The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913 Page: 59
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Kentucky and the Independence of Texas
At the same time it should be borne in mind that though to
Jackson's mind a sufficiency of causes assigned for the advance of
our troops by General Gaines was seriously doubted by him, there
existed no doubt whatever in the minds of the Texan authorities
of the urgent need of United States troops at or near Nacogdoches
for the purpose of protecting the inhabitants on the west side of
the Sabine, nor did there exist the Aightest doubt in their minds
of their being entitled to such protection in accordance with the
treaty of 1831. The evidence upon this point is decisive.' We
pense of the government. Lundy, War in Texas, p. 42. In May, 1836,
Webster wrote: "I have no faith in Gaines's prudence, or, indeed, in
his purposes." Writings and Speeches, XVIII, 19 (Boston, 1903). We
find the New Orleans Bee, April 23, 1836, protesting that "if Gaines en-
ters Texas with his forces, he exceeds his authority, no matter on what
pretext." Von Holst (History of the United States, II, 573-583) con-
cludes a ten-page fulmination against the administration with the state-
ment, "a more shameless comedy of neutrality was never played." It is
more surprising to find MacDonald (Jacksonian Democracy, The Ameri-
can Nation, XV, 215) asserting that "Jackson's defence of his course
was utterly specious." On the other hand, see Barker, "President Jack-
son and the Texas Revolution," in American Historical Review for July,
1907, and cf. Garrison, Westward Extension (American Nation, XVII),
87-89. A friend of the administration has this to say: "Duty and in-
terest prescribed to the United States a rigorous neutrality; and this
condition she has faithfully fulfilled. Our young men have gone to Texas
to fight; but they have gone without the sanction of the laws, and
against the orders of the government . . . Prosecutions have been
ordered against violators of law . . . if parties and individuals still
go to Texas to fight, the act is particular, not national. . . . The
conduct of the administration has been strictly neutral." Benton, Thirty
Years' View, I, 671. Cf., also, Bassett, Life of Andrew Jackson, II, 673-
681, and especially Smith, The Annexation of Texas, 23-25, et seq. This
writer can find on the whole nothing to censure in the conduct of Jack-
son or of the administration touching the question of our neutrality.
According to the Courier and Advertiser, October 24, 1836, the United
States government in advancing its troops to Nacogdoches was only per-
forming a duty due the inhabitants who it might appear were American
citizens and whom the government claiming jurisdiction over them with
us could no longer protect in their persons and property.
The Evening Post, May 12, 1836, in an editorial defending Gaines and
the administration, held that the former's instructions were as guarded
as they could well be. This journal protested vigorously against a pre-
mature recognition of the independence of Texas by the United States
O1n the danger from the Indians, see Carson to Burnet, April 14,
1836. Garrison, Dip. Cor. Tex., I, 83; for report of an alliance between
the Cherokees and General Urrea and on the right of Texas to be pro-
tected in accordance with the treaty, see Burnet to Collinsworth and
Grayson. August 10, 1836, Ibid., I, 119. The New Orleans correspond-
ent of the Courier and Enquirer, March 19, 1836, traces the rumor of
such an alliance to the Donaldson (La.) Eagle of February 13.
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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/m1/65/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.