The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902 Page: 41
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The, Annexation of Texas and the 1Jexicaun War. 41
Sabine, Mexican territory was invaded, and the United States
would be the aggressor. Santa Anna's announced purpose when
he took charge was to drive the Gringos across the Sabine, but in
actual practice the Rio Grande was, and for ten years previously
had been, the extreme outpost of Mexico.
There never had been any dispute between Texas and Mexico as
to a boundary line between them. Such a dispute would have been
on the same plane as a dispute between Virginia and the United
States as to whether the Potomac or Rappahannock was the bound-
ary between that State and the United States. The recognition
of such a dispute by Mexico would have been tantamount to an
acknowledgment of the fact that Texas was sovereign, and there-
fore separate from Mexico, a concession of the only point at issue
between Mexico and Texas.
The idea, so often expressed, especially in our school histories,
that the Mexican war was occasioned by a dispute over the terri-
tory between the Nueces and Rio Grande was a political afterbirth,
having only a very remote connection, if any at all, with the real
cause of that war. It was a partisan invention of the enemies of
annexation, used as a means of placing the responsibility for the
war upon President Polk, and all that he represented in that bril-
liant epoch of American history. Once concede the fact that the
country between the Nueces and the Rio Grande actually belonged
to Mexico in 181-5 and 1846, and all the odium which the most
extreme partisans would cast upon the Southern people generally,
and the old Texan in particular, immediately attaches.
If anything in the history of Mexico, Coahuila, Chihuahua, New
Mexico, Tamaulipas, and Texas is well established, it is the fact
that Texas had no definite, officially defined western boundaries
prior to December 19, 1836, when she defined that boundary by
act of her Congress. In the discussions of the Senate and House of
Representatives of the United States over the compromise meas-
ures of 1850, with every known source of information available to
the able and learned men who for days and weeks investigated the
subject, no fact was brought out which showed that Texas had
any well defined permanent boundaries on the west, nor had she
any fixed boundaries on the east and north until the treaty of 1819
fixed them. The facts from which H. H. Bancroft, Von Holst,
and a large majority of the leading historians of the United States
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902, periodical, 1902; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101021/m1/47/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.