,did 'not approve the kind -of news
which all the rest concerned insisted ,on sending. Mr. William
Howell, a Philadelphian, and then 'an extensive wool buyer at Mata-
moros, took the lead in 'the undertaking, and bore the expense of it.
He was one ,of the most zealous friends of the ,cause of Texas in the
'Since writing this paragraph I have called to mind more vaguely having
a few days later written for the signature iof the commissioners a letter to
General iRusk, which General Urrea permitted them to send by some con-
veyance which the latter commanded, 'provided it were 'sent through him.
It was accordingly submitted to him, being in the same disguised hand
which had been recognized as ,mine. 'Though I do not remember the con-
tents of this letter, it is now my impression that it was this more than the
other which caused Urrea's displeasure towards the amanuensis. Memory
often comes back to us in driblets.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 4, July 1900 - April, 1901, periodical, 1901; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101018/m1/89/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.