The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 - April, 1906 Page: 3
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Diplomatic Relations of England and Republic of Texas. 7
brought the Little Penn claim to Henderson's attention in Janu-
ary, 1838. The Texas government at all times asserted its willing-
ness to settle all just claims against it, but for one reason or an-
other it postponed a long time the settlement of these two claims.
President Houston promised to recommend an appropriation to
pay the amount asked by Captain Russell, but Congress delayed
action because Russell neglected the advice of the Texas govern-
ment to maintain an agent in Texas to deal with Congress directly.
Various objections were raised to the payment of the Little Penn
claim. The facts that the evidence upon which it was based was
Mexican, that the claimants, Lizardi and Co., were really a Mexi-
can house even though they had an office in England, and that
the case had already been decided against them by a Texas prize
court, were among these objections. The scruples of the govern-
ment could hardly have been lessened by its extreme poverty, or
by the fact that, as Lizardi and Co. were agents in London for the
Mexican government, a payment to them was felt to be almost
equivalent to a payment to the enemy themselves. The two claims
were at first pressed vigorously by the British government. In
October, 1839, Lord Palmerston became so impatient on the sub-
ject that he wrote a forcible letter to Henderson in which he said
that "under these circumstances Her Majesty's Government would be
justified in sending out a Ship of War to Texas" with instructions
"to take all necessary measures for enforcing the payment of the
claims;" but he said the government was always "anxious to avoid
the employment of compulsory measures," and had therefore de-
termined "to make one more application on these matters, through
you, to the Texian authorities." This letter drew forth a protest
from Henderson, but the Texas Congress made an appropriation
for the payment of Captain Russell; for some reason, however,
the appropriation was allowed to lapse, and payment was not
finally made until September, 1843, more than six years after the
injury took place. The Little Penn claim seems never to have been
paid by Texas, for the last obtainable reference to the subject is a
letter dated February 22, 1845, in which the secretary of state
of the republic sets forth the grounds on which the refusal of
Texas to pay the claim had been based. In fact, by this time the
zeal of the British government in the cause had waned, and there
was no longer any fear of "compulsory measures" on the part of
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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/m1/7/: accessed May 1, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.