The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906 Page: 20
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20 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
that he was able to secure nothing more than an assurance from
Cafiedo, the Mexican minister of foreign affairs, that commission-
ers from Texas would be listened to, with the distinct understand-
ing, however, that no proposition for the surrender of the Mexican
right of sovereignty over Texas would be entertained. In spite
of this reservation, James Treat was sent to Mexico in the spring
of 1840 as the confidential agent of Texas; but, as might have been
expected, he was able to accomplish nothing. When Smith went
to England to Exchange the ratifications of the treaties he found
the British government not over-enthusiastic on the subject. An-
nexation was not at that time looked upon as an immediate prob-
ability, and consequently the British ardor for securing peace be-
tween Texas and Mexico had cooled somewhat. Lord Aberdeen
told Smith that there was little chance for the success of British
mediation with Mexico, saying that Pakenham had carried on a
voluminous correspondence with the Mexicon government on the
subject and had been unsuccessful. As Smith pointed out to the
Texas government, it was to the interest of England to act in the
matter no more energetically than necessary, since any action on
the subject jeopardized the friendship of Mexico and England.
When the treaties were ratified, however, it became England's duty
to renew the offer of her mediation, and Pakenham was accord-
ingly directed again to lay the matter before the Mexican govern-
ment. On August 30, 1842, he wrote to Lord Aberdeen that Mex-
ico had declined to accept the offer. The fact seemed to be that
Santa Anna's tenure of the presidency of Mexico was dependent
on his large army, and he needed the Texas question as an excuse
for keeping up its numbers.1
(2) Friction between England and Texas.-During the same
period in which England was offering her mediation under the
treaty, Lord Aberdeen exerted himself in another way to secure
peace between Texas and Mexico. In the spring of 1842 President
Houston proclaimed a blockade of the Mexican ports as a measure
of war between the two countries, and one of Ashbel Smith's first
duties in England was to notify Lord Aberdeen of the existence of
this blockade. Aberdeen spoke at the time of the unfortunate re-
sults likely to arise from the blockade. It would, of course, be
'Pakenham to Hamilton, Dec. 12, 1839; Smith to Jones, May 17, and
Oct. 17, 1843.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906, periodical, 1906; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101036/m1/24/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.