The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913 Page: 31
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Kentulcky and the Independence of Texas
the revolutionary movement that without help from the United
States their cause was doomed.' The General Council therefore
upon the outbreak of hostilities made an impassioned appeal to
the people of the United States which contained the following
statement: "We invite you to our country--we have land in
abundance, and it shall be liberally bestowed on you. We have
the finest country on the face of the globe. . . . Every volun-
teer in our cause shall not only justly but generously be re-
warded."2 And the government of Texas was as good as its word,
and richly rewarded those who risked life and limb in the cause
of Texas independence. The amount of land offered for the dif-
ferent periods of service was printed in the newspapers of the
time and undoubtedly this was a powerful motive in inducing
citizens of the United States to cast in their lot with the revolting
To those who looked upon the revolt against Mexico as a "Texas
Conspiracy," who regarded the leaders in the movement as "fo-
menters of an insurrection," it was a most gratuitous piece of pre-
sumption to refer to those going from the United Staes as "volun-
teer emigrants,"-rather they were "land-pirates," "free-booters,"
greedy for a "fertile paradisiacal piece of Texian lands, a mile
square." But the widespread enthusiasm on the part of the citi-
zens of the United States in the fortunes of the revolted Texans,
can not be explained on any such hypothesis; for the desire for
land was only one of several motives which influenced the volun-
'The General Council was prevailed upon to postpone the appointment of
officers to the regular army, since every inducement was to be held out to
volunteers, and if all the offices were filled, many ambitious young men of
the United States would be prevented from coming to the aid of Texas
(Smith, "Quarrel Between Governor Smith and the Provisional Govern-
ment of the Republic," in THE QUARTERLY, V, 310; ef. ibid., IX, 231).
Later Houston wrote to General Dunlap of Tennessee: "for a portion of
this force we must look to the United States. It can not reach us too
soon." Houston himself was advised by Carson to fall back to -the Sabine
in ,order to await the arrival of volunteers from the United States. On
March 13, 1836, however, Houston wrote the chairman of the military
committee: "our own people, if they would act, are enough to expel every
Mexican from Texas." William H. Jack, the Texan Secretary of State,
referred to the United States as the ",rock of our salvation."
'Barker, "Journal of the Permanent Council," in THE QUARTERLY, VII,
3See Lewington Intelligencer, April 26, 1836.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913, periodical, 1913; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101058/m1/37/: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.